Financial penalties for charging fees that discourage consumers from using number portability have been imposed on Polkomtel, Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa, PTK Centertel and Telekomunikacja Polska.
According to the Telecommunications Act, a one-off fee for porting a phone number when changing an operator may be charged by an existing service provider as defined in its tariffs. The level of this fee should not discourage users from exercising the right, and thus was made dependent upon subjective judgements.
In order to verify these judgements the President of the Office of Electronic Communications in February 2006 commissioned TNS OBOP to carry out a questionnaire survey. The survey checked, inter alia, how much the users were inclined to pay for porting a number to another operator and covered individual clients (representative sample of 1005 people aged 15 and above) as well as business clients (representative sample of 400 companies and institutions). The results of the survey have shown that most individual clients are inclined to pay up to PLN 50 for porting the number (55% of the respondents for fixed-line telephony and 64% for mobile telephony out of those who were interested in using the service).
Then, on 28 March 2006, the President of UKE published its position regarding the level of charges for porting an assigned number when changing an operator on UKE’s website. According to that position, a one-off fee for porting the number when changing an operator both in mobile and fixed-line networks should not exceed PLN 50. This amount corresponds to the maximum that the users are inclined to pay for using their right and thus it is a gross sum.
However, from the publication of the position of the President of UKE until the day when administrative proceedings regarding the imposition of penalties were commenced operators did not take any action to remedy this breach of law and continued to charge gross PLN 122 for number portability.
Due to the fact that the subscriber right to port an assigned number was executed in a manner that contravened the provisions of the Act, the President of UKE in its decisions of 1 August 2006 imposed: