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Liberal Initiative Criticises Porto Santo Line

The Liberal Initiative (IL), issued a communiqué today, which harshly criticises the Porto Santo Line, which they urge, should provide a public service, and advise their customers of any additional/add-on charges when phoning their new telephone number.

In a statement they said:

“The Porto Santo Line won in 1995 the public tender for the exploration of the maritime line between the island of Madeira and the island of Porto Santo. Therefore, it is a company that provides a public service, and must always take this into account as its services are subsidised with taxpayers’ money, and all items sold on board are exempt from VAT.”

“On the Porto Santo Line website, on the Internet, we were only able to find one line for telephone contacts and, surprisingly, it has an added value charge depending on your mobile phone or landline tariff. And the longer the call lasts, the greater the amount to be paid. As the number starts with 707, all calls have a maximum cost of 11 cents per minute from the landline and of 16 cents per minute if the call is made from a mobile network. After the first minute, billing is made by the second. There are several types of numbers for value-added calls. The number they choose has the highest tariff.. . for the consumer. Another source of revenue. Moreover, nowhere on the site is the call value determined by law mentioned.

Since the 1st of November 2021, entities providing essential public services are obliged to provide a toll free line for the consumer, or, alternatively, numbers from the fixed network (starting with 2) or from the mobile network (starting with 9).”

“This is not what we have.  At the end of the day, pennies are used to make millions. It’s time companies complied with the law, and respected both the consumer and the taxpayer.”

Responding to this, the Porto Santo Line (PSL), denied any wrong doing and added that they were deeply surprised at the IL outburst. Furthermore, they added that the accusation that they received a subsidy to run the Madeira – Porto Santo route was ‘totally false.’

Secondly, “the telephone number for the Porto Santo Line contact center (707200200) is not a value-added number, as reported by Altice. Also according to Altice, calls made to this number comply with national fixed network call charges.”

They went on to say that “the recent change to this new telephone number is exclusively related to the continuous effort, on the part of Porto Santo Line, to improve the service provided to the Customer, as can also be concluded through the list of benefits better identified by ALTICE itself. It is totally false that Porto Santo receives any payment or remuneration for calls made to its 707 200 200 number.”

The company further informs that it will use all the legal instruments at its disposal, with a view to restoring the truth, and holding those who have made these harmful statements accountable.

Samantha Gannon

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