On 5th April 2022, Decree Nº 11,034/2022 was published, laying down the following rules and guidelines regarding Customer Care Services (SAC), with a view to securing consumer basic rights to obtain adequate and clear information by suppliers of services and products, especially regarding consumer demands for information, queries, complaints, objections, suspension or cancellation of contracts and services.
The Decree will become effective on 6th October 2022. It is important to start adaptations as soon as possible.
Access to SAC and attendance of the demands must be free of charge for the consumer;
Access to SAC must be available, uninterruptedly, “twenty four seven”, and may be reduced, as long as regulated by the competent authorities, if the service offered is not available for use or contracting during the same period (24/7);
Access must be guaranteed by means of at least one of the integrated service channels, the functioning of which must be widely publicized, and telephone service is mandatory;
The initial access to the attendant cannot be conditioned to the prior provision of data by the consumer, the broadcasting of advertising messages during the wait time for the service being prohibited, except if consumer consents;
The broadcasting of informative messages is allowed during the wait time, as long as the same addresses the rights and duties of consumers or other available customer service channels;
The conditions for telephone service will be regulated by ANAC, and must have service of at least eight hours a day, with availability of service by humans, minimum options listed on the first menu, including, compulsorily, options for complaints and cancellation of contracts and services;
Further, the maximum wait time for direct contact with the attendant will also be regulated, when this option is selected; and the transfer to the competent sector for definitive attendance of the demand, when the first attendant does not have this attribution;
Accessibility is mandatory for SAC channels maintained by the suppliers indicated in the Decree, for the use of people with disabilities, ensuring full access to meet their demands;
SAC access options must be clearly stated in all documents and printed materials delivered to consumer when hiring the service and during its supply; and on the supplier’s electronic channels;
When handling complaints, the SAC must guarantee the punctuality, security, privacy, and resoluteness of the demand;
Personal consumer data can be collected, stored, processed, transferred, and used exclusively in accordance with the provisions of the General Law on Personal Data Protection;
It is forbidden to request the repetition of the consumer’s demand after its registration in the first service. If the telephone call is ended by the supplier before the conclusion of the service, the supplier must return the call to the consumer, inform the numerical record (docket number) and conclude the service, ensuring that the consumer accompanies in the various integrated service channels, all his/her demands;
The complaint log must be sent to the consumer, upon request, within five calendar days from the date of the request, by mail or electronically, at the consumer’s discretion; and must contain all information relative to the complaint, including the content of the supplier’s response,
When a telephone call, the maintenance of the recording of the call made to the SAC is obligatory, for a minimum period of ninety days from the date of the service;
The recording of the service will be kept at the disposal of the consumer and of supervisory authority for a minimum period of two years, as from the date of resolution of the demand;
Consumer demands must be responded within seven calendar days from the date of their registration;
The consumer will be informed about the conclusion of the treatment of his demand and, upon request, will receive from the supplier the relevant proof by correspondence or by electronic means, at the consumer’s discretion, which must be clear, objective and conclusive; and address all points of the consumer’s demand;
When the demand deals with an unsolicited service or undue charge, the supplier must immediately adopt the necessary measures to suspend the charge;
The request for cancellation will be allowed and ensured to the consumer by all means available for contracting the service, observing the conditions applicable to cancellation and fines arising from contractual clauses;
The effects of the cancellation request will be immediate, regardless of the contractual compliance, except when technical processing of the demand is required;
The consumer will be ensured information about any conditions applicable to the cancellation and the applicable fines for breach of contractual clauses of minimum permanence, when applicable;
The proof of the cancellation request must be sent by mail or electronically, at the consumer’s discretion; the option of scheduled cancellation may be offered, subject to the consumer’s agreement.
The National Consumer Secretary of the Ministry of Justice and Public Safety may request data and information from suppliers, observing the legal hypotheses of privacy, in order to monitor the effectiveness of the SAC, and if it finds the SAC of certain suppliers to be defective, it may establish telephone service hours by human beings of more than 8 hours a day.
Finally, we emphasize that non-compliance with the provisions of this Decree may result in the application of the sanctions/fines established in the Consumer Protection Code, without prejudice to the application of the sanctions contained in the specific regulations of the regulatory agencies and entities.