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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

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