Energy suppliers find it important that consumers are approached correctly when offering new energy contracts. Stricter rules will therefore apply from 1 January 2024. All energy suppliers affiliated with Energie-Nederland have endorsed this.
Chairman Cora van Nieuwenhuizen: “When you receive a call, you should immediately know that it is a reliable seller. If not, we will take appropriate measures. Unwanted calls still occur too often and we want to put an end to this.”
Tighter and stricter
The new rules provide concrete measures for doing business with intermediaries, for the correct approach to consumers, by energy suppliers themselves or through a sales organization hired by them. Rules on how the conversation with the consumer takes place have been tightened and are based on current and announced regulations.
One of the most important changes is that a contract can no longer be concluded on the basis of a sales conversation alone. The consumer must be given the opportunity to read the offer and decide for himself whether they will accept it. 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). An opt-in exists if the consumer has demonstrably confirmed this earlier with an active action.
The energy supplier is always responsible for the conversation with the consumer. For example, the supplier must pre-approve the sales script of the sales organization (intermediary) used. 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. An accountant ultimately checks all requirements every year. Failure to ensure the quality of recruitment in combination with a structurally high number of complaints can lead to enforcement by the ACM.