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Telephone Lines for Consumer Contact – Decree-Law 59/2021, of July 14.

February 06, 2023

Decree-Law 59/2021, of July 14 establishes the rules to which the availability of telephone lines for consumer contact is subject.

According to the above-mentioned law, companies that provide telephone lines so that consumers/customers can contact them must disclose, in a clear and visible manner, in their commercial communications, on the main page of their website, on invoices, in written communications and in contracts signed with the consumer, the telephone numbers and information on the price of calls.

Thus, the information made available about numbers and the price of calls should begin with the geographic or mobile lines, and then, in increasing order of price, the number and price of calls to other lines.

When it is not possible to present a single price for the call, the following information should be provided instead: “Call to national landline network” or “Call to national mobile network”, as the case may be.

In the context of a consumer legal relationship, the cost to the consumer of calls made to the contacts provided by the companies may not exceed the value of their basic tariff, i.e. the cost of an ordinary telephone communication that the consumer expects to pay according to the respective telecommunications tariff.

Companies are obliged to make available to consumers/customers a toll-free telephone line or a telephone line with a geographic or mobile numbering range. The same situation occurs with the providers of essential public services, which are obliged to make available to the consumer a line for telephone contact, which must be free of charge or a telephone line with a geographic or mobile numbering range.

In situations where an additional telephone line is made available, companies may not provide a more efficient or faster service on this additional line than the service provided over the free telephone line or the telephone line to which a geographic or mobile numbering range corresponds.

The supplier of goods or the provider of services, including essential public services, who are obliged to make available a free telephone line or a telephone line to which a geographical or mobile numbering range corresponds, are prevented from charging other amounts in advance, even on condition that they are refunded at the end of the call.

Failure to comply with these rules constitutes a serious or very serious economic offence, with the application of large fines.

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