Product responsibility

Telecom Italia is primarily an operator of telecommunications services, which do not endanger the physical health of users1, and it does not produce the telecommunications equipment it sells2.

In order to verify that the products placed on the market comply with health and safety legislation, the Company has:

  • appropriate internal structures that check the incoming quality of the products it markets (telephones, modems, etc.), both in Italy and in the production centres of manufacturers overseas;
  • laboratories that test the products marketed by the Group, particularly as regards the electromagnetic emissions of the mobile devices.

In this way, any non-conformities of products are detected prior to their market release, ensuring that products that do not conform with the essential requirements of the European Directives do not reach the end customer.

Services provided to customers are subject to the requirements set out in the Service Charters and in the Terms & Conditions of Subscription, available at telecomitalia.com.

[G4-Dma Customer Health and Safety] [G4-PR1] In its laboratories, Telecom Italia validates the satisfaction of the essential requirements envisaged by the current Directives for the release of CE marking; conformity with these requirements is certified at source by the manufacturer. For products sold in Italy, the reference framework is the set of standards that support Directive 1999/5/EC, arranged by product macrofamily3.

With regard to protection and the safety of customers in using the equipment, the Group carries out checks on:

  • levels of electromagnetic emissions (SAR) of technologically-innovative smartphones/tablets/modems comply with Standards IEC 62209-1/2;
  • the technical provisions aimed at reducing the risk of electric shock, overheating, fire and mechanical dangers, through the application of standards EN 60950-1 and EN 60065.

The following were also verified:

  • the energy efficiency aspects required by the EuP (Energy-using Products) Directive: equipment placed on the market is checked against the stand-by/off-mode power consumption and performance limits set by European Regulations 1275/2008/EC, 801/2013/EC and 278/2009/EC, for equipment and their external power supplies (available as accessories);
  • functionality in different environmental conditions of installation and use of terminals and accessory components for connection to the fixed network: checks are carried out on compliance with temperature and humidity ranges established by ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) for the specific “service condition”, on which different “severity” levels are based. Checks are carried out on the basis of the following standards: IEC-EN Series 60068-2-1 (cold), 2 (dry heat), 14 (temperature changes), 30 (humidity changes), 78 (continuous humidity). For the most widely available products, with external plastic parts (e.g. AG), “flame resistance” is checked in the event of malfunctions of the internal electrical parts;
  • electromagnetic compatibility aspects, regulated by Directive 2004/108/EU (in future 2014/30/EU): every item of electronic equipment is checked for unintentional electromagnetic signal emissions - in order to avoid interference harmful to radio communication - and the fulfilment of certain immunity from electromagnetic interference requirements. In Telecom Italia constant checks are carried out on terminals and network equipment to determine whether they comply with the requirements of international ETSI, CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization) standards regarding electromagnetic compatibility. In particular, checks are carried out on the compliance of equipment with the limits set by standards to limit the emission of electromagnetic disturbances which, in addition to polluting the surrounding environment, can interfere with radio communications.

By law, telecommunications equipment sold in Brazil must be approved by the regulatory authority ANATEL, which verifies, in its laboratories, the conformity with Brazilian legislation on electrical and electromagnetic safety. There is specific legislation to be complied with for each kind of equipment. TIM Brasil asks its suppliers to ensure that equipment has the ANATEL certificate of approval.

[G4-PR2] Over the past three years, no non-conformities with European customer health and safety legislation have been found in any product that has reached the final marketing stage, neither in Italy nor in Brazil.

[G4-PR3] When contracts are drafted, for all fixed telephony products, Telecom Italia requires packaging to include an environmental statement, a statement about the origin of the tantalum possibly used in components, a user manual containing safety information, details of any hazardous materials in the product and disposal information. In respect of labelling of mobile devices, as they are consumer products that the Company merely resells and do not need any customisation, the Company simply requires national legislation to be complied with.

In Brazil, in addition complying with national legislation, labels are required to contain information about the correct use of devices.

For a particular product range, TIM eco-friendly, discussed in detail in the Environmental protection chapter, all the relevant environmental parameters are also shown (e.g. energy consumption).

[G4-PR4] Over the past three years, no non-conformities regarding product information and labelling have been found in any product that has reached the final marketing stage.

