Free Mobile has just lost a legal standoff with SFR. Xavier Niel’s operator accused his rival “unfair acts ” in the case of 300,000 smartphones rented and not returned. The Court of Cassation finally ruled in favor of the operator with the red square.
Remember: on October 31, 2018, Free Mobile launched into a vast operation to block smartphones not returned at the end of a rental period. Subscribers who rent a smartphone from Free Mobile must indeed return the borrowed phone at the end of the rental. If you want to keep the smartphone, Free Mobile asks customers for a sum of money calculated on the basis of the value of the terminal.
Users who do not return the smartphone after the rental period, and do not pay the requested amount, risk ending up with a blocked device (deprived of a mobile network). In the space of a month, Free Mobile had succeeded in blocking 300,000 smartphones rented and not returned. It was the first time that the telecom had done so to protect itself from dishonest customers.
Justice decides in favor of SFR
Unfortunately, this blocking operation quickly turned out to be more complicated than expected. Indeed, some of the smartphones not returned had been resold via platforms like LeBonCoin. Ultimately, the terminals were now used by subscribers from other operators, including Orange, Bouygues and SFR, who were unaware of using a stolen device.
Based on French law, Free Mobile forced Orange, SFR and Bouygues Télécom to block stolen smartphones. The three operators agreed to cut the network of the phones concerned. Nevertheless, SFR has shown itself to be less cooperative than Orange and Bouygues. After having blocked the terminals for several weeks, the operator in the red square unblocked all the phones not returned to Free Mobile.
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This turnaround was not appreciated by Free Mobile. The telecoms troublemaker turned to the commercial court to obtain a list of stolen smartphones currently used by SFR customers. Despite the court’s agreement, the operator in the red square firmly refused to cooperate. Free Mobile then filed a complaint against SFR for unfair acts.
After months of proceedings, the Court of Cassation finally refused to agree with Free Mobile, report our colleagues from Les Echos. Xavier Niel’s operator is therefore no longer in a position to demand the list of serial numbers from his competitor.
Source: Les Echos