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Ombudsman probing telemarketing of electricity contracts

Published : 12 Jul 2020, 19:51

Updated : 13 Jul 2020, 01:56

  DF Report

File Photo Lapland Material Bank by Terhi Tuovinen.

The Consumer Advisory Services and the Consumer Ombudsman have received numerous notifications from consumers concerning 365 Hankinta Oy, which markets electricity contracts and related power distribution by telephone, said the authority in a press release.

The complaints started coming in the spring, and have increased at an accelerating pace in July. According to the complaints, electricity sales contracts have materialised even when consumers have not agreed to the contract that was offered.

Consumers have been invoiced for basic fees for electricity contracts even though they have had valid electricity contracts with a different supplier valid for another year and a half, for example. In such a situation a contract with 365 Hankinta could not take effect until 2022. Many consumers have not received confirmation of the contract from 365 Hankinta or the confirmation has come by mail only after the 14-day withdrawal period had lapsed.

The Consumer Ombudsman has submitted a request for clarification to 365 Hankinta on the company's telemarketing and contract practices and urges consumers to exercise caution if they receive a call from the company concerning the sale of electricity contracts. The methods used by 365 Hankinta and the problems are largely the same as the ones involving Fi-Nergy, an electric utility, whose activities led the Consumer Ombudsman to bring the matter before the Market Court for evaluation.