The complaints from Facua-Consumidores en Acción have led to the first disciplinary proceedings against companies for not replacing their customer service lines with prefixes 902 and 901. These are Iberia, Vueling, Level, British Airways and EasyJet , which since December should have toll-free customer service telephones as these are companies that provide basic services of general interest.
The files have been initiated by the General Directorate of Consumption of the Balearic Islands. The proposed fines are 4,500 euros per company. Iberia already has free telephones (although it still maintains non-free or regional contact numbers in Iberia Plus, which, since it is considered a non-essential service, does not require a 900 or 902).
The registered companies have conventional telephone numbers with a provincial prefix or mobile phones, the cost of which may not be free. Beyond the economic impact, the proposed fines is a first step to eliminate this illegal practice and has been an incentive for adaptation past the first quarter.
The Balearic Islands is the first autonomous community that has begun to respond to the nearly twenty complaints that Facua has already filed for the violation of the new regulation of customer service telephones promoted by the Ministry of Consumption after the claims raised by the association since the beginning of the legislature.
Facua spokesperson Rubén Sánchez highlighted the exemplary nature of the Balearic Islands in terms of consumption, “which places it at the forefront of consumer defense policies in Spain.”
Since December 23, companies that provide basic services of general interest – such as transportation – must offer free lines. The rest of signatures, mobile or fixed numbers with geographic prefix. However, Iberia and Level had a 901 at the time of the complaint and EasyJet a 902. British Airways, for its part, reported a country code telephone number, which is not free either.
The five airlines filed were denounced by Facua before the General Directorate of Consumption of the Ministry of Consumption and the consumer protection authorities of the 17 autonomous communities. All autonomous consumer administrations have powers to impose financial sanctions on companies for the irregularity reported.
It is an offense for “failure to comply with obligations in relation to customer service”, as established in article 49.1 of Royal Legislative Decree 1/2007, of November 16, which approves the text recast of the General Law for the Defense of Consumers and Users and other complementary laws.
With its new wording, section 2 of article 21 of the aforementioned Royal Legislative Decree states that “in cases of basic services of general interest, the companies that provide them must, in any case, have a customer service telephone number. free consumer “.
“For these purposes”, the norm continues, “the provision of water, gas, electricity, financial and insurance, postal, air, rail and road transport, protection of the public will be considered as basic services of general interest. health, sanitation and waste, as well as those that are legally determined “.
Along with these four companies, Facua has also denounced in recent months the rest of the airlines of the IAG group – made up of Iberia, British Airways, Aer Lingus, Vueling, Level and Air Europa – for not offering free lines.
For the same reasons, he has filed complaints against the insurers Caser and Línea Directa, the Santiago urban transport company, Tussa, and the postal service companies Celeritas, DHL, GLS and Seur.
Securitas Direct, Conforama, Yves Rocher and Microsoft have also been denounced by Facua for not adding an “alternative geographic or mobile number” to its 902 telephone number “under equal conditions”, as required by law. Facua has also turned to Renfe to urge it to carry out the necessary actions so that all its customer service telephones are free.