The state-owned Telekom Serbia has raised the prices of its cable package without informing the public before publishing the new prices on its web site, despite the fact that the law says operators are obliged to inform their subscribers about price changes at least one month in advance.
The public was informed of the price change by opposition Party of Freedom and Justice (SSP) deputy leader Marinika Tepic. She said that she was told about the new prices by Telekom subscribers. “Telekom has shoved its hands into the pockets of the Serbian public once again and secured media darkness,” she said adding that the state telecommunications company management raised the prices without informing the public.
According to the new price list, the Box 4 Blue package which cost 4,799 Dinars just days earlier now costs 4,999 with a notice that says the price has actually been lowered.
Under Serbian law, cable operators are obliged to inform their subscribers about unilateral changes to their contracts a month in advance in an appropriate manner but does not define that appropriate manner. It does allow subscribers to break off their contracts without paying any penalties.
Legally speaking, subscribers were notified but in fact they were not, Nenad Bumbic of a consumer protection organization told N1. “When companies have an obligation to inform their clients in an appropriate manner they look for ways not to inform anyone…
We have been trying to convince the Telecommunications Ministry to change the law for years and delete the word appropriate,” he said.
N1 TV asked Telekom Serbia why its subscribers were not informed of the price rise but got no reply.