The Secretary of State for Commerce, Services and Consumer Protection said complaints in the electronic book increased by “nearly 100,000” to 182,000 over the past year, adding that electronic platforms “need to be regulated”.
The electronic complaint book registered “182,000 complaints last year, compared to around 87,000 in 2019,” said João Torres in an interview with Antena 1 and Jornal de Negócios. “This means almost 100,000 complaints have increased,” added the government official. In other words, the number of complaints in the electronic book increased by 109%.
João Torres attributed this increase to “a change in consumption patterns” and found that the sector most criticized in the electronic complaint book is the telecommunications sector. “These are sectors associated with the regulator Anacom [Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações]”He pointed out. “It was already like that, but there has also been a very significant increase in electronic complaints related to operators who are normally inspected or regulated by ASAE [Autoridade de Segurança Alimentar e Económica]”He added, alluding to trading in general.
“We are working to improve the complaint book,” he said, pointing out that “in the short term” consumers will have the opportunity to “express their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the response they receive from companies” in the book’s electronic complaints to evaluate or signal.
João Torres considered electronic platforms “very important”, “they add value” and “they bring new business opportunities, but they need to be regulated”. With regard to platforms for the sale of goods, “we will evaluate and evaluate the regulation of these platforms in terms of the exercise of consumer rights,” the Foreign Minister continued.
When consumers shop online through an e-commerce platform, they are often buying from a third party rather than directly. “There are circumstances that we are looking into to regulate this very relationship so that consumers can exercise their rights on the same platform,” he said.
Commissions on delivery platforms
Regarding the rule that limits the commissions charged by Glovo or Uber Eats electronic platforms to 20%, for example, the government official stressed that this was an “exceptional and temporary measure”. Therefore: “It is not a measure that will stay in time, which does not mean that we as a society and as a country – I am available for this discussion – do not have to discuss how important it is, including these intermediary platforms to regulate in terms of the supply of meals, “he stressed.
“There will be a time when this rule will of course be lifted, capping the commissions charged by these intermediary platforms to 20%. We have to monitor very carefully and very carefully what impact this has on the value chain in which the platforms operate. There is an intermediate platform that offers home delivery services for meals because there are restaurants, ”João Torres emphasized.
“In other words, we value this innovation, we value this investment, it is important, but it must be monitored by the authorities and the state so that platforms in general do not cause any harmful, negative disruptions for businesses. Companies that supply goods and services, ”he said.
Contacts at no additional cost
The Foreign Minister added that a diploma for telephone numbers with the prefix 707 is being prepared. “707 numbers are not a solution to the business-consumer relationship and that is the basic message of this diploma, which will very soon progress already in the legislature,” he added. This diploma aims to protect consumers in the areas of legal consumer relationships, customer service and support in the sense that the provision of hotlines with the prefix 707 is not prohibited, but rather that they are obliged to provide alternative numbers. which must be presented to the consumer “in ascending order of cost”.
In addition to the alternative numbers, the number must first be marked with a reduced or free call price. “We’re going to propose a rule [no diploma] this prevents the quality of care from being discriminated, ”according to the figures used. “I am very confident that it will be successful,” he said.
Regarding Apoiar Rendas, which has an initial termination of 150 million euros, João Torres said that the requests for this measure are currently “around 14 or 15 thousand and around 50 million euros”. The motions “are open and there will be a development in the type of income support that is likely to support many more entrepreneurs,” he said.
Regarding the Recovery and Resilience Program (PRR), he said that “very ambitious support for the digitization” of trade and services is foreseen, the support of which “could potentially reach 100 million euros”.