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The Belgian legislation imposes on electronic communications operators certain obligations in terms of transparency, these obligations are summarised below.

For more details, we invite you to read Articles 108 to 112 of the Act of 13 June 2005 on electronic communications (hereinafter “ECA”).

Contracts 

Art. 108 ECA

Contracts concluded between an operator and its customers shall specify in a clear, comprehensive and easily accessible form the information listed in Article 108 ECA. These include the identity and address of the operator, information regarding the provided services and the applied tariffs, as well as information regarding the duration of the contract.

The contract shall be updated each time it is amended.

Invoices

Basic invoice

Art. 110, §1, ECA - Ministerial Order of 12 November 2009 fixing the level of detail of the basic invoice regarding electronic communications

The operator shall send to its customers, free of charge, a detailed basic invoice.

Here is an overview of the information which must be included in the invoices, based on the Ministerial Order of 12 November 2009:

  • Per category of separate service:
    • A description of the separate category of service that was provided during the reference period of the invoice or for which a payment in advance was asked;
    • The number of times that the single tariff was applied during the reference period;
    • The total amount invoiced;
  • The possible discounts and promotional terms;
  • The total amount of the invoice to pay;
  • For any fixed-term contract, the expiration date of said contract.

Detailed version of the basic invoice

Art. 110, §2, ECA

The operator shall send its customers, by simple request, a more detailed version of the basic invoice.

Mention of the most advantageous tariff plan

Art. 110, §4, ECA - Decision of 2 May 2017 regarding the communication of the speed of a fixed or mobile broadband connection

At least once a year, the operator shall mention on the invoice the most advantageous tariff plan for its subscriber, according to his/her consumption profile.

Concerning Internet access, the operator shall mention the tariff plans allowing to handle the download volume according to the consumption profile, possibly at a lower price, even when this plan corresponds to a lower download speed.

If a customer subscribed to tariff plans corresponding to several services, the operator shall mention if there is a bundle including these services, which would be cheaper.

Furthermore, the operator shall mention on the first page of each invoice the following text: “If you wish to know the tariff plan which best matches your consumption profile, please visit the website of the public authorities www.besttariff.be. ”

Information concerning tariff plans

Publication of information

Art. 111 ECA - Decision of 13 November 2007 on the publication of information regarding access to the electronic communications networks and services, the use of these networks and services and the content and terms of publication of the information

Each operator shall publish, per tariff plan, information that is transparent, comparable, adequate and up-to-date concerning access to its networks and services, the use of these networks and services, the prices and tariffs in force and the possible costs that may arise from the termination of the contract.

Operators shall communicate to BIPT the information they intend to publish or provide as well as the changes at least 15 working days prior to their publication.

More advantageous alternative tariff plans

Art.110/1 ECA

Customers have the right to demand from their operators to provide them with information, on request and free of charge, concerning possible tariff plans of the operator that are more advantageous.

It must be possible to submit this request in a simple manner, and the operator must respond to it within two weeks.

Information sheets

Art. 111, §2, ECA - Royal Decree of 15 December 2013 determining the content of the information sheets, referred to in Articles 111, § 2, of the Act of 13 June 2005 and 5, § 2, of the Act of 15 May 2007

Operators shall draw up an information sheet for each service they put on the market.

The information sheet is made available to consumers/end-users everywhere the operator offers its services for sale. The information sheet is submitted to the consumer/end-user when making the contractual offer, at the latest, and is then attached to the contract.

The consumer/end-user may request, at any time, to be sent the information sheet.

  • Note for the attention of Alexander De Croo, Vice-premier and Minister of the Digital Agenda, Telecom and Postal Services, regarding an evaluation of the information sheets by virtue of Article 5 of the Royal Decree of 15 December 2013 determining the content of the information sheets, referred to in Articles 111, § 2, of the Act of 13 June 2005 and 5, § 2, of the Act of 15 May 2007.
  • Information sheets
  • Consultation as commissioned on 17 October 2012 by the Private Office of the Minister for Economy regarding the draft Royal Decree laying down the content of the information sheets referred to in Articles 111, § 2, of the Act of 13 June 2005 and 5, § 2, of the Act of 15 May 2007

Tariff simulator

Art. 111, §3, ECA - besttariff.be - Royal Decree of 2 September 2018 on the automatic link between the consumption profile and the electronic tariff comparison application on the website of the Institute

Within the framework of the implementation of BIPT’s tariff simulator, each operator shall input its tariff plans, as well as their modifications, in the electronic tariff comparison application on BIPT’s website at least 15 working days prior to their publication. At the same time, the operator shall provide the Institute with a comprehensive description of any new tariff plan, any change to a tariff plan as well as an electronic link to the web page describing the tariff plan concerned.

