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Telephony

Establish/end subscriptions

This question falls outside of Nkom's area of expertise.

If you have any questions relating to agreements entered into by children, please contact The Norwegian Consumer Council.

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The Sale of Goods Act and Consumer Sales Act do not, in principle, regulate agreements for the provision of telecommunications services. This is due to these rules largely regulating the sale of physical objects, and telephony is considered a service. The relation between a consumer and the telecommunication company is primarily regulated by general contract law.

However, there are other Acts that can protect the interests of consumers. The most relevant of these are the following:

  • The Electronic Communications Act (Act no. 83 of 4 July 2003 relating to Electronic Communications) with regulations stipulate various requirements for companies that supply telecommunications services. An example of this is the requirement for written authorisation from the customer when changing telecommunications providers. NPT enforces this Act.
  • The Consumer Purchases Cancellation Act (Act no. 105 of 21 December 2000 relating to the duty of disclosure and the right to cancel consumer purchase agreements etc. in respect of distance selling and sales contracts concluded away from the trader's business premises) regulates the method and rights for distance selling. Among other things, the consumer can cancel services that have been sold in this manner within a certain period of time. Contact the Norwegian Consumer Council for more information.
  • The Marketing Control Act (Act no. 2 of 1 January 2009 relating to the control of marketing and contract terms and conditions) stipulates frameworks for how the companies may act when they market themselves. Contact the Consumer Ombudsman for more information

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All telecommunications providers have a duty to register their customers in a clear and unambiguous manner, cf. Section 6-2 of the Ecom Regulations. The providers have no statutory requirement to check the customer's identity by using national identity numbers, however this can be one of several methods of ensuring clear and unambiguous registration. In recent times we have seen a number of examples of people having registered prepaid cards in others' names (identity theft). Registering the national identity number instead of only the birth date can be a method of reducing the possibility of identity theft.

If you have a subscription for which you are sent an invoice, the situation is somewhat different. The providers then have a self-interest in knowing your identity so as to send the correct bill to the correct person. When entering into this type of subscription it has therefore been normal to state the national identity number. Many telecommunications providers also reserve the right to carry out credit checks of potential customers and the national identity number simplifies this at the credit rating companies. If you would like to know more about when the telecommunications operators have the right to conduct credit checks of you as a customer, please contact the Norwegian Data Protection Authority.

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Invioces

Billing questions are governed basically by the subscription agreement with your telecommunications provider.

If you wish to complain about you telephone bill, you should first send a written complaint to your telecommunications company. You can obtain assistance in formulating the complaint via the Norwegian Consumer Council's complaints guide. If you do not succeed with your complaint you may bring the matter before The Consumer Complaints Board for Electronic Communications.

Nkom cannot intervene in matters concerning invoices.

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Pursuant to Section 2-7, second paragraph of the Electronic Communications Act, traffic data shall be "deleted or rendered anonymous as soon as this data is no longer necessary for communications or invoicing purposes, unless otherwise determined by or pursuant to law." Other than this, Nkom has not established any absolute deadlines.

However, the Norwegian Data Protection Authority has set a deadline for the deletion of call data of three months. Contact the Norwegian Data Protection Authority for more information concerning this.

You can order the specified invoice service from your telecommunications company which will enable you to compare your invoice with actual use, cf. Section 1-9 of the Ecom Regulations.

However, your telecommunications company has no obligation to send out specified invoices for calls you had before you ordered this service. If you do not want to pay the bill you can send a written complaint to your telecommunications company and possibly take the matter further to the Consumer Complaints Board.

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Yes, this can occur if you, for example, reach an answering machine. If you ring a telephone number that is connected to a switchboard, automatic forwarding at the exchange can in some cases also result in metering units being registered even if no one answers. However, if you are of the view that the invoice you have received from the telecommunications company is incorrect, you can submit a complaint to the telecommunications company.

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Telephone numbers

The Norwegian Communications Authority (Nkom) does not issue standard 8-digit numbers to end-users. In order to be issued with an 8-digit number you must contact the providers. You can see which companies have been assigned the relevant numbers here.

NOTE: Numbers can be resold or ported to a different provider by the subscriber.

Nkom issues 5-digit numbers, 4-digit numbers for directory services and other special numbers (fixed network). Read more here (under "number series") for the numbers that have been issued and the numbers that are available.

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You can read more about the numbers that have been issued to the various providers and those that are available here.

Providers can have resold numbers or these could have been ported to a different provider by the subscriber.

Nkom does not issue SMS numbers (CPA-short number). These types of 4 and 5-digit numbers are jointly administered by the mobile network owners and are used for SMS-based content services.

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Contact your telecommunications company and get them to remedy the error. The telecommunications company must update the directory enquiry businesses they have agreements with such that the error is corrected. If this is urgent or you find that it is not working, you can also contact the directory enquiry businesses directly. An overview of registered direct enquiry businesses (with own database) can be found here. It is no guarantee that all directory enquiry businesses have an agreement with your telecommunications company.

