to updateAnyone who has to deal with a major internet outage could claim compensation in the future. This was stated in a draft law presented by Communications Minister Petra De Sutter (green), which was given the green light by the Council of Ministers last week.
Minister De Sutter knows that the number of complaints regarding Internet outages has already doubled compared to last year. “At the end of November this year, the Telecommunications Ombudsman already counted 3,468 complaints, compared to 1,685 complaints in the whole of 2022. We do not know how serious the reported malfunctions were and how long they lasted.” The green politician points out that communications prices in our country are not cheap. She believes that “if a breakdown occurs, compensation is the least operators can do for their customers.”
Within Europe, Italians, Dutch, Germans and Spaniards already receive compensation in the event of major internet outages. Belgium will soon join that quartet. To be eligible for compensation, it must relate to disruptions that mean you can no longer surf the Internet or call using your mobile phone or landline. If these total outages last longer than 8 hours, customers will be compensated by their operators.
Three different compensations are possible. Or one euro compensation for the first day of disruption. This amount increases once the outage continues for several days. “It could also be compensation of 1/30 of the monthly subscription costs or something like free movies, for example,” says de Sutter. The operator is the one who must inform those affected of the various compensations.
State Secretary for Consumer Protection Alexia Bertrand (Open Vld) participated in drafting the bill. “Communication disruptions are very annoying for consumers. In the past, there was often uncertainty about the compensation plan for such disruptions.” That will change thanks to this new arrangement. This way you will no longer pay for services you do not receive.
The project will now be referred to the Data Protection Authority for advice and then to the State Council.
Prices rising too much? Switching telecom providers is easier than ever
Less service or choose direct debit? This way you can and cannot save on your connections
Free unlimited access to Showbytes? Which can!
Log in or create an account and never miss a thing from the stars.
“Friendly communicator. Music trailblazer. Internet maven. Twitter buff. Social mediaholic.”