Energie-Nederland applies stricter rules for telephone sales of energy contracts

Energie-Nederland believes that consumers should be fairly informed when selling energy contracts. The branch association is aware that some energy suppliers unfortunately use intermediary sellers who sell energy contracts in an undesirable way. That is why it has taken the initiative to establish comprehensive and mandatory recruitment regulations. These have been in effect since January 1st. It is a practical translation of the Consumer and Energy Supplier Code of Conduct.

For example, with telephone sales, the entire sales conversation is recorded so that it can be audited. Energy suppliers must issue a declaration to ensure correct compliance with the regulations of the so-called ‘quality standard’. A large number of energy suppliers have now done this. The list is growing as some suppliers are still implementing it. Energie-Nederland expects that the reduction of customer dissatisfaction with compliance with the quality standard will be structurally improved.

What is included in the Quality Standard for advice on energy contract offers to consumers:

  • An opt-in obtained (from the consumer to be allowed to call) must have been obtained correctly and must subsequently be verified by an active action by the consumer on the specified telephone number.
  • At the start of the call, the consumer is immediately informed who is calling and what the purpose of the call is.
  • At the beginning of the conversation, people must also be told immediately why they are being called: is there a customer relationship or has the customer given permission to be called (a so-called opt-in).
  • In the case of telephone sales, the entire sales conversation is recorded so that the conversation can be checked afterwards, for quality purposes or by ACM.
  • An energy contract is never formed in a conversation. The consumer does this outside the conversation in complete freedom and with all options to compare other offers.
  • The energy supplier is always responsible for the conversation with the consumer.
  • The sales script of the sales organization (intermediary) used must be approved in advance by the energy supplier: Are the correct consumption data and information about the cancellation fee stated? Is a possible return delivery included in a calculation? Is the 14-day cooling-off period mentioned?
  • An intermediary can only work for a supplier if thorough training has taken place so that they are familiar with all laws and regulations. There are also strict requirements regarding personnel and their integrity.
  • All suppliers record their working methods and agreements with sales organizations in protocols. If this is not complied with, the energy supplier will take appropriate measures. This can vary from an intrusive conversation, terminating the collaboration to reporting if there has been deception/fraud.
  • Energy suppliers must demonstrate that they carry out frequent, objective and uninfluenceable compliance and quality measurements.

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