Telenet kills early termination penalties; is it a sign of things to come in Europe?

by Parks Associates | Jun. 22, 2012

Belgium is poised to enact a new Telecom Act that will require pay-TV operators to limit customer contract termination fees to the first six months of their deals, but Belgium’s Telenet is going a step further.

The cable operator says that starting Oct. 1, it will allow most TV, broadband and telephony customers to cancel penalty free at any time, unless they subscribe to Prime, Sporting Telenet and its TV Plus package, which already are exempt from the new Telecom regulations. Belgacom/Proximus earlier this week announced it was eliminating penalties for early termination as well, starting next month for the residential and small business market.

Telenet said it believes the new policy, which also applies to consumers and small businesses, rather than increasing churn actually will inspire customer loyalty.

"Customer satisfaction is indeed an absolute priority,” it said in a statement.

The Liberty Global-owned operator's move--as well as that by Belgacom/Proximus--may not appear as bold in the light of the pending Telecom Act; but its willingness to go beyond the letter of the law is an indication, too, of its need to offer customers more painless ways to trial pay-TV services--and to be sensitive to customers' angst about the European economy.

That may set the tone for other operators as Europe's situation worsens, and it is another example of operators’ willingness to count any revenue, even short term, as a win.


Tags: Europe, pay TV

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