Friday 18 June 2021

ICE To Pay ¢1 Million Colones For Lack of Cell Phone Coverage

Court ruling sets precedent for cellular network operators to provide coverage
Court ruling sets precedent for cellular network operators to provide coverage

COSTA RICA NEWS — What may have far reaching consequences, the state telecom, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) has been ordered pay compensation of ¢1 million to two people who suffered a traffic accident in Puntarenas and could not get help for failure of cellular phone service.

After suffering a collision in Quebrada del Fierro de Puntarenas on the night of September 8, 2011, around 10:00pm, Fernando Reyes, Marcos Muñoz and a third person, due to a mechanical failure causing Reyes (the driver) to lose control of the wheel, careening off the road, down a hill and hitting a tree, the lack of a cellular signal forced them to wait for more than two hours for another driver to appear on the desolate road and take to get help.

- Advertisement -

Reyes and Muñoz, who filed a lawsuit against ICE, say they were unable to reach emergency services on their cell phones, finding there was no coverage.

In their lawsuit, they alleged lack of information by the state telecom, not warning that Quebrada del Fierro was outside the cellular coverage area. They asked for damages of ¢4.1 million colones and punishment for ICE. The two men say that the damages are for the loss of the load of shrimp that was stolen during the time they spend getting help.

In its decision, the Sala Primera (Superior Court) found in favour of the Reyes and Muñoz and ordered ICE to pay ¢1 million colones in damages.

The judges, in their ruling, said the damages are not for the accident, but for the lack of cellular telephone service.

- Advertisement -

Was it fair? Fernando Reyes said the amount paid out by ICE is  “una cochinada” (a stupidity). The  million does not even cover 10% of his loss, the cost of the merchandise and the lawyer.

Reyes added that compensation doesn’t even come close to cover the shame of being the first in Costa Rica to sue for the failures of cell signal and been called a laughingstock” (hazmerreír in Spanish).

Reyes explained to La Nacion that his purpose with the suit wasn’t to stick it to ICE but to create a precedent raising awareness of the rights of consumers.

Reyes’ lawyer told La Nacion that although payment of the ICE is “poco” (little), the value of the process is to set a precedent and force telcos to fulfill contracts.

“It’s funny, since we introduced this lawsuit, ICE and the other operators have woken up and began to install more towers. (…), ” he added.

For its part, ICE reported yesterday that  has already paid the amount fixed by the court and has accelerated optimization and coverage of the network to improve mobile services in the area.

- Advertisement -

The Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (SUTEL) would not comment on the ruling.



- Advertisement -

We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

American woman found lifeless in hotel bathroom in Sabana

QCOSTARICA - A sad discovery occurred this Thursday morning in a...

Tourism sector depends on political will for recovery

QCOSTARICA - The future of tourism operators in Costa Rica depends...


Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 14: 1 & 2 CANNOT circulate

Today, Monday, June 14, vehicles with plates ending 1 & 2 CANNOT circulate The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm,...

The Best Sports To Play On A Beach

Costa Rica has some of the best beaches in the world. The coastline is blessed with golden sand, beautiful palm trees, and perfect blue...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction: June 13, “EVENS”

Today, Sunday, June 13, only EVENS can circulate. The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm, save for those under the...

Your cell phone can now notify you if you had contact with a positive case of covid-19

QCOSTARICA - Fifteen months after the national emergency against covid-19 was declared, Costa Ricans will have a digital platform where you can be notified...

Despite investigation, construction of road works by H. Solís will continue

QCOSTARICA - Five major road works under the responsibility of the H. Solís company will continue in development despite investigations for alleged corruption involving...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 16: 5 & 6 CANNOT circulate

Today, Wednesday, June 16, vehicles with plates ending 5 & 6 CANNOT circulate The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm,...

Immigration system failure affected passengers at the San Jose airport Monday

QCOSTARICA -  In yet another system-wide failure in the immigration check-out, passengers looking to leave Costa Rica Monday morning by way of the Juan...

Lack of space on Racsa’s hard drive paralyzed immigration consultation at the airport this Monday

RICO's DIGEST - We've all had this happen, your computer's hard drive is full and your computer crashes. But we are not the Radiográfica...

Europe opens the doors to tourism, these are the requirements

Q TRAVEL - Europe opened the doors to tourism. While worldwide vaccination against covid-19 advances above the levels of each country, the restrictions are...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.