UPC got a harsh slap from the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. The company must pay a fine of nearly PLN 33 million and return its customers wrongly charged fees.
The company's biggest sins included disabling selected channels for clients and unjustified subscription increases. After careful analysis by the office of the clauses on the basis of which the company made such decisions, it turned out that the use of such provisions is not allowed in Poland. UPC now has a dense translation in front of its clients, paying fines and returning unjustly collected fees.
As many as 6 clauses were subject to UOKiK and were found not to be allowed.
Most of us are not interested in how many sports or movie channels we will have access to, but which channels are there and what is on them. However, UPC Polska did not guarantee access to specific programs listed in the list, but only to a specific number of channels on a specific topic. Customers felt cheated when the operator removed the channel, because of which they decided to choose the service. The clause enabling such action was found not to comply with the provisions.
In addition, the exclusion of the channel, according to another of the negated clauses, was not a change in the contract. A customer who would like to resign from UPC Polska services would have to pay a fine. In the opinion of UOKiK, this is unacceptable. The list of channels is an important condition of the contract, and these operators cannot simply change and pretend that nothing happened. In this case, the customer having a fixed-term contract should have the right to opt out of UPC services. In the case of a contract of indefinite duration, the company may change channels only for important reasons specified in the regulations or contract.
However, the company itself made sure that the contract terminated quickly and without any problems. UPC stipulated that it could do so for "important reasons," which in practice could mean anything and nothing. UOKiK decided that the use of such general justification is also incompatible with the provisions.
Unjustified increases and ordering technicians at your own risk.
The UPC list of sins also includes the introduction of increases "because yes". The clause stipulates that for indefinite contracts, the company may increase the subscription from PLN 5 to PLN 8 once a year without giving any reasons. This, according to UOKiK, is also not allowed.
The last negated clause allowed the company to arbitrarily decide whether a client technician's call was justified. An unjustified call cost PLN 50 and could effectively discourage calling for this type of help once again.
UPC Polska must now pay almost PLN 33 million in fine, inform UOKiK of all its clients and give them the money they lost as a result of subscription increases and an unjustified call from a technician. For this it must also return access to deleted channels to customers if they are still available. The decision is not final.
A giant punishment for UPC. The company must pay almost PLN 33 million and give money to customers