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Portugal's hidden billions Part 5 - Cartels kill SME's

Portugal's hidden billions Part 5 - Cartels kill SME'sPortugal was a poor country with a hardworking people, who carefully took care of their resources. Families grew vegetables, harvested fruits and nuts. They were happy, had plenty of gold, but there was no freedom of speech.

My relationship with Portugal dates back to 1979. The country has potential to be one of the best in Europe. SMEs offer excellent service for reasonable costs. Our small vineyards, honey producers, cheese, all food stuff have almost no chems and saviors sea and sun. What is missing?

There are several power suppliers, all with the same prices, higher than the average in the EU. This is because the market, despite being free, has only three concession companies.
An important tip to save is to always check the meter. Suppliers check the meter once per quarter and therefore charge the maximum consumption along the year, by estimation. The consumer pays more than spent until the actual adjustment is done by the end of the year.

It is easy for a former employee of the operator to bill to another account calls that he and friends make
Portugal has three major telecom operators. They force the client to sign contracts, abnormal for the EU. ANACOM, which should control them, ignores customer complaints. It is easy for a former employee of the operator to bill to another account calls that he and friends make. When asked to list where and when these calls were made, the operator refuses.

Each week, operators take about 5€ for email services, even without a request or use. When I complained, it said I should require in writing disrupting billing. In both cases I wrote to ANACOM, who answered being my problem, instead of requiring appropriate procedures by the operator.

Pay attention to banking. An example: I get my pension from Sweden. EU countries’ transfer to a EU-account do not pay fees. However, my bank charged monthly €4.95 in fees, and made that money available four days after the transfer. In case of conflict, insist with the Bank of Portugal and send a copy of the complaint to the European Central Bank (ECB).

These unusual practices affect the credibility by the productive foreign investor, who brings employment and export. Portuguese cartels move profits out of the country while innovators emigrate. Thus Portugal still has billions to earn, in high-quality services and gourmet food if agencies start doing what they should.

© Jack Soifer

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