The dTest Consumer Advisory Service has repeatedly dealt with complaints about poor quality internet connections and related questions about switching providers in recent months. Is your internet connection also bothering you? Do you experience frequent outages? Does it make working from home or distance learning difficult? Can’t enjoy your favourite series and video chats with friends? Find out what you are entitled to and how you can address this situation.
You can complain about internet connection deficiencies within two months of the faulty service, otherwise this right will be lost. The provider is obliged to deal with your complaint without undue delay, but no later than one month from the date of receipt. Only if the settlement of the complaint requires consultation with a foreign provider, the provider has one month longer. If you were only able to use the service partially or even not at all because of problems on the provider’s side, the provider is obliged to rectify the fault and reduce the price accordingly. You can also agree to provide the service in an alternative way.
“If you experience a problem with your internet connection, we recommend that you contact your provider immediately and report the fault to them. It is also advisable to document the poor connection, for example by taking pictures or recording the screen or display, or by testing the connection speed,” explains Eduarda Hekšová, director of the consumer organisation dTest, adding: “However, the provider is not liable for any damages you incur as a result of a faulty service. If you need an internet connection for your work, always think of a back-up solution – you will not be compensated for lost profits for internet outages.”
If your internet connection is really unstable or you’re unhappy with the price, you might even consider switching providers. If you have an open-ended contract, there are no penalties for terminating it. As a rule, however, fixed-term contracts are used, in which case there are two situations. If you are a consumer or an individual entrepreneur and you terminate your contract within three months of its conclusion, the provider may ask you to pay up to a maximum of five per cent of the sum of the monthly instalments remaining until the end of the agreed duration of the contract. If you terminate your contract after three months have elapsed, you can leave at no additional charge.
When you terminate a fixed-term contract early, the provider may also require you to pay for the costs associated with the endpoint equipment they provided to you on discounted terms. So if you received, for example, a WiFi router at a discount when you agreed to the service and you terminate the contract earlier than agreed, you will usually have to pay the full price for this equipment,” warns Eduarda Hekšová.
The situation is different for contracts entered into by legal entities, such as a limited liability company. Penalties for early termination are usually included in the contract or terms and conditions and are not limited by law as in the case of consumers or sole traders.
What can you do with your old device when your contract ends? “It depends on whether you bought the WiFi router or modem or whether the provider leased it to you. If you leased the device, you need to return it. When you hand it back, get a receipt to avoid any misunderstandings later. If you have purchased the modem, it will remain with you after your contract has ended. However, if you got it at a discounted price, you will probably have to pay the balance, as mentioned above,” concludes Eduarda Hekšová.