2 years requirement to get a phone contract

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lpuerto
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2 years requirement to get a phone contract

Post by lpuerto » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:28 pm

Hi!

I would like know what are your opinion related to the 2 years requirement phone companies have in Finland to be able to have any kind of phone contract with them. I understand that if you are getting a phone, or any other device, from them they have some requirement related to your ability to pay those in the future. But I don't understand about those 2 years requirement for just get a normal internet contract that can be broken at any moment.

Isn't this kind of requirement ilegal under european law? Even more if the required person is an european citizen with a valid european id.

I'm asking this not because I'm suffering this problem myself right now (I've been living permanently in Finland for more than 3 years), but because I have a friend that is european citizen also and arrived more or less at the same time as me. He had a problem at Maistraatti, when he register for the first time instead of tell them that he was going to live permanently in Finland he told otherwise. He realized his error a year a half ago. So, although he has been living here 3 years, on paper for phone companies has been living only 1.5 years and he wanted to contract internet and phone at home, and he can't.

I find all of these utterly ridiculous. He has a good contract as a researcher in an university... and he can't even get a phone contract. What game is this?

Anyone know any legal base to declare this an ilegal practice? My advice has been that he must contact to the Finnish Consumer Authority to get at least some information.

Thanks for the help in advance!



2 years requirement to get a phone contract

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wolf80
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Re: 2 years requirement to get a phone contract

Post by wolf80 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:56 pm

I'm not a lawyer, but as far as I know there is no right to a mobile phone contract or broadband internet contract. And as private companies the phone/internet providers can choose with who and under what conditions they make a contract. But I could easily be wrong here.

But from a practical perspectice, I don't think there will be much choice. Either your friend waits the two years or pays the demanded deposit. The Finnish Consumer Authority is rather toothless anyway and has done nothing about the matter in the past. And what I heard there have been many, many complaints about the issue. So don't expect much help there. On your own it will be hard to take on a company like Sonera, you would need massive funds to go to court.

It's the same for all foreigners, and I can't completely blame the companies for minimizing their risk. Just the amount of money they demand is ridiculous (some years ago it was 700 Euro for a phone contract). They could demand less money and still keep their risk low. (200 Euro deposit, if your bill goes over 100 Euro you cannot make anymore phone calls until the bill is paid. Or block roaming for new contracts, as that seems to be one of their main concerns.) But they don't want to do that, and I don't think there is much you can do against it. I know renowned university professors who came to Finland and faced the same problem. It's Finland, so no exceptions, no matter who you are.

I personally paid 200 Euro deposit for my home internet, and didn't have to pay any bills until that money was used up. I chose to keep a prepaid phone until the two years were over and then took a regular contract. It wasn't a big issue.


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lpuerto
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Re: 2 years requirement to get a phone contract

Post by lpuerto » Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:01 pm

A quick reply about the right or not to internet and phone...

http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/Finl ... egal-Right


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lpuerto
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Re: 2 years requirement to get a phone contract

Post by lpuerto » Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:07 pm

To be really clear, this mean this is an utility like water or electricity and no one can be denied to have it (if he pays the bills) and at the same cost of anyone else regardless the location of your home (of course inside of a normal range and within legal boundaries of where you can build a house).

Banking, I think, has been declared a legal right also. And recently a law has been rolled out to ensure no one is denied of having a bank account in Finland, and banking codes (I think)


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wolf80
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Re: 2 years requirement to get a phone contract

Post by wolf80 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:08 pm

lpuerto wrote:A quick reply about the right or not to internet and phone...

http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/Finl ... egal-Right
Ah ok, I didn't know. I checked and it seems the whole EU wants to go that way and make broadband a right.

Sonera's counter-argument will be that of course you can easily get a broadband internet contract. But as you are a 'high-risk customer' you will have to pay the deposit.

So, no matter what your rights exactly are, in practice it will be very hard to change the companies' opinion on the matter.


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lpuerto
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Re: 2 years requirement to get a phone contract

Post by lpuerto » Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:16 pm

There are two things to take into account here:

- I don't care if every foreigner has to pass for the same process. As we say in Spain, consuelo to muchos, consuelo de tontos (consolation of many, consolation of silly). The point here is, is this illegal yes or now? It's the same as the taxes for car importation... they are illegal, if we don't fight those things what is going to happen?
- As europeans we are not treated equally... They don't ask for this things when you are a Finn. Am I less trustworthy for being nonFinn? Are we treated equally under European Union?


