Press Releases

Users Are Not Aware of the Real Pricing of Telephone Services



In order to draw up the Position Paper on the Regulatory Strategy for the Romanian Electronic Communications Sector up to 2010, ANRCTI and its consultant, TASC Strategic Consulting, conducted a survey among end-users which revealed that, generally, their level of awareness is low. Users give incorrect answers to the simplest questions regarding tariffs and have an erroneous perception as concerns which services are cheaper or which are more expensive, a fact which outlines their impossibility to make rational choices between the providers and the offers made available for them on the market.


For example, as regards mobile telephony, out of the 405 questioned users, 231 stated they knew exactly how much they pay. Out of these, 179, i.e. 77.49% indicated, in fact, an incorrect price, smaller than the amount actually paid.


As regards fixed telephony, 31% of the questioned users declared they had little information or no information at all on the prices and offer of the fixed telephony provider they use, whereas 53% had little information or no information at all on the offers of the other providers present on the market.


The survey among end-users was conducted on 405 users of mobile telephone services and, respectively, 379 users of fixed telephone services – natural persons – older than 16, from the rural and urban area. The survey was undertaken by Gallup Organization Romania between April 16 and 23.


The diagnosis-analysis made by TASC Strategic Consulting revealed the fact that the users of fixed telephony deal with a multitude of tariffs which create confusion and reduce transparency. For example, a fixed telephony operator commercializes voice calls in Romania at 8 different prices, depending on distance, destination and lapse of time.


The same happens with mobile telephony - a mobile telephony operator commercializes voice services for prepaid cards in 7 tariff plans, each of them comprising between 4 and 6 tariffs for national calls; as regards subscriptions, the same operator provides national voice services in 26 tariff plans and to most of these plans may be associated combinations of one to four of the 12 extra-options available; moreover, some of the extra-options are commercialized at different prices depending on the value of subscription, others are tied in different combinations, whereas within each of the 26 tariff plans, there are at least 2 different tariffs for national calls.


The complexity of the tariff packages and schemes offered to end-users (multiple tariff plans, tariffs for outgoing/incoming different calls, towards mobile / fixed networks, during peak hours / off-peak hours, depending on destination, towards favourite numbers) makes practically impossible for them to control their expenditures for communications services and prevents them more and more from adopting fully-aware decisions when choosing the provider or even from adopting a rational buying behaviour.

“Considering the results of these surveys, ANRCTI proposes that one of its strategic regulatory objectives for the next three years be the creation of an environment where information on service availability, supply conditions and pricing, is transparent, non-complex and available to all consumers. We shall discuss this objective during the international conference we are organising on November 13, and we shall present therein the other deficiencies identified on the communications market, which we intend to remedy in the following three years”, Dan Georgescu, the ANRCTI President, declared.


ANRCTI deems that improving users’ awareness and diminishing the complexity of retail tariffs will contribute to growing consumers’ negotiation power, and will enable them to better protect their interests. Furthermore, a greater transparency as regards the comparative levels of tariffs, depending on the type of offer or the profile of traffic, will encourage rational buying behaviour.


The Position Paper on the Regulatory Strategy for the Romanian Electronic Communications Sector up to 2010 shall be submitted for public consultation on ANRCTI website and shall be debated with the industry on November 13, 2007 during ANRCTI annual international conference “Reforming the Communications Regulation: In Search of the Winning Strategy”.