Inspectors ban SBB discount for e-mail bills

NEWS 09.08.2021 13:13
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Source: SBB

The SBB cable services provider said that inspectors from the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications told the company that it was in violation of the law by offering a discount to clients who receive their bills by e-mail.

“SBB’s business decision to give up 100 Dinars in revenue by giving a discount to every client who decides to get their bill by e-mail, not the regular post, has been deemed to be a violation of the Law on the protection of consumers according to the Market Inspection of the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications,” a statement said.

“Namely, the Market Inspection issued an order to SBB, stating that it has to stop implementing its decision to cut bills by 100 Dinars for all clients who decide to be billed by e-mail. We want to say to clients who have already opted to receive bills by e-mail that we consider the Inspection order illegal which is why SBB has lodged an appeal and will undertake all other available legal means if the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications decides not to revoke the disputed and damaging Market Inspection order. Also, the decision to forbid SBB from giving discounts will be the subject of the arbitration which has already been launched against the Republic of Serbia.

“Indicatively, the same inspection found not fault with the identical business practice by the state-owned Telekom Serbia or Czech Telenor who reduced their clients e-mail bills. This selective punishment shows that the state bodies are continuing their pressure on our company which is why SBB has filed an appeal with the explanation that it does not charge to issue bills.

“Electronic billing will continue to with the amounts unchanged because we want to do everything to support our clients who have chosen, together with us, to protect the environment. We believe that every socially responsible company should make a contribution on this important issue.

“Billing by e-mail has become the norm in many countries across the world and some have even stopped printing bills on paper while other countries imposed penalties for billing on paper.

“Unfortunately, while the Serbian government is constantly saying in public that it advocates a paperless economy and digitalization, we see that in practice things are different because the Market Inspection decided that both our company and our clients who have chosen e-billing should be punished.

“Recall that SBB raised its service prices by 100 Dinars on May 1 and informed its clients about the decision in line with the law. All SBB clients who change to or already use e-billing have been given a discount of 100 Dinars.

“We want to believe that reason will prevail in institutions and the administration because e-billing allows clients to meet their dues more quickly, simply and safely at no added cost, going to the bank or waiting in line. We will try to continue helping to preserve the environment as a socially responsible company,” SBB said in its statement.