Soon the end phones at subsidized prices broke?

Court challenging the legality of this practice, widely used by its competitors, which will buy a laptop cheap, with the purchase over several months for a new package more expensive.

A UFC-Que Choisir, we “think highly of the decision” of the Court of Cassation. According to telecom referent of the consumer association, Antoine Autier, she just sanctions a “lack of clarity” in subsidizing mobile operators by telecom, it considers detrimental to portfolio buyers of mobile phones. A system that allows customers to acquire for less initially but not the long-term smartphone since it is linked to the subscription of one or two years of a package to a higher range.

Example gleaned Bouygues Telecom Friday: Conservation of a package to 20 euros per month with no new commitment, the iPhone Apple X (64 GB) is priced at 937 euros and 8 euros per month for 24 months, 1,609 euros all inclusive. But it is also proposed to the much more attractive price of 580 euros and 8 euros per month. With a commitment of 24 months for a fee of 85 euros per month the first year and $ 100 the second. A total cost 2992 euros … Or how to spend double. “The subsidy is a false bargain,” says Antoine Autier.

legal victory

In a decision dated March 7, the Supreme Court found that this system is “payment facility”, says Free Mobile in a statement. The telecoms operator Niel judge that the obligations linked to the award of a consumer credit must be applied to them, such as the mention of disguised loan rates that door actually subsidizing or the related risks indebtedness. All of which would invite customers to beware and compare the prices offered here and there. “The judgment of the Court of Cassation makes it impossible without respect for the rules of credit to consumption, spread payment of telephone prices under mobile plans,” analyzes Free Mobile.

For the company, this decision is a legal victory. It is the result of proceedings in 2012 against the operator SFR (owner of Liberation) and subsidy mechanisms. At the trial before the Commercial Court and on appeal, Free had been spurned. Since entering the mobile market, the box Niel scrap against this practice which itself does not use, preferring to lease or payment in installments, and that it considers detrimental to competition in the sector. Selfless struggle on behalf of consumers? Not really. Because of the subsidy, a big part of the mobile market escapes Free. About a third of this market is done deals “over commitment” of several months, often at above average prices. A beautiful promise of turnover, so.

“Telling a great story to markets”

To listen Free, this decision is likely to upset the landscape. “When we read the judgment, it is clear that many contracts in force today are illegal. Many consumers could obtain the release of their commitments without termination charges, “exults an officer of Free, on condition of anonymity. Under this interpretation, a subscriber of Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom who bought an iPhone X price broke by taking a new package is now right to denounce this commitment without having to make its precious smartphone … If this analysis is correct it could be costly to operators who practiced subsidization.

Contacted by Release, SFR and Bouygues Telecom explained that their legal services are studying the implications of the judgment of the Court of Cassation. But we remain very skeptical communication Free. “This allows them to tell a great story to markets, to make the dream of a new growth perspective, is do we distrust in one of these two rivals. A few days before the publication of financial results, it is timely. We will have to watch the evolution of their numbers … ‘way of saying they would have lit a fire against. Waiting to see more clearly, Antoine Autier, UFC-Que Choisir, said a “general rule” consumers “Better buy his phone and his crime separately.”