August 3, 2020

The CNMC fined Endesa for discharging customers without their consent | Economy



The National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) has sanctioned Endesa with four fines for a total value of 120,000 euros. The reason: to have changed clients of contract and marketer without collecting their consent. The company had already been sanctioned with 30,000 euros for similar practices in March of this same year after a complaint by Facua-Consumidores en Acción. Also in that case, he had transferred a user to another electric company without his permission.

One of the practices by which Endesa has been fined has been the change to the free market of customers who had contracted the tariff regulated of electrical supply (known as Voluntary Price for the Small Consumer or PVPC). The difference between the two rates is relevant: the price of the PVPC is set by the Government and is subject to the hourly oscillations of the kilowatt in the wholesale market, while in the free market offers are the same marketing companies who set prices. And they are the only ones that can eventually add maintenance or insurance services and use hooks as promotions or discounts to attract new customers.

To reduce bad practices of some commercials when it comes to attract new customers, The Government announced last September, within the framework of the new energy law decree, the prohibition of door-to-door contracting of the supply, an old demand of both consumers and competition. Shortly before, the CNMC had announced that the electric companies that operate both in the free market and in the regulated market (the big electricity companies) had six months of time to change their name and brands to differentiate themselves from their subsidiaries, so that consumers can clearly know which companies are in the free market and which in the regulated market. At present, eight out of ten households are not able to distinguish what rate they have.

According to the CNMC, it is "proven that Endesa Energía, S.A.U. did not respect the requirements that the electricity (and gas) marketers must follow in order to contract with a new client, nor, in particular, did they have their consent". The amount of sanctions – two of 30,000 euros, one of 20,000 euros and another of 40,000 euros – for changing contract customers without their prior permission is typified as a slight infraction in the law of the electricity sector. The maximum amount for this type of infractions is 600,000 euros. Three of the sanctions ended, however, lowered after the company recognized his responsibility and will pay the reduced amount of the sanction before the resolution.

The CNMC was alerted to the abusive practices of Endesa through several complaints from the Ministry of Economy, Industry, Trade and Knowledge of the Government of the Canary Islands and the writings of the association FACUA-Consumers in Action. But it is not the first time that this company is sanctioned by these practices nor is it the only one: in 2017, Competition fined four electricity and gas marketers: Endesa Energía, S.A.U., Iberdrola Clientes, S.A.U., Gas Natural Servicios, SDG, S.A. and Viesgo Energía, S.L ..

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