It’s possible terminate the telecommunications contract, even if you are still in the loyalty period, but there are procedures to be followed. Learn what to do to act within the law and know the situations in which it is possible to terminate without penalty.
There are a number of reasons why a consumer might decide to cancel the telecommunications contract, but it is important to know what you can count on when terminating. That is, to understand what they may or may not require and what are their rights and duties in this process.
What to know before terminating the telecommunications contract
Before taking the initiative to terminate the telecommunications contract, it is advisable to check some data that guarantee that you can cancel the service.
If you have made a telephone or verbal contract with a door-to-door seller, you can exercise the so-called right of free withdrawal. That is, you can cancel the contract freely, free of charge and without having to give any reason, within 14 days.
If this is not your case, you should ask the operator about:
- How far in advance do you have to submit the cancellation request;
- The contract cancellation date (up to which you will have to pay for the service);
- The information that the cancellation request must have;
- Whether you need to attach documents to the termination request and which ones;
- The means available for submitting the cancellation request (email, telephone, letter, etc.);
- You are entitled to reconnect your television to the building’s antenna in order to access the 5 free television channels.
It is also important to reread your contract or invoice to see if, for example, you have a loyalty card and how much you will have to pay if you cancel the contract early.
In some cases, you also need to return the equipment you have at home. Therefore, it is advisable to check these details beforehand.
Rules for canceling the contract
The law determines that companies cannot hinder the conditions and procedures for the termination of contracts. Thus, the means made available and the requirements imposed on consumers cannot be more demanding than those used for contracting.
If you want to terminate a telecommunications contract, you will have to benefit from the same ease of use, costs and documentation that were necessary for the contract. In addition, the company cannot require you to present documents that were already provided to you when you made the contract.
The law also determines that if you want to terminate the telecommunications contract during the loyalty period, the charges cannot include compensatory or compensatory considerations.
The limits to be charged if you terminate a telecommunications contract
In contracts concluded or amended from 16 August 2016 onwards, the charges for consumers cannot exceed the costs incurred by the operator with the installation.
When terminating a telecommunications contract, the consumer must not pay more than the advantage he received in return for loyalty. The contract must identify and quantify this advantage.
The charges cannot automatically correspond to the sum of the monthly fees due until the end of the agreed period.
How to cancel the contract
After informing the telecommunications company about the consequences of canceling the contract, it is necessary to place the order.
You can use the cancellation form that companies have on their websites (and that ANACOM make it available here) or in physical stores. It is essential that the document contains the data that identifies you as a customer (name, NIF, address).
The cancellation request must clearly state that you want to terminate the contract and indicate which services you want to cancel??
If the operator requires other documents to cancel, please attach a copy to the request.
Ideally, the termination of the telecommunications contract be done in writing (even if by email) and that keep a copy of that document.
However, you may use other means provided by the operator, including the website, telephone hotline or stores.
Deadlines to take into account
If you have correctly submitted your request to terminate the telecommunications contract, the operator must, at the maximum period of 5 working daysinform you that you have received it.
In this confirmation, must be given in writing, the company has to indicate the date of cancellation of the contract. It is also obliged to inform you of its rights and obligations, including the payment of any charges.
If the cancellation request has the necessary information and documents, it must be considered as correctly presented. The service deactivation period starts counting from that moment.
If the operator understands that you have not submitted the request correctly, it has 3 working days to ask you for the missing elements. This communication must be written and include the information that if you do not submit these elements within 30 working days, the cancellation request will expire. In that case, you will have to restart the process.
Terminate the telecommunications contract without penalty
The Electronic Communications Law introduces new rules that allow the termination of a telecommunications contract free of charge whenever there are “changes concerning the holder of the contract”.
That is, even if the cancellation happens during the loyalty period, there are specific situations in which you will not have to pay anything.
This is what happens if you emigrate, become unemployed or move house and the operator cannot guarantee, in the new residence, the provision of the contracted service or equivalent service.
In the event of involuntary unemployment or incapacity for work lasting more than 60 days, causing a loss of earnings of more than 20%, you also do not have to pay to terminate the telecommunications contract.
What to do to cancel contract without penalty
You must make the cancellation request in writing (it can be by email) with at least 30 days in advancepresenting documents that prove the situation.
Therefore, if you move house, you must submit documentation proving the new place of residence. If you are going to work in another country, it is necessary to deliver the certificate of residence in that country or a copy of the employment contract.
If you are unemployed, you must submit a statement from the IEFP or Social Security that proves this situation.
How to prove the loss of income?
The drop in income is calculated by comparing the consumer’s income with those he/she had in the month prior to unemployment or illness.
These calculations take into account, in the case of employees or pensioners, the gross monthly amount. If they are self-employed, the gross monthly billing is evaluated. For the calculation of income, the monthly amount of regular social benefits and other regular or periodic income are also taken into account.
To prove the loss of income, you can submit statements from the employer, the employment center or the parish council or a bank document that proves the financial situation.
Article originally published November 2021. Updated November 2022.