Flat rate customers expelled after an electric shock
Electricity customers who have favorable fixed rate agreements with Agva Kraft are forced to enter a record spot market. – Illegal dismissal, says the Consumers Council.
On Thursday, E24 wrote about power company Agva Kraft, which is losing heavily on fixed-rate deals it used to acquire new customers this summer.
The current record spot price of close to NOK 1.3 per kWh means an average profit of NOK 1,213 per month for every customer who signs up – and a corresponding loss for Agva Kraft.
Ahead of the weekend, several fixed rate clients received written notice from the company that they would be “moved to a prime spot rate deal” from November 1, because “a routine review showed that they had a deal that could only be used by new customers. clients. “
The Consumers Council confirms to E24 that it has already received requests from 20 Agva customers in this matter.
– Several consumers have entered into an affordable fixed price agreement with Agva. These agreements are binding and Agva cannot terminate consumer employment while the fixed price agreement is in effect, senior adviser Thomas Iversen told the Consumers Council for E24.
– He adds that changing the terms of a flat-rate agreement is very favorable because the price of electricity increases, it undermines trust between consumers and electricity sales companies.
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E24 has seen documentation from several affected customers indicating that they have received written confirmation from Agva Kraft to identify a “new” customer related to the campaign, that is, someone who has not. not been a customer in the past 12 months.
However, a significant number of them were excluded from their agreements – despite the fact that they had not been customers of the company for several years before the order.
Others claim to E24 that they were fired even though they were Start He was previously a client of the company.
Agva says consumers have received introductory offers that apply only to consumers who have not been customers in the past 12 months. However, consumers who contact us point out that this is not true, which makes the separation unfair, says Iversen.
Agva becomes a victim-specific pricing strategy. It is not the consumers who pay.
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He underlines that Agfa Kraft must already at the conclusion of the agreement check whether consumers meet the conditions associated with the agreement.
As a professional party, Agfa must react quickly if it turns out that individual consumers are not eligible for the deal anyway, says Iversen.
Since Agfa Craft’s inception in 2015, the Consumers Council has registered a total of 92 inquiries about the company.
– It is high compared to other larger power companies. Among other things, there are two other claims from Hafslund, which is one of the largest electricity companies in Norway, says Iversen.
“Promotions will not normally be available to previous customers, but the applicable requirements may vary from campaign to campaign,” wrote Finn Erik Arctander, CEO and President of Agva Kraft, in an email to E24 .
He further writes: “If someone is wrongly informed that they are not eligible, this will of course be corrected.”
On Thursday, he told E24 that almost all of the utility’s customers were on spot price agreements, and so the company was somewhat affected by the increase in wholesale prices.
“It’s true that we have flat rate campaigns this summer / fall, but contracts are only a very small percentage of the total customer portfolio,” Arctander wrote in an email at the time.
However, the company now has the means to shield customers from the same losing fixed rate deals.
Arctander writes that it is clear from the campaign’s sales materials that the deal cannot be signed by those who were clients before.
“But if individual clients get promises of something else, we will of course be responsible for what has been agreed with them,” writes Arctander.
Screenshots were sent by E24 of the advertisement concerned, here it simply says “This is a promotional product which can only be ordered by new customers”.
However, it is not specified anywhere where you have never been a customer before.
– Do you mean that you will only keep the agreements for those who have requested them, and therefore have obtained a positive response that they meet the conditions to obtain the agreement? But not for someone who meets the requirements but hasn’t asked about it specifically?
“Of course, agreements are for everyone You’ve never been a customer before, that’s the rule of thumb for this type of promotion. If someone is approved exception With this in mind, we will also keep the agreement with them, ”replies Arctander.
Regarding the statements of the Consumer Council, he said the following:
“Of course, Agfa Kraft is not changing