Inflation is not just affecting food and energy. Some subscribers to the Bouygues Telecom Internet box received this email in early September: “As of October 6, your Bbox offer is changing. » The message touts the addition of unlimited calls to mobiles, including “you will automatically benefit for 4 € more per month”.
The process annoys customers, who have the impression (justified!) that we want to force their hand. Examples are frequent in terms of mobile telephony or Internet access: in one year, around 30% of subscribers report an unsolicited change to their plan, according to a survey published by the magazine 60 million consumers last January. She pointed to SFR and Bouygues Telecom as the operators most adept at this method.
Four months to cancel free of charge
But this is legal in most cases. To increase its price, the operator just has to meet two conditions. The first concerns the form: he must warn the subscriber at least one month in advance and allow him to terminate free of charge during the four months following the increase. Hence the importance of monitoring the messages of its operator, because the email sometimes lands in the “spam” folder.
The second condition concerns substance. The modification must concern the telecom package itself: addition of call destinations or data volume for the Internet, access to 5G or higher speed, for example. On the other hand, the increase cannot be justified by the addition of a foreign option to the initial package, such as an antivirus or a music streaming service, specifies the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention ( DGCCRF). If the operator does not respect these conditions, it is possible to report it on the administration platform, SignalConso (1).
Often, the operator allows the subscriber to refuse the price increase if he manifests himself – this is the case in the example on the Bouygues Telecom box mentioned. But it’s not systematic. “This is an additional choice offered to the consumer and not a legal obligation”, adds the DGCCRF, on its website. It is therefore necessary to manifest without delay!
If the refusal is not proposed, there remains a weapon available to subscribers: to play the competition. Comparing current promotions is often beneficial, as it helps lower the bill. Indeed, operators are more inclined to offer attractive rates to new customers than to old customers. Very often, for the mobile and for the Internet, loyalty does not pay.