Consumer law protects telecommunications customers

In addition to the rights stipulated in the General Telecommunications Law, customers of telephone companies, Internet and cable TV are also covered by the Law for the Promotion of Competition and Consumer Protection.

This was determined by the First Chamber, in resolution of March 22, after reviewing a complaint raised by the company Genie Card Automotive Safety against Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), for costs that it incurred in following a change of operator technology state.

According to the ruling, the law that regulates telecommunications includes explicit recognition to “the other (rights) to be established in the existing legal order”, including those related to commercial or consumer issues.

The events to referred to the First Chamber, dating from 2009, when the company was informed automotive safety by ICE for the unification of two GSM networks.

Following a decision of the Supreme Administrative Courtthat gave the reason to the security company, ICE raised the case to the First Chamber, and argued that its operation was regulated by the Telecommunications Regulations.

With the decision the Chamber guarantee the Court’s decision-Litigation and clarified that companies in this sector must comply with the rights under any legislation. Also ordered ICE to refund the amount of the expenses incurred for replacement cards.

The decision of the First Board also recognizes the commercial nature of the services that provide the telecommunications companies and responsibilityabout themselves.

For, María del Mar Herrera, lawyer specializing in consumer rights, the rulingcould also set a precedent for the protection of the user with respect to the entireconsumption chain, including the original supplier and intermediaries.