5G: Orange and SFR sued by a consumer defense association

Orange and SFR are being sued by the consumer defense association CLCV for “questionable commercial practices”. The organization accuses the two operators of highlighting their 5G package when the networks are far from operational.

orange sfr proces
Credits: Pixabay

As you may know, 5G has been officially available in France since November 18, 2020… On paper anyway. Because in reality, we will have to wait a few more months before really enjoying the benefits of 5G. Despite everything, the various operators have already started to promote their respective 5G packages.

This is notably the case for Orange and SFR, with prices varying between 15 and 95 €, depending on whether or not you are a TV box customer. Only and for the Consumption, Housing and Living Environment association (CLCV), these marketing campaigns do not need to be at present. “The French will take out these packages for Christmas without having access to the new service promised for a long time. It is urgent to wait before moving towards 5G ”, denounces the general delegate of the association François Carlier.

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Orange and SFR pinned for “deceptive commercial practices”

Determined, CLCV has decided to sue Orange and SFR on the grounds of “deceptive marketing practices ”. According to the organization, the two French operators have “knowingly omitted, in the advertisements relating to 5G compatible 4G packages, to present in satisfactory conditions the restrictions of use made, such as eligibility or the speeds actually available ”.

First, the association criticizes operators for offering more expensive 5G compatible 4G packages, at a time when 5G is far from being available everywhere. SFR has announced that it wants to deploy its 5G network in 120 cities during the month of December 2020, while Orange launched its network in around fifteen cities in early December. Nearly 150 cities will benefit from Orange 5G from the start of 2021.

CLCV denounces opaque communication

“The marketing of 5G packages began in October even though the deployment of the network will not be completed until 2030. It is an understatement to say that consumers will not have access to it immediately ”, recalls Olivier Gayraud, “New technologies” project manager for the association. He pursues : “Not only do the prices of these packages jump 25%, but they are often accompanied by a 12-month commitment: the consumer, if he wants to change his mind, will have to pay heavy penalties ”.

In addition, CLCV denounces not always very clear communication from operators, arguing that it is difficult for the consumer to know whether or not 5G is indeed available in its geographical area. Finally, the association points to the opacity around the flow rates, recalling that the operators only put forward maximum theoretical flow rates, and not the actual speeds offered at such and such a location. The trial in the Paris court will take place in May 2021.

Source: The Parisian