The Consumer Authority received a total of 14,661 tips and complaints last year, which was a new record. This year, as last , most people complained about the electricity bill.
A total of 1,400 more inquiries were submitted to the audit last year compared to the previous year. Most of the complaints were about electricity, phone sales and misleading marketing. There were also many complaints about internet services, the mobile industry, and credit marketing.
‘’Marketing of electricity still irritates, but we also see a large increase in complaints about services people have ordered on the internet, and where it is, for example, difficult to get out of the agreement. The main rule is that it should be as easy to get out of an agreement as entering into it’’ said director, Elisabeth Lier Haugseth, of the Consumer Authority.
The Consumer Council, which presented its annual statistics last week, also had an increase in the number of power complaints last year.
The Consumer Council pointed to power sellers with “clever agreements” as a cause of the increase and indicated that sellers often deliver
agreements “where the electricity is much more expensive than the customers think”.
While the Consumer Council is an independent interest organization that helps consumers, the Norwegian Consumer Authority (formerly the
Consumer Ombudsman) is a public supervisory authority that particularly works to prevent and stop illegal marketing, unfair terms in contracts, and illegal forms of commercial practice.
Phone sales are the worst thing
Telephone sales in marketing and the audit received the most complaints last year. Those consumers who opted out of telephone sales complained that businesses did not respect the reservation.
“Last year, we made several prohibition decisions and a violation fee for companies that have called consumers who had reserved themselves for telephone sales, and we will continue to do so in 2019” said Haugseth.
The number of tips The Consumer Authority received in 2018 increased by 56.7% compared to 2017 to a total of 8,826 tips. The audit was especially advised on spam and online fraud.
‘’We’ve seen a big increase in tips on unwanted spam. Web fraud and fake online stores are also something that many consumers experience problems with and tell us about’’ said Haugseth.
She said the audit will increase efforts towards these areas this year.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today