Right of reply: MCA replies on Consumers' Association claims

With reference to the article of 18 February 2016 (Consumers’ Association says GO’s discriminatory €2 fee on bills must be removed), the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) would like to distinguish between two separate and distinct charges mentioned in the article, namely: (i) billing charges, and (ii) methods of payment charges.

The MCA would like to remind the general public that with reference to billing charges, towards the end of 2015, it launched a consultative process specifically addressing the issue of paper bill charges applied in the electronic communications sector. The MCA sought views on proposed measures that would enable subscribers to have access to their bills in a medium that they can access free of charge.

One measure in particular proposed that post-paid subscribers, who do not have access to the internet, are provided the possibility of receiving their ‘standard bills’ in hard copy format, free of charge.

This measure is also being extended to telephony services, where it is being proposed that post-paid subscribers, having no access to the Internet can obtain their itemised bills, in hard copy format, free of charge.

The Authority’s final decision on the subject is expected to be published in the coming months.

On the other hand, the issue of ‘methods of payment charges’, in this case charges applied to subscribers who opt to pay their bills via alternative means other than direct debit, falls outside of the MCA’s remit and is being addressed by the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA) which is to date the competent Authority responsible from this matter.

Sharon Scerri
Coordinator:  Media Relations & Online Communications