Cellphone exit fines abolished

The freedom to choose a mobile carrier got new meaning on Monday with the coming into effect of the law abolishing exit fines.

By EFRAT AHARONI
April 2, 2012 23:25
1 minute read.
Woman with iPhone

Woman with iPhone 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

 
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The freedom to choose a mobile carrier got new meaning on Monday with the coming into effect of the law abolishing exit fines, effectively annulling the concept of commitment to a company.

Mobile carriers’ new subscribers and subscribers who signed contracts since November 2011 will no longer pay a fine for leaving the carrier. Older subscribers will pay 8 percent of their average monthly bill times the number of months remaining in their commitment.

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However, the mobile carriers can continue to charge for equipment sold, such as cellphones, as well as for subscribers’ accumulated debts.

The new law, like other consumer amendments in the telecommunications industry, applies to private customers with up to 100 lines. A customer that receives service for more than 100 mobile lines will be required to pay the carrier pursuant to the terms of the contract.

The current step is part of the consumer measures that the Communications Ministry and Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon are taking to lower the barriers to switching between carriers and to increase competition and transparency for customers. Measures implemented to date include the reduction of inter-network connectivity fees, the reduction of commitment periods to carriers and restrictions on providing added-value services without the customer’s consent.

Last November regulations came into effect canceling exit fines for current subscribers in all telecommunications segments – cable and satellite television, Internet service providers, fixed-line telephony and international calls – after fines for new subscribers at all the carriers were canceled last August.

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