French telecom mediator sees contract terminations top list of complaints in 2017

Tuesday 13 February 2018 | 17:42 CET | News

France’s electronic communication mediator received over 13,000 requests to intercede in disputes with operators in 2017. This represents an 8 percent rise on 2016, following the 28 percent increase reported a year earlier. Out of more than 6,000 rulings issued by the mediator, contract terminations were the most common reason for dispute, making up 28 percent of complaints (up from 20% in 2016). Contract disputes were a very close second (27%, down from 28%), followed by technical problems (24%, down from 25%). 

Billing complaints continued to decline, recording a greater reduction (21%, down from 27%) than in 2016 (27%, down from 30%). The new roam-like-home regulation on mobile operators is likely to have contributed to the drop in billing disputes. Complaints relating to mobile voice and data services accounted for 48 percent of overall rulings issued by the mediator, down by 3 percentage points from 2016. This represents a continuation of the downward trend that began in 2013, reflecting the positive effect on French consumers of increasingly popular mobile tariffs with no minimum contract commitment. 

The decisions made by the mediator were accepted by telecom service providers in 93 percent of cases, on average. This rate, which compares with 97 percent in 2016, was impacted by the score recorded by Free, which agreed with the rulings in only 68 percent of cases. In comparison, Orange and SFR accepted 99 percent of decisions, with Bouygues Telecom scoring close to 100 percent.

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