Alert mechanisms

Art. 112 ECA - Royal Decree of 9 July 2013 on alert messages aiming at controlling the costs of electronic communications services - Decision of 20 November 2012 regarding the maximum amounts to be proposed by operators to their customers in accordance with Article 112 of the Act on electronic communications

The law provides for the implementation of a mechanism, offered by operators, allowing customers to check the cost of electronic communications services.

Here are the main characteristics of this mechanism:

  • It concerns post-paid mobile telephony;
  • It provides for a double alert: the first one concerning the subscription fee and the second one concerning a cap on top of the subscription fee, that the customer must define with his/her operator;
  • By default, this cap is set at € 50, VAT included (on top of the subscription fee), but other caps can be set (see the BIPT Council Decision of 20 November 2012, page 5).

 

Documents

  • Summary of the contributions to the consultation on the modification of profiles for the comparison of prices for residential customers
  • Consultation of 12 January 2018 on the modification of profiles for teh national and international comparison of prices for residential customers
  • Decision of 28 November 2017 imposing an administrative penalty upon Lycamobile for non-compliance with Article 136 ECA and Article 43bis, § 5, of the Act of 21 March 1991
  • Communication of 14 December 2017 regarding the tariff conditions 078 numbers have to meet in order to be used by the B2C companies’ customer services
  • Non-confidential version of the decision of 12 October 2017 imposing an administrative penalty upon Coditel Brabant BVBA for non-compliance with article 4/1 of the ministerial order of 12 November 2009 fixing the level of detail of the detailed basic invoice regarding electronic communications
  • Non-confidential version of the decision of 12 October 2017 imposing an administrative penalty upon Orange Belgium NV for non-compliance with article 4/1 of the ministerial order of 12 November 2009 fixing the level of detail of the detailed basic invoice regarding electronic communications
  • Final report for an ex-post impact assessment of the Belgian federal regulation regarding consumer protection in electronic communications law
  • Non-confidential version of the decision of 27 April 2017 imposing an administrative penalty upon Nethys for non-compliance with article 4/1 of the ministerial order of 12 November 2009 fixing the level of detail of the detailed basic invoice regarding electronic communications
  • Non-confidential version of the decision of 27 April 2017 imposing an administrative penalty upon Brutélé for non-compliance with article 4/1 of the ministerial order of 12 November 2009 fixing the level of detail of the detailed basic invoice regarding electronic communications
  • Decision of 2 may 2017 regarding the communication of the speed of a fixed or mobile broadband connection
  • Decision of 4 November 2016 on the confidential nature of the decision of 23 August 2016 imposing an administrative penalty upon EDPnet for non-compliance with Article 111/3, §§ 1 and 3, of the Act of 13 June 2005 on electronic communications
  • Decision of 23 August 2016 imposing an administrative penalty upon EDPnet for non-compliance with Article 111/3, §§ 1 and 3, of the Act of 13 June 2005 on electronic communications
  • Decision of 28 September 2016 imposing an administrative penalty upon Scarlet Belgium NV for non-compliance with Article 108, § 2, of the Act of 13 June 2005 on electronic communications
  • Decision of 16 august 2016 on the information operators provide to the consumers on their user profile
  • Consultation concerning a draft decision about the communication of the speed of fixed and mobile broadband connections
  • Communication of 21 April 2016 on the verification of the transparency of the Internet traffic management measures in 2015 - Verification of the observance of Article 113, § 5, of the Act of 13 June 2005 on electronic communications
  • Consultation regarding the decision concerning the information provided by operators to consumers and end-users in order to enable them to make an independent evaluation of the cost of alternative usage patterns (article 111, § 3, of the Electronic Communications Act)
  • Decision of 15 July 2015 regarding the quality of service indicators
  • Consultation of 1 June 2015 regarding the draft regulations facilitating switching fixed line operator and bundles
  • Consultation on the draft decision on quality of service indicators
  • Communication of 16 December 2014 regarding the monitoring of compliance with Articles 122 and 123 of the ECA
  • Decision of 21 November 2014 on introducing a tariff warning message that precedes calls to 070 numbers
  • Communication of 23 September 2013 regarding the check of the operator’s general conditions
  • Public consultation about a draft decision on introducing a tariff warning message that precedes calls to 070 numbers
  • Decision of 28 January 2014 imposing an administrative fine upon Schedom Dommel for non-compliance with Articles 108, § 1, b), sections 3 and 5, 108, § 1, f), 108, § 2, 110, § 1 and 111/3, §§ 1 and 3, of the Act of 13 June 2005 on electronic communications
  • National benchmarking of the telecommunications services rates in Belgium [Rates applied on 3 February 2014]
  • Consultation on the draft guidelines of BIPT for the interpretation of the term "subscriber with more than 5 numbers"
  • National comparison of tariffs for telecommunications services in Belgium [tariffs applied on 03 June 2013]
  • Decision of 31 January 2013 imposing an administrative penalty upon Scarlet for non-compliance with Article 4 of the Ministerial Order of 12 November 2009 fixing the level of detail of the detailed basic invoice regarding electronic communications
