Fixed telephony service selection
Contracting the fixed telephony service should be a conscious and fully informed decision.
When deciding, you should consider the following factors:
Your service usage needs: making local, national, or international calls; call transfer; sending messages, etc.
Your usage type: if you intend to use the service only, or more often, during given periods of the day or week, particularly if your calls will be toward certain numbers; if you prefer to limit your service usage to a specific amount; if you wish to pay on a usage basis, etc.;
Most suitable tariffs: tariff plans most suitable for service use at certain times of the day,
Expenses related to service use: all types of use and maintenance tariffs, periodic lease fees, and data on discounts;
Service coverage: if the service is available whenever you need to use it;
Main services available, including advertisements: for example, availability to make and receive international calls and access to emergency and other services, including identification of the incoming and outgoing call, operator services, telephone directories, directory search service, in addition to selective calls;
Devices required for the service: You should learn about the device characteristics, considering the service usage manner.;
Any service access restrictions: particularly those resulting from the preliminary verification of the technical conditions necessary for service provision (e.g., inability to access the Internet when registering a given telephony service product, inability to make calls using pre-selection for certain types of numbers);
Quality levels provided by different operators: According to the following guide, fixed telephony service users may select among the most convenient packages offered by service operators.
Fixed telephony tariffs
Fixed telephony service subscription contracts, or the general or special conditions, contain the proper information to be considered when contracting a specific service.
You should be familiar with the main conditions of a service contract before signing it, which means that all users should carefully read the contents before assuming contractual obligations.
While entering into a subscription contract, make sure that it includes, inter alia:
- Information about the service and its quality, as well as the initial conclusion term;
- method of service maintenance;
- detailed information on tariffs;
- compensation and reimbursement methods in cases when the contracted service does not meet the quality level provided for in the contract;
- instructions on dispute resolution procedures;
- option for user data to not be published in the telephone directory;
- The contracts terms should not be obligatory for an initial duration of more than 24 months and fewer than 12 months
Fixed telephony undertakings are generally free to set and decide their tariffs.
Universal service tariffs, comprising a defined service minimum and quality, accessible to all users within the country’s territory, and at affordable prices, are subject to regulation by AKEP. Universal service providers may offer optional tariffs and special tariff packages to low-income subscribers and/or subscribers with special needs.
- Public electronic communications network and service undertakings are obligated to publish correct and detailed information about the tariffs and general conditions of public electronic communications service usage. Such information is to be published through public information means.
- Undertakings should include tariff data in the subscription contract in order to inform service users about accessing updated information on all applicable tariffs. Such information should enable you to check the billed amount. Therefore, the subscription contract should include the following:
- Type and amount of tariffs applicable to service provision;
- Payment methods, or a notice that such information will be provided on the bill;
- Service installation or re-installation costs, if applicable;
- Minimum consumption levels (monthly or otherwise), if applicable;
- Maintenance expenses, if applicable;
- Device leasing expenses, if applicable;
- Main conditions of discount allocation, if applicable;
- Peak and off-peak periods, as applicable, and relevant tariffs during such periods;
- The location and manner in which the subscriber can obtain updated information about tariffs;
- Applicable service tariffs in force on the contract signing date attached as contract annex;
- FIXED NETWORK SERVICE TARIFFS IN ALBANIA
In order for users to be informed when choosing a fixed telephony service undertaking or the offer that best meets their requirements, they should also be well-informed about the service quality of each undertaking. This also includes the universal service undertaking.
Undertakings should publish the quality levels they offer in their service contracts, together with the compensation and reimbursement scheme details in cases of lacking quality levels.
This means that when the undertaking guarantees to provide certain quality levels and does not do so, the user is entitled to compensation, which he/she should request directly from the undertaking, or through AKEP or the court. If the undertaking chooses to provide services below the required quality, this should be specified in the subscription contract.
In any case, prior to contract signing, fixed telephony service undertakings should make clear, comparable, and updated information on the quality of service they provide available.
The contract should clearly state the service quality levels that the undertaking pledges to deliver to the user, i.e., the minimum service quality levels that result in compensation or reimbursement if the appropriate quality is not met.
Undertakings that provide fixed telephony services should issue monthly bills to their subscribers.
Contracts should specify that the service bill will be monthly, while subscribers should be entitled to check the bill and pay it partially as well; thus, partial bills should be available.
