The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) invaded Vattenfall's office on Wednesday to investigate. The raid is part of an investigation into misleading sales tactics within the sector.
The raid was done in the morning in Weesp, where the office is responsible for the sales of the energy company. The company is fully cooperating with the investigation, a spokesperson told NU.nl.
That the raid did not take place in Amsterdam's head office but in Weesp, indicates that the ACM's investigation should be about the commercial branch, the spokesman said. "Officially, however, we do not yet know the purpose of the investigation," he says.
The regulator itself did not want to make the investigation public for the time being, but confirms it now that the raid has leaked to NU.nl. "The raid is part of an investigation into misleading sales tactics that has been going on for a while," said a spokesperson. These are tactics whereby sellers use misleading information to persuade people to conclude a contract.
"Consumer complaints are declining"
Vattenfall says in a response that the company takes customer complaints very seriously and receives fewer negative responses. "We also never denied that things go wrong, but our door sale processes are well organized."
In 2019, about two hundred complaints were received about sales practices, which, according to the spokesperson, is less than in 2018. The number would continue to decline. "We therefore look forward to the research with confidence."
The ACM spokesperson does not want to say whether Vattenfall is the only party being investigated. He does say that, in general, there are many complaints about sales practices of the sector. The ACM has previously conducted research into the way in which self-employed people are tempted to opt for a more expensive and less favorable energy contract. A logistic investigation into consumer contracts followed.