Even during the conversation with a call center employee, Lindy Adriaenssens receives several emails containing offers for a new energy contract. The saleswoman assures the woman that these are quotations and that opening the files does not lead to the conclusion of contracts. However, it appears that Adriaenssens has already been incorporated as a new client into Luminus.
“I called again and said I don’t want to change the power supply, that I’m satisfied with Angie and I don’t want to switch to Luminus,” she says. Despite the confirmation that the contract was cancelled, the contract remained. Only when VTM Nieuws contacted Luminus did the Adriaenssens receive the message that her contract had been cancelled.
According to investigative journalist Jonas Muylaert, Luminus has been working with Dutch call centers since the Essent acquisition. “These people work for a commission, so they receive a payment when they sell a contract to clients. This is also beneficial for Luminus, because of course this is not about the cheaper contracts,” he explains.
The fact that contracts are entered into without clients giving their written consent, as evidenced by the report, means that this is indeed an illegal practice. “If this is passed to the Economic Inspectorate, fines of up to €200,000 can be imposed,” Mollart says.
Luminos admits there is a problem and says she is investigating. “Luminus has a Code of Conduct for all sellers. Any selling method that violates our Code of Conduct may result in penalties and termination of the partnership,” it said in a statement.
Tomorrow, Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten (Green) will call on all of the country’s energy suppliers over the many complaints from consumers. It says it will forward all complaints to the Economic Inspectorate.
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