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wolf80
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Re: 2 years requirement to get a phone contract

Post by wolf80 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:21 pm

lpuerto wrote:There are two things to take into account here:

- I don't care if every foreigner has to pass for the same process. As we say in Spain, consuelo to muchos, consuelo de tontos (consolation of many, consolation of silly). The point here is, is this illegal yes or now? It's the same as the taxes for car importation... they are illegal, if we don't fight those things what is going to happen?
- As europeans we are not treated equally... They don't ask for this things when you are a Finn. Am I less trustworthy for being nonFinn? Are we treated equally under European Union?
But that's the crucial point, the providers will say it is not only for EU foreigners, it is for all 'high-risk customers', so theoretically also Finns. ;)

But the question is, what should this discussion lead to? It's great to know all your rights, but what do you think you are gonna do about it in reality?


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lpuerto
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Re: 2 years requirement to get a phone contract

Post by lpuerto » Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:43 pm

I don't know... perhaps vent some steam... I really hate when people can get away doing what they want and @#$% others...

I just want everyone be treated equally. Justice.


JK_Ironak
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Re: 2 years requirement to get a phone contract

Post by JK_Ironak » Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:58 pm

When I was getting phone subscription I was very annoyed...permanent contract, Finnish husband... DNA didn't want to give me subscription even with a deposit. I think Elisa asked for 300 eur for deposit, and I'll get that back after 2 years :roll:


tanilas
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Re: 2 years requirement to get a phone contract

Post by tanilas » Tue Jan 17, 2017 4:02 pm

1. I had the same issue with my girlfriend who lives here for 1.5 year. In the end it was OK for them to give me a second student contract (I had already one) although she was registered as the user. They don't make any sense.
2. I find the deposit completely stupid especially since the first bill came right the same day.
3. And can't they block international calls and roaming to the high-risk users instead of this hassle?? It is rather humiliating and not very welcoming.
4. Prepaid SIM cards are of course and alternative which is not much more expensive. I had been living with prepaid for more that 5 years. You can even have 3G with a packet around 25 euros per month


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rinso
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Re: 2 years requirement to get a phone contract

Post by rinso » Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:30 pm

They don't ask for this things when you are a Finn. Am I less trustworthy for being nonFinn? Are we treated equally under European Union?
The trustworthyness of Finns can be checked with their credit history. That is not possible for foreigners fresh of the boat. Therefor the extra demands for 2 years or a hefty deposit.


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lpuerto
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Re: 2 years requirement to get a phone contract

Post by lpuerto » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:29 pm

I still don't understand why your credit history need to be checked for a just a phone contract. Is your credit rating checked when you ask for the water, electricity or other basic services?


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wolf80
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Re: 2 years requirement to get a phone contract

Post by wolf80 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:41 pm

lpuerto wrote:I still don't understand why your credit history need to be checked for a just a phone contract. Is your credit rating checked when you ask for the water, electricity or other basic services?
Well, it's harder to run up large bills in a very short time with water and electricity. I think one main concern for phone companies are foreigners who phone abroad a lot in a short time, or take the phone abroad and have huge roaming bills they don't pay for.

But yes, if you would block roaming and limit calls abroad then there would still be no big risk for the company.


Honest
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Re: 2 years requirement to get a phone contract

Post by Honest » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:35 pm

With your phone you can allow 100 people to call to their home countries while charginng them. It's a bit hard to sell water or electricity.

But the point is valid that they should just block the overseas calls or tell the customer tthat if they don't want to give a deposit then the maximum credit limit is e.g 30 euros


PJG
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Re: 2 years requirement to get a phone contract

Post by PJG » Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:46 am

My wife lived in my home country for 7 years before we moved here almost 4 years ago. She's a Finn.

She couldn't get a contract for a phone or mobile broadband because she wasn't resident here for the previous 2 years and had lived outside the country for more than 5 years.

Her mother had to sign as a guarantor on the contract or we'd have to take a prepaid service or pay something like 300 deposit.

She had bank accounts with healthy balances, a credit card in good order and owns property here for the entire time. Her credit rating has always been perfect.

It may seem ridiculous at first but Finns are held to the same rules. Not resident for minimum 2 years, no credit from a phone/network operator.

Inconvenient, but it's fair. If you pick up and go 'home', leaving 500 euro unpaid or whatever in bills, it's not worth their while chasing you. But they will have less to worry about if you've lived here for 2 years. You'll have some sort of credit rating/history, some sort of ties or roots at that stage, at least compared to the PhD student or whatever, who gives up on Finland after their first winter and just walks away.


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