ANDALUCIA (Agencies) The Junta's Council of Government has approved two sanctions for a total of €440,000 against Telefónica España, SAU, for charging for a service that had not been contracted and for not prior information on price. These fines, €220,000 each, are considered 'very grave' under Law 13/2003 of Defence and Protection of Consumers and Users of Andalucía, as it affects a great number of users and it having been committed voluntarily and continually as an habitual practice. An investigation began in August 2008 after a denuncia by FACUA-Consumidores en Acción, saying that the company started to charge for its caller identification service, which until then had been free and was activated automatically.>>>
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Not only had the service not been contracted freely but Telefónica had not informed clients of the price, including taxes, as specified in the law. The company improperly charged 400,000 customers in Andalucía.
FACUA, the consumers' defence organization, said it was pleased with the decision but criticized the "slowness" of the Dirección General de Consumo, which has taken three years to reach it. They also criticized the amount bof the fines, which FACUA considers "insufficient" given the magnitude of the irregularities committed.
Telefónica profits for 2010 were €10,167 million.