In this context, AKEP recommends that the contract include the following:
- Detailed bill specifications when requested by the subscriber;
- Bill issuance method (electronically or physically);
- Payment term after bill delivery;
- Price (if applicable) of a certain billing;
- Options available to the subscriber regarding bill types, if applicable;
- Consequences of delayed bill payments.
According to the current legislation, the detailed public telephony service invoice should also include the fixed monthly service payment;
In the billing process, calls shorter than a second are insignificant. There is a minimum time that constitutes what is known as the “voice output”. This meets the minimum need of the user to establish contact and cannot be considered a mandatory minimum consumption, let alone an activation tariff.
Thereafter, this minimum time would make sense for the per-second billing without the total call duration. Therefore, all undertakings include such a tariff – an initial duration followed by the per-second billing – as it appears to be the best method to ensure a connection between the requirement for undertakings to set tariffs and the relevant legislation.
The main condition for the fixed telephony service contract is to establish that the service should not be discontinued without prior notice, with the exception of unforeseeable events or due to force majeure.
In the case of unpaid bills, the contract should state that the subscriber is to be notified 10 days before contract suspension by providing the following details:
- Suspension reason;
- How to avoid suspension and restore service, if it was interrupted.
The undertaking may suspend the service only if the conditions on non-payment are met. Even in such a case, the subscriber has the right to make a partial payment and receive a payment receipt. The suspension, in this case, may be limited to unpaid services, except when it is technically impossible to separate services.
Furthermore, during the interruption period and until service discontinuation, the subscriber should be granted access to free calls, such as to the emergency number – 112.
Change of Service Operator – Porting
Porting is the transfer of the same phone number to a different service provision undertaking.
Can the service provision undertaking be changed?
You can change service provision undertakings, but this may require compensating the former operator. This will depend on the type and terms of the contract. In case of doubt, ask your current operator about this.
You should make sure that the contract with the new operator meets all of your expectations regarding the services provided, tariffs, and contract duration. Contracts entered into by consumers and electronic communications service undertakings should not require the conclusion of a contract for an initial period of more than 24 months. Undertakings are obliged to give users the option to enter into contracts with a maximum duration of 12 months.
Can you keep your number when changing operators?
Yes, you can, provided that you remain in the same telephony area.
You have to come to an agreement with your new operator and sign an authorization stating your wish to keep the same phone number, enabling your new operator to take the necessary relevant steps with the previous operator. Prior to leaving the current operator, you will have to pay any existing dues.
The number porting service is free.
Service Complaints and Issues
How to submit a complaint about the performance of contractual obligations for electronic communications service provision?
1.Stage one – complaining/requesting clarifications from the service provider over the phone/at stores.
The subscription contract terms provide for complaint means and procedures, including customer support phone numbers, addresses, and contacts.
You are entitled to complain to or request clarifications from the service provider. If you are dissatisfied with the operator’s explanations over the phone or through other electronic means, you may submit a written complaint to the service provider.
2.Stage two – complaints in writing
You should submit a complaint in writing to the Internet service provider within 15 days from:
- receipt of the bill for the service provided if the complaint pertains to the billed amount for the service provided;
- service provision if the complaint pertains to the quality of the service provided.
Upon complaint receipt, the Internet Service Provider should verify the billed amount and the quality of provided services and, after such verification, should either confirm or correct any issues.
The service provider should deliver a written reply no later than 15 days from the complaint receipt.
If you disagree with the written reply of the service provider, you may initiate a dispute resolution procedure with AKEP or take the case to court.
3.Stage three – dispute resolution at AKEP
If you disagree with the service provider’s reply regarding the complaint, you may request AKEP’s assistance in resolving the dispute within 15 days from the receipt of the written reply.
The request should be submitted in writing and include facts and evidence relevant to the issue.
The submission method of the written request is the Form
which should be delivered by mail or in person to the following address:
Electronic and Postal Communications Authority
“Reshit Çollaku” Street
or electronically through the online application: e-ankime / [email protected]
The following should be attached to the request:
- your identification details and address;
- service provider’s identification details and address;
- subject of the dispute resolution request;
- outlined claims and objections to the service provider’s reply concerning the complaint.
After the dispute resolution procedure conclusion, AKEP issues a written recommendation on dispute resolution.
Should the recommendation be rejected, each party may seek dispute resolution by the competent court.