Find out what you can do when a problem arises and if you cannot reach an agreement with the operator to resolve it

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What should I do if I experience a problem with my service?


What should I do if I experience a problem with my service?

If a problem arises, finding a solution does not have to be difficult and time-consuming. Sometimes it can be resolved with a simple phone call. It is important to be objective and follow what we propose step by step.

Step 1 - Get in contact with your operator

Whenever you have a problem with a communications service, the first thing to do is contact your operator directly. As their customer, the operator will want to solve consumer's problems.

Operators provide customer support helplines (especially for contact in the event of a fault or need for technical assistance), which you can call if you have a problem. You can find these numbers on the operator's website and on bills. 

Step 2 - Make a complaint

If your problem has not been resolved after contacting the operator or if you are not satisfied with the operator's response, make a complaint in writing. You can use the Complaints Book which is available in the operator's stores and online (in English).Try to be clear and objective in the way you present your problem.

Image of Complaints Book Image of Complaints Book   

When you request the complaints book in a store, staff are required to make it available to you without delay. If they refuse to provide the complaints book, you can call the police to enforce access to the book and record the refusal.

Step 3 - Use an alternative means of conflict resolution

If you are still unable to resolve a dispute with your operator, you can use an Alternative Dispute Resolution mean. These are impartial independent bodies with specialist teams who work to help consumers and companies resolve conflicts through mediation or arbitration.

In the electronic communications sector, operators are obliged to accept the use of Consumer Dispute Arbitration Centres to resolve disputes with customers. The service is free or provided at reduced cost, and the resolution has the same value as a court ruling. 

The average time to resolve cases through Consumer Dispute Arbitration Centres is 2 to 3 months. In Justice of Peace courts, a process lasts, on average, around 2 months until there is a final decision.

The contact details of these organisations are available on the website of Direção-Geral do Consumidor (General Consumer Directorate) and ANACOM

In summary:

  • before signing a contract, inform yourself; 
  • read your contract and makes sure you know what your rights are; 
  • if you have a problem, start by contacting your operator; 
  • does the problem remain unresolved? Submit a written complaint; 
  • if this still does not resolve your problem, make use of an Alternative Dispute Resolution mean or the common courts; 
  • if necessary, to obtain more information and help to resolve your questions, contact the European Consumer Centre, Direção-Geral do Consumidor (Directorate-General for the Consumer) or ANACOM.

Who can I turn to if I have a problem with a Portuguese operator and I am no longer in Portugal?

The European Consumer Centre Portugal (Centro Europeu do Consumidor Portugal) is part of the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net). The Centre provides free information to consumers about their rights and offers assistance in resolving problems related to cross-border purchases of goods and services.

The ECC Network is made up of 30 centres located in the 27 Member States of the European Union, Iceland, Norway and the United Kingdom.

Therefore, if you are contacted by your Portuguese operator and you are already living in another European Union country, in Iceland, Norway or the United Kingdom, you can contact the ECC-Net in that country to help resolve your conflict.