The Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) has imposed fines of millions on KPN, T-Mobile, Vodafone and Tele2. According to ACM, the telecom companies offer incomplete information on their websites about their subscriptions.
The maximum fine that ACM can impose is 900,000 euros or one percent of the turnover. This is the first time that the trade watchdog has opted for the second option for this type of violation.
The highest fine is for T-Mobile: 3.9 million euros. Vodafone, KPN and Tele2 receive fines of 3.1, 3.4 and 2.7 million euros respectively.
Consumers filed complaints with ACM about "unexpected costs and high bills," the watchdog said. The companies concerned were warned, but did not adjust their policies.
The four companies were, according to ACM, too vague about the one-off costs that are charged with a new subscription. Tele2 and T-Mobile offered so-called unlimited data bundles, which turned out not to be unlimited. KPN did the same with its SMS and calling bundles. Vodafone is blamed for offering cheap subscriptions for a price that only applied if the consumer also had a Ziggo subscription.