Telecommunications operators have become accustomed to raising the prices of their products regularly. Sometimes these uploads are made in exchange for improvements in products and services, but in other cases this is not the case. Be that as it may, we have a sentence that can bring a tail and that is, the Supreme Court has determined that Movistar must return a customer the successive price increases by Movistar Fusión that were applied to it since 2015.
The price hikes are a source of conflict between telephone companies and customers. It sounds worrying, but the truth is that we have gotten used to it happening at least once a year. This has been going on for 8-10 years, despite promises of no “forever pricing” and the like. A part of the customers accept price increases with resignation, others take advantage of the month they have to change companies without penalty and a small part fight at the judicial level for what they believe is not fair. This is a case of the latter assumption.
Movistar and the “abusive clause”
Movistar must return everything overcharged to a client who faced various price increases over the years. This is what the supreme court based on a clause of the contract considered void that allowed him to modify the conditions of this. For the high court, these price increases had no legal basis.
We go back several years to when the plaintiff contracted Movistar Fusión for 60 euros per month. Like any contract of this type, it contained a clause that allowed the operator to modify the conditions of the contract unilaterally, but as long as there were “variation in the technical characteristics of the equipment, technological changes that affect the product or variations in the economic conditions existing at the time of contracting the service.”
As always, these modifications had to be notified one month in advance and empowered the client to terminate the contract. The first price increase came in April 2015 when they told him that they would increase the monthly fee by 5 euros. In the following two years it was modified up to four times, so he ended up paying 80 euros a month.
The client’s demand sought that they return everything overcharged and that they maintain the original price of 60 euros. At first, the Court of First Instance Number 4 of Zaragoza He acquitted the defendant of all claims. Then, after an appeal, the Provincial Court of Zaragoza considered that the clause of the contract that allowed the modification was null. This is because it had not gone through the incorporation control, which is why it was considered abusive. However, since she consented to the increases, she did not consider the rest of the requests.
For this reason, he appealed again and, although the Supreme Court has not ruled on the abusiveness of the clause, it understands that it cannot be applied as it has been declared null and void. For this reason, it considers that the unilateral modification of the contract It has no justification and its consequences must be annulled. Movistar will return what has been overcharged during all these years, although it will not maintain the original price indefinitely.