Regulator gets more complaints about the internet service quality in Latvia

Latvian regulator SPRK published a report on consumer complaints. In 2020, consumer dissatisfaction increased by 33%, compared to 2019.

In 2020, the number of consumer complaints about contracts in Latvia decreased by 60%. However, the number of complaints about the quality of electronic communications services jumped by 33%. Both seem to result from the Covid-19 situation.

Namely, with people staying home during a quarantine or lockdown, the dependence on communications services grows. Combined with an insufficient capacity, the servers simply could not process the increased data traffic as required.

At the beginning of the pandemic already, the regulator prepared some tips for users to avoid issues with the internet. These included recommendations about WiFi or switching-off some features, which were not vital for the communication. For example, users should switch-off camera during calls, or turning-off location in mobile apps.

When assessing the consumer complaints, the regulator found out that in almost half of the cases, the quality of the service did not meet the quality requirements set out in the contract. In such cases, consumers have the right to terminate the contract without sanction or demand a discount from the provider.

SPRK is working on a draft regulation on consumer contracts. This shall provide for details on the service quality, compensation procedures and information to be included in invoice.

The consumer complaints can help the regulator in preparation of the regulation.

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