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Eneco and Essent have offered a substantive settlement to two clients who turned to the Dispute Commission to contest the tariff increase. Customers report this to Kassa. Essent pays its client at least €1,400, which means that his complaint to the Dispute Commission is over. The €1,000 offer from Eneco was rejected by that energy company’s client.
Clemens Mertz, a lawyer from Beegden in Limburg, complained to Essent about the increased rate of variable contracts for his home and office. According to Meretz, Essent did not sufficiently announce the price increase prior to the actual change in October. Essent decided to reverse this increase.
Essent €1,400 settlement proposal
But Meretz says the October increase is flattened by the November increase. The price increase was announced in due time. Essent initially dismissed his complaint, after which Meretz contacted the Dispute Committee. But before the case could be heard there, Essent Meerts made a €1,400 settlement proposal. This compensation is equal to the amount he paid extra in November and December due to the price increase.
€1,000 settlement proposal from Eneco
André de Wit of Oud-Beijerland told Kassa on March 4 that he also does not agree with the price increase for the energy he buys from Eneco. Like Meretz, De Witt took his complaint to the Dispute Commission. And like Essent, Eneco doesn’t seem to want to wait for a Dispute Committee ruling. De Wit says he has received an offer of €1,000 in compensation for last year’s price hike. However, he decided to continue his case with the Dispute Commission and rejected the settlement proposal. De Wit wants a ruling to bring clarity to everyone.
Eneco and Essent deny that there was anything wrong with the hikes themselves. Eneco claims that it submitted the settlement proposal because “contact with the customer was insufficient”. Essent notes that its offer to Meretz was made without obligation.
Consumers may be entitled to much higher compensation
De Wit and Meerts are already receiving substantial compensation after complaining about a short period that prices may have been too high. But consumers may be entitled to much higher compensation, according to a February court ruling. Energy supplier Vattenfall receives a huge slap on the wrist. Not only does the judge put an end to the energy giant’s recent price increase, but the judge also removes the so-called price change clause in the general terms and conditions of the agreement. This price change clause specifies exactly how and why the price can be adjusted. However, according to the court, the clause does not comply with European legislation. With this, the basis for all price changes made by Vattenfall while the Agreement was in effect lapses.
The judge’s ruling concerned only one client and an appeal has been lodged. But the Vattenfall price change clause is part of the general terms and conditions that have been used industry-wide. So, if the judge’s judgment in Amsterdam stands, that means more people may have paid too much.
declared a collective claim
Meanwhile, the first mass claim has already been announced. 15,000 people are now signed up to GoBaxter who hope to be compensated for the higher energy rates. On Kassa’s broadcast, the Claims Club explains in detail why they think they have a good chance. people can across the site Join the claim. There is no upfront payment, but if the claim is successful, GoBaxter will keep 25% of the amount paid
According to the Consumers’ Association, it remains uncertain whether the claim stands a chance. At the moment, there is only a court ruling against Vattenfall. It remains uncertain whether the ruling will be upheld on appeal. And if this is the case, the fact that many energy companies use the same terms and conditions does not mean that all other customers are also entitled to compensation. Other suppliers may correctly explain the price change requirement in additional terms.
An additional problem is that the amount of compensation can vary greatly for everyone due to all kinds of variables. Among other things, depreciation, rates at the beginning and the duration of the contract are important for this. Therefore, the Consumers’ Association sees no reason to initiate a class action claim at this time.
Complaint letter form
Attorney Roelof de Necker, along with other experts that Cassa spoke to, sees the possibilities of the class action. But De Nekker would prefer to see a basis for claims with a board of directors and supervisory board taking over. This would better protect the interests of the participants. But such a basis for the claim does not yet exist. That’s why De Nekker e-mail which customers can send to their energy supplier to complain about the tariff increase. By sending such a letter, the statute of limitations for the complaint is cut off anyway. If the power supplier declines to complain, consumers can at least calmly decide if and what steps they want to take further.
In addition to going to court yourself or joining a claims institution, going to a dispute commission is also an option. This is only possible after the energy supplier has rejected your complaint or has not dealt with it as you would like it to be. The cost of filing a complaint is 52.50 euros. You will receive a refund if the complaint is upheld. In addition, in the event of late payment which is also part of the complaint, you may actually have to transfer the relevant amount to the Dispute Commission account. If you are proven right, the commission will refund the money. But if the power company is proven right, the money is transferred to the power company.
Energy companies are responding
Read reactions from Vattenfall, Eneco, and Essent here:
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