Section 6-3 of the Ecom Regulations contains rules pertaining to the exchange of directory enquiries information from telecommunications companies.

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As a main rule, your telecommunications company has a duty of confidentiality in the sense that they are not allowed to provide information about your telephone usage to others. This is stipulated in Section 2-9 of the Electronic Communications Act.

However, the duty of confidentiality does not prevent you from obtaining information about who has called you or who you have called (the exception is if someone has called you from an unlisted number). The telecommunications company has the right, however no obligation, to provide you with information about who has called you.

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As a customer you have the right to ask your telecommunications company, free of charge, to prevent your telephone number and/or address from being disclosed to the public. See Section 6-2, third paragraph of the Ecom Regulations.

This entails that no one shall be informed of the telephone number/address if they make inquiries to the provider. The information must not be exchanged to directory enquiry businesses (see Section 6-2, fifth paragraph).

You can also request an unlisted number (Section 6-2, fourth paragraph) which is normally a service to be paid for. Your provider must inform you about what an unlisted number involves in relation to exclusion.

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Price

When calling 5-digit numbers and 815-numbers there will often be more than one level involved in the establishment of the call than when calling to ordinary 8-digit geographical numbers.

There is usually special functionality added that makes the call more expensive than when you call to a normal 8-digit number. It is your telecommunications company that determines the price you have to pay for calling the special numbers.

All revenues go to the telecommunications company.

Companies, organisations and public agencies themselves select whether they wish to be available on normal geographical numbers or on special numbers.

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Each telecommunications company decides the prices they offer to their customers (retail price). The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority does not regulate the retail prices. An exception to this is the rules concerning international roaming on mobile networks.

Nkom can regulate the prices that providers can charge each other for input factors in services to end users (wholesale prices). You can read about this market regulation here.

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No, unless the agreement with your provider says nothing about this, you must pay attention and possibly ask for changes. Telepriser.no provides an overview of the services and prices.

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To obtain information about this you must contact customer service at your telecommunications company or visit the company's website.

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In an agreement for universal service obligation with the State (represented by the Ministry of Transport and Communications), Telenor is obligated to issue a telephone catalogue of all subscribers of public telephone services in Norway (including subscribers with other telephony providers). This is only issued electronically. Listing is free of charge. Payment may be required if you wish to have extra information in the catalogue (designation, members of household etc.).

Telenor has outsourced the electronic version of the telephone catalogue to Opplysningen 1881.

Other web-based directory services can charge payments if you as a company or similar wish to be listed in their "yellow pages" or the equivalent.

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The telecommunication companies should inform their customers on how they price their services, see Section 1-7 no. 3 in the Ecom Regulations, however they are, in principle, free to choose whether they will use second metering or other interval metering (for example, minute metering).

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Unwanted calls

It is technically possible to use computers or computer programmes to automatically call several people at the same time. This is often used in connection with telephone sales or advertising.

Nkom's regulations state nothing about this, however Section 15 of the Marketing Control Act (Lovdata) sets rules for both telephone sales and advertising via means of electronic communications (SMS, MMS, fax and automatic calls). The Consumer Ombudsman is dealing with these issues.

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Some telecommunications companies offer functions that make it possible to block certain numbers from your mobile telephone (incoming and/or outgoing calls). Check with your telecommunications company about the various possibilities.

For example, Telenor offers a solution especially intended for children which you can read more about here. Tele 2 offers a subscription known as "Bipper".

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The telecommunications companies have a duty to offer a service that makes it possible for you as a customer to reserve calls from withheld numbers. This is stipulated in Section 6-1, second paragraph of the Ecom Regulations (Lovdata). However, providers of mobile telephony have received a dispensation from this requirement.

This is because it will impose major costs to providers of mobile telephony to develope this functionality in their mobile networks.

If you are experiencing telephone harassment from a hidden number, you should contact your telecommunications company and the police.

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Changing companies

Pursuant to the Ecom Regulations, a telecommunications provider must have written authorisation from you to be able to transfer you to them (see Section 1-10). Written authorisation can be provided by SMS, email, fax or by signing an agreement, for example with a street trader. Nkom has set requirements for the contents of written authorisation.

If the new provider cannot present documentation of satisfactory written authorisation, the agreement can be invalid pursuant to Section 10-11 of the Electronic Communications Act.

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If you are changing telecommunications companies and want to keep your telephone number you must contact the company you wish to be transferred to. This company will then ensure that your number is transferred and that the subscription with your previous company is cancelled.

If you cancel the subscription with your previous company you will lose your number because this will be returned to the previous company.

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Abroad

Some foreign network operators have not opened for traffic to the Norwegian 5-digit numbers. In some cases it may function when you press three random digits behind the 5-digit number.

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