  • Decision of 31 January 2013 imposing an administrative penalty upon Telenet for non-compliance with Article 110, § 4, of the Act of 13 June 2005 on electronic communications
  • Decision of 31 January 2013 imposing an administrative penalty upon Mobistar for non-compliance with Article 110, § 4, of the Act of 13 June 2005 on electronic communications
  • Decision of 20 November 2012 on the lit of limits operators must offer their customers as stipulated in Article 112 of the Law on Electronic Communications
  • Decision of 4 December 2012 concerning communication of the speed of fixed broadband connection
  • Communication of 23 November 2012 regarding the verification of the operators’ compliance with the legal provisions regarding the information of consumers on the duration of the contracts carried out by BIPT in October 2012
  • Consultation on BIPT's draft decision laying down the exact requirements and the format for the notification aimed at in Article 108, § 2, of the Act of 13 June 2005 and Article 6, § 2, of the Act of 15 May 2007
  • Consultation of 12 September 2012 regarding the draft decision concerning the information provided by operators to consumers and end-users in order to enable them to make an independent evaluation
  • Consultation of 12 September 2012 regarding the draft decision concerning the information provided by operators to consumers and end-users in order to enable them to make an independent evaluation of the using cost of alternative tariff plans (article 111, § 3, of the Act concerning electronic communications)
  • BIPT consultation on the method for calculation of the download speed of a fixed broadband connection
  • Communication of 5 June 2012 regarding the targeted checks of operators’ respect of specific measures regarding the protection of consumers carried out by BIPT in 2011
  • Decision of 31 January 2012 regarding Telenet's request of 7 December 2011 to remove additional passages from the non-confidential version of the decision of 29 November 2011 imposing an administrative fine on Telenet
  • Decision of 29 November 2011 imposing an administrative fine on Telenet for non-compliance with Article 108, § 2, of the Act of 13 June 2005 on electronic communications
  • Opinion of 25 October 2011 on the legislative proposal amending the act of 13 June 2005 on electronic communications in order to combat over-indebtedness resulting from debts related to mobile phone use
  • Consultation of 4 August 2011 on the legislative proposal amending the Act of 13 June 2005 on electronic communications in order to suppress over-indebtedness resulting from debts through the use of GSM
  • Decision of 28 June 2010 imposing an administrative fine upon Belgacom for non-compliance with Article 108, § 2, of the Act of 13 June 2005 on electronic communications
  • Decision of 14 October 2009 concerning the provision of information to enable consumers to make an independent evaluation of the cost of alternative usage patterns
  • Draft decision of 17 June 2009 concerning the provision of information to enable consumers to make an independent evaluation of the cost of alternative usage patterns
  • Decision of 3 April 2008 regarding Art. 113 "quality indicators"
  • Consultation summary draft decision Art. 113 "quality indicators"
  • Draft decision of 8 October 2008 regarding the indicators on the quality of the electronic communications services as well as the content, the form and the manner of information to be published – case of indicator nr.4
  • Decision of 3 April 2008 regarding Art. 113 "quality indicators", "mobile" case
  • Consultation summary draft decision Art. 113 "quality indicators", "mobile" case
  • Draft decision of 18 December 2007 regarding the indicators on the quality of the electronic communications services as well as the content, the form and the manner of information to be published – case of mobile operators
  • Draft decision of 30 October 2007 on the quality of electronic communications services parameters, and the content, form and manner of information to be published
  • Decision of 13 November 2007 on the publication of information regarding access to electronic communications networks and services, the use of these networks and services and the content and terms of publication of the information
  • Consultation on the draft decision concerning the information regarding access to the electronic communications networks and services, the use of these networks and services and the content and terms of publication of the information
  • Answer form regarding the questions asked in the letter of 20 June 2007 on the Articles 122, 124, 125 and 129 of the ECA
  • Summary of the consultation of 13 February 2007 about the information on the access to the electronic communications networks and services and on the content and modalities of publication of it
  • Questionnaire on the implementation of the Articles 108, 110, 114, 115, 116, 130 and 131 of the Act of 13 June 2005 on electronic communications
  • Consultation of 13 February 2007 concerning the information regarding access to the electronic communications networks and services, the use of these networks and services
  • Opinion of the “working group consisting of the Institute and the operators” on the framework and implementation of a software tool enabling the assessment of the best-value offer of electronic communications services
  • Draft opinion of the working group consisting of the Institute and the operators on the framework and implementation of a tool enabling the assessment of the best-value offer of electronic communications services
  • BIPT communication of 29 September 2006 regarding the postponement of the deadline of the national consultation concerning the indicators on the quality of electronic communications services parameters

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