Subscriber connection agreement

When you purchase a broadband or telephone subscription, a subscriber connection agreement is made between you and the telecommunications operator. The agreement determines the rights and obligations of the agreement parties, e.g. the delivery time, quality and features of the subscription.

The operator must make the subscriber connection agreement with the customer in writing. The written agreement can also be made electronically. Typically, the set of agreements consists of, at least, a contact form to be signed and standard conditions of the operator's consumer services.

The subscriber connection agreement determines, for instance, the following details concerning the telephone or broadband subscription to be purchased:

  • delivery time
  • quality and features (such as the data transfer rate of broadband)
  • other rights and obligations of the agreement parties.

The minimum contensts of the subscriber connection agreement are specified in section 108 of the Information Society Code (in Finnish). Furthermore, the EU Open Internet Regulation contains minimum content requirements for broadband agreements. The agreement should be read carefully in advance because possible subscription-related disputes between the customer and the operator are primarily solved on the basis of the information entered into the agreement. The operator's liability is also assessed on the basis of the agreement in case the delivery of the telephone or broadband subscription is delayed or there are faults or disturbances in the service.

With regard to broadband subscriptions, one of the most important matters determined in the agreement is the connection speed. In its opinion regarding the reasonable method of indicating the connection speed of internet access service , FICORA has specified how the speed should be indicated in the agreement. For more information, visit Broadband speed.

Validity period and termination

You can enter into a fixed-term subscriber connection agreement or the agreement can be agreed to be valid until further notice. For example, agreements made in connection with so-called tie-in sales are typically made for a fixed term of two years.

You may give notice of termination of your agreement orally or in writing. Users must wait at least two weeks before they can terminate an agreement that is valid until further notice. The operator must send the user a written confirmation of the termination notice.

With regard to broadband subscriptions, one of the most important matters determined in the agreement is the connection speed. In its opinion regarding the reasonable method of indicating the connection speed of internet access service (in Finnish), FICORA has specified how the speed should be indicated in the agreement. For more information, visit Broadband speed.

Amending the agreement terms

The agreement terms of the subscription can only be amended if there is a lawful reason for the change. Different rules apply to fixed-term agreements and agreements that are valid until further notice.

The operator is not allowed to amend the terms of a fixed-term agreement during the agreement period to the detriment of the consumer. However, the terms can be amended due to amendments to the law or due to decisions made by government authorities.

The operator is also allowed to amend the terms of an agreement valid until further notice to the detriment of the consumer, but only in the following cases:

  1. On grounds specified in the agreement terms, if the content of the agreement does not essentially change as a whole.
  2. On the basis of a change in legislation or a decision by the authorities.

In addition, the operator is allowed to make minor amendments to the agreement terms, provided they have no effect on the main content of the agreement.

The operator must notify the consumer of any change in the agreement terms and the content of the amended terms no later than one month before the amended terms enter into force. If the operator gives notification that it is amending the agreement terms to the detriment of the user, the customer has the right to terminate the agreement with immediate effect.

Number portability

You can usually keep your old telephone number, even if you change your operator or address. More information on telephone number portability is available on the page Telephone number portability.

Barring functions and usage limits of your subscription

By means of different barring functions, you can control your costs. The operator provides different barring services for the telephone subscription. You can choose the premium rate services to which making calls or sending text messages is barred. If you wish, you can also bar calls to international numbers from your subscription.

There is no charge for the subscriber for subscribing to call and text message barring services. Instead, the operators can charge for unsubscribing to call barring services.

Also, usage and balance limit help you to avoid oversize bills and possible misuse of your phone. More information is available on the page Balance services and usage limit.

Subscription for minors

Making a contract

Only a person of age (18 in Finland) may enter into a subscriber connection agreement. For broadband and telephone subscriptions, it is, however, possible to set a user who is not necessarily the same as the person who has entered into the agreement. The guardian of a person under 18 years can enter into a subscriber connection agreement and determine his/her child as the actual user of the subscription. In these situations, the person who has entered into the agreement is responsible for the obligations related to the agreement. Therefore, it is recommended to consider having barring services in the subscriptions used by minors.

More information on barring functions and usage limits of telephone subscriptions.

Itemised invoices

The operator is obliged to send free of charge an itemised invoice to the person who has entered into an agreement on a telephone subscription. On the request of the person who has entered into the agreement or the actual subscription user, the operator must also send a more detailed connection-specific itemisation. The person who makes the agreement has the right to obtain a connection-specific itemisation in a form where the three last digits of the phone numbers are obscured. On request, the subscription user can obtain a connection-specific itemisation in a form where the phone number can be seen in its entirety in the invoice.

If the subscription user is under 15 years, the guardian has the right of action in matters related to itemised invoices.

Telemarketing of phone subscriptions

Telemarketing of mobile phone subscriptions to consumers is prohibited if the consumer has not separately requested it. The prohibition does not apply to the operator's marketing to its own mobile phone customers.

Other services, such as fixed telephone subscriptions or broadband services, can be marketed normally.

Delay in subscription delivery

If the operator is responsible for the delay in the delivery time of your subscription, you may make a claim for compensation to the operator. Notify the operator of the delay of your subscription as soon as possible.

You may be entitled to a compensation of at least 20 euros for each week of delay. However, the maximum compensation is no more than 160 euros. If you have suffered damage that is worth more than 160 euros, you may also be entitled to compensation for the damage. An obvious and essential breach of contract entitles to immediate termination of the contract. You will not be entitled to compensation if the operator can prove that the delay is due to force majeure.

You do not have to pay for the use of your broadband or telephone subscription until the subscription is at your disposal. Once the service has been connected, you pay the invoice except for the share that has been charged for the time when the subscription has not yet been at your disposal.

Where do I get help?

You can contact Consumer Adviceand ask for advice and help for negations concerning the contract relationship between the operator and the customer or compensations. If necessary, you may take the dispute to the Consumer Disputes Board.

FICORA does not handle any issues concerning the contract relationship between the operator and the customer or compensations. In other matters, you can contact FICORA via the contact forms.

Key words: Internet , Telephone , Availability , Broadband , Coverage , Coverage area , Mobile phone , Subscription

Updated 11.10.2016

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