Expatica news

Altice continues to object to posting telecoms invoices free of charge

alticeLogoThe Netherlands based telecoms operator, Altice, has criticized Portugal’s telecommunications regulatory body’s decision that the company may not charge customers for sending invoices through the post.

Regulator, Anacom, has stated that paper invoices must be issued free of charge and has issued instructions on the level of detail and information that needs to be included on all invoices.

Altice has said it is “perplexed” over the Anacom’s decision which it says was made, “without any prior presentation or discussion with the operators.”

“This behaviour,” reads Altice’s statement, “contradicts the need for constructive dialogue and transparency in a key sector for the national economy, such as telecommunications.”

The operator said that it is “analysing the draft decision and is evaluating the respective framework within the scope of the powers that Anacom has in relation to determining the detail and information to be included by the electronic communications operators in the detailed invoice.”

Also at issue is the minimum level of detail and information that Anacom says needs to be included in emailed invoices for subscribers who request detailed billing.

The information that Anacom says operators must make available on invoices for customers who request detailed billing, is extensive and gives customers information that may be used to take the operators to court in the case of a dispute.

Altice can bleat all it wants but while operating in Portugal, it must at the very least, comply with the regulator’s instructions.

Altice, which bought PT and MEO in Portugal and owns a worldwide raft of communications companies, is run by Patrick Drahi. The company was issued with a fine of €124.5 million by the EU which accused the company of breaking mergers and acquisitions rules by pressing ahead with the purchase of PT Portugal in January 2015, before being given clearance to proceed.

Drahi, the Moroccan-born Israeli billionaire and owner of 60% of Altice’s stock, is unlikely to feel the pinch as he last was valued at §15 billion.