There have however been a few cases in which non-conformities with regulations concerning information about services have been found. More specifically, in Brazil in 2015, an incident occurred resulting in a total penalty of 2,897,416 reais; in 2014, 3 incidents occurred, resulting in a total penalty of 1,533,820 reais and in 2013, 2 incidents occurred, resulting in a total penalty of 9,474 reais4.

In Italy, the regulatory Authority’s sanctioning procedures for non-conformities with regulations regarding information on services are part of the system of “penalties for the violation of regulatory legislation regarding consumer protection in the supply and use of TLC products and services”; which means that, for Italy, non-conformities regarding information on services have been merged with non-conformities regarding the supply and use of services (table below)5.

[G4-PR9] The number and total monetary value of the fines for non-conformities with laws and regulations regarding the supply and use of products and services in Italy6.

Description201520142013
Number of fines for non-conformities regarding the supply and use of products and services 4 7 10
Total monetary value of these fines (in euros) 2,833,000 1,102,000 727,619

[G4-PR9] The number and total monetary value of the fines for non-conformities with laws and regulations regarding the supply and use of products and services in Brazil7.

Description201520142013
Number of fines for non-conformities regarding the supply and use of products and services 3 5 12
Total monetary value of these fines (in R$) 13,592,963 13,214,257 11,268,560

[G4-PR7] Overall number of non-conformities with legislation and voluntary codes regarding marketing communications in Italy.

Type of nonconformity201520142013
Number of non-conformities with legislation resulting in a fine or penalty 0 0 1
Number of non-conformities with legislation resulting in a warning. 0 0 0
Number of non-conformities with voluntary codes 0 2 4

In Brazil, the only notifications relating to advertising and marketing communications are issued by CONAR (Conselho Nacional de Autorregulamentação Publicitária), non-governmental self-regulation organisation for advertising which does not impose financial penalties and assesses non-conformities with the Advertising Self-Regulation Code. Anatel can impose fines or warnings in cases of “general marketing communications” that are not compliant.

In 2015, TIM Brasil received 5 notifications of non-conformities: 4 proposed by competitors and one by CONAR. Of the 5 notifications, 1 entailed no penalties, for 2 the change in advertising has been arranged, the last 2 were still being examined at end December 20158; in 2014, CONAR did not report any type of non-conformity, whilst in 2013 it reported 5, for which the advertising was changed or suspended. Moreover, in relation to cases of non-conformity with the legislation, taking concrete form in a notice, CONAR issued 1 notification in 2013, for which no intervention was required.

 

1 Threats of a psychological nature or relating to security and privacy are dealt with in the Child Protection, E-security and Privacy sections.

2 At Olivetti, the Group company that operates in the IT sector, there are hardware production plants. In the context of the Group as a whole, these activities are not significant as the entire turnover of Olivetti amounts to 00.97% of the Group.

3 For “Corded terminals”, the following standards may be applied: EN 60950, EN 55022 and EN 55024; for “Cordless terminals” standards EN 60950, EN 50371, EN 62311, ITU-T P360, EN 301489 and EN 301406; for “Mobile terminals (smartphones, data cards etc.)” standards EN 60950, EN 62209, EN 302291, EN 301908, EN301893, EN 301511, EN 300440, EN 300328 and EN 301489.

4 In 2015, 2014 and 2013, in Brazil, there were no incidents of this kind, other than the cases reported, which all resulted in financial penalties.

5 It has not been possible to obtain a complete picture of the non-conformities that resulted in “warnings” in Italy in the current year because the concept of “warning” is not clear cut. The issue of whether and how to assess the various kinds of “warnings” that arrive from the regulatory authority will be considered in detail in future. Furthermore, as things stand at the moment, there is no system for receiving reports on the violation of self-regulatory codes concerning customers other than the reporting mechanisms

6 Cases include the supply of Premium services, “Losai” and “Chiamaora”, not requested, and teleselling.

7 Only final decisions are recorded. The cases include the supply of unsolicited services, failure to comply with established quality targets, unforeseen interruptions to the service, coverage by means and at times other than those established with the authority, service and billing irregularities stated in chapter Sustainability and Governance.

8 On 23 December 2015, for one of the two notifications, a preliminary provision for the suspension of advertising was issued.