From Branislav Pekic in Rome
Italian DTH operator Sky Italia will have to reimburse thousands of former subscribers, for applying cancellation costs judged as too high by a Rome Court.
The decision is the result of a court case initiated in February 2009 by consumers association Movimento Consumatori, in which it accused of violating the so-called Bersani Decree on market liberalization. The case regards some 80,000 former subscribers that left Sky Italia between April 2007 and September 2008.
According to the head of telephony services at the association, Alessandro Mostaccio, until September 2008, Sky Italia made users pay cancel costs of between E270 and E900, depending on the servicestaken. He points out that these were illegal penalties, because according to the Bersani Decree the user has to pay cancel costs that are equal to those sustained by the operator to deactivate the service.
The Rome Court established that the recess costs are E11.40 (VAT included) and former subscribers will have the right for the reimbursement of the difference. Although the sentence dates back to April, news of it has emerged only now as letters have started to arrive to former Sky Italia subscribers involved.
Since the end of 2008, Sky Italia has been applying recess costs that are in line with the Bersani Decree, following a request of the Communications Agency (AgCom).