Hungarian regulator backs UPC subscribers

October 30, 2012 07.45 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

The Hungarian regulator NMHH has come out publicly in support of subscribers in their dealings with the DTH platform UPC Direct.

In its view, “it is important that Hungarian users be able to exercise their rights both as subscribers and consumers in their own country.

Moreover, should a dispute with a service provider arise, they ought to be entitled to seek redress from local authorities without the need for taking a case abroad.”

In explaining its stance, the NMHH makes reference to UPC’s decision in 2010 to have its satellite TV packages fully outsourced from Hungary.

When the regulator requested that UPC set up an office in Hungary, the Liberty Global company filed a complaint against Hungary with the EC instead of carrying out the request.

After a lengthy investigation, an infringement procedure was launched against Hungary by the EC based on the complaint.

The NMHH says it is deeply convinced that UPC Direct’s subscribers should be able to seek assistance from Hungarian authorities in the event of any dispute rather than have to turn to Luxembourg, which UPC’s CEE DTH operations are now based, or Luxembourg.

It also says that complaints are received on a daily basis.

However, Broadband TV News understands from local sources that UPC Direct have fewer complaints than most other operators and does not have any ongoing disputes with subscribers.

UPC Direct is also growing its market share in what is a highly competitive DTH market in Hungary.