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Debts of Polish consumers and companies using telecommunication services have increased on average by 330 PLN per unit over the last year, to 3.9 thousand PLN. In total, debtors have 1.32 billion zlotys to pay back, with most of the debt being from individual customers. According to analyses by the National Debt Register, the highest ever total outstanding debt of consumers and companies in Poland took place in July 2020, when debtors had over PLN 1.5 billion to pay back.
Mainly individual customers
There are almost 340,000 entities in KRD’s database of debtors, most of which are individual customers. At the beginning of June 2021, they had PLN 945 million to pay back – the rest of the debt belongs to business customers. Among the services included in the total amount of debts owed to telecommunications companies, KRD includes: telephone and TV subscriptions, Internet and installments for smartphones and tablets.
According to debt collection companies that collect debts from debtors, some clients do not realize that even small amounts to be returned may have a serious consequence for them. They often explain that the amount of PLN 30-40 is a small profit for the operator, but, as KRD emphasizes, in such situations there is an effect of scale – several dozen zlotys multiplied by thousands of customers give huge amounts.
“Our practice shows that consumers nowadays are very reckless about repaying such liabilities. For them it is the last item on the list of monthly bills due to the rising cost of living. They are willing to pay only at the moment of disconnecting the service, which will be reactivated only after settling a part of the debt”. – says Jakub Kostecki, CEO of debt collection company Kaczmarski Inkasso.
3.9 thous. PLN of debt per unit
Analyzing the data for the last 2-3 years, the National Debt Register points out that the number of debtors and the value of debts owed to telecoms resemble a sinusoid in which a continuous decrease and increase can be observed. However, the average debt has been steadily increasing. At the end of 2018, it was PLN 2.9 thousand, and now it is PLN 3.9 thousand. Only in the last year it increased by PLN 330.
Inhabitants of Mazowsze have to pay back the most, i.e. as much as PLN 207 million. The second place is occupied by Silesia with the amount of PLN 183 million, and the podium is closed by Dolnośląskie voivodship with PLN 137 million. The record amount of debt is: in case of companies PLN 14.4 million, in case of consumers PLN 361 thousand.