(KINGSTON, Jamaica; 2021 November 25): The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has extended the deadline for telecommunications providers to offer post-paid mobile customers the option to set spending limits when roaming.
This decision, initially set to take effect on 2021 December 18, has been extended to 2022 April 1. It constitutes the final phase of the OUR’s decisions which are contained in its Determination Notice, ‘Improving Information Transparency in Telecommunication Markets’, published on 2020 June 18.
With the upcoming 2021 December 18 deadline for the implementation of this obligation, the OUR sought and received information from mobile providers on their state of readiness to comply with the requirement. Having assessed the information provided and the arrangements still to be concluded including those with third parties, the OUR decided that it was prudent to extend the deadline for the establishment of financial caps (spending limits) on roaming services for post-paid mobile phone customers.
On 2020 June 18, the OUR issued its Determination Notice that included decisions which should be implemented by telecommunications providers on a phased basis within four (4) to eighteen (18) months after the document is published. The table below provides details on the requirements for telecommunications providers in relation to the stipulations within each decision.
|Original Implementation Schedule and Overview of Customer Benefits
|Decisions effective on 2020 October 18
|Automatic Usage Notification Alerts: Mobile phone customers must receive alerts to make them aware of usage levels prior to and on reaching maximum limits.
|Establishment of Financial Caps: Local post-paid customers must be able to set financial caps (spending limits) that will enable them to better manage the expenses associated with the use of the service.
|Decisions effective on 2020 December 18
|Information Requirements: Clearly stated current prices and all applicable charges, as well as full contract details that must include all pertinent information such as caps, exclusions, limitations and the duration of any fixed commitment period.
|Information for Roaming Customers: Detailed pricing, inclusions, exclusions and restrictions on the available roaming service(s). Telecoms providers must indicate the risks of roaming including how to turn off data and voice roaming on devices. Telecoms providers must also provide a free-to-access contact number to allow customers to check their usage level status while roaming.
|Publication of Information on Services: Where a service may be purchased through electronic means (e.g.: an App), then information must be provided on that electronic platform prior to a customer’s purchase. Information must clearly indicate all service/plan options, benefits, product limitations and exclusions. Provisions must be made for persons who choose not to use the electronic platform as well as for persons with disabilities.
|Requirements for Advertisements: Full disclosure is required. All marketing promotions’ terms and conditions must be provided. The telecoms providers must indicate where to get free access to additional information.
|Decisions to become effective from 2021 December 18 (POSTPONED UNTIL 2022 April 1)
|Establishment of Financial Caps – Roaming Customers: Post-paid customers will be able to set financial caps (spending limits) on roaming services that will enable them to better manage the expenses associated with the use of the service.
OUR’s Determination Notice titled: Improving Information Transparency in Telecommunication Markets can be accessed here: our.org.jm. -30- Contact: Gordon Brown – Public Affairs Coordinator: 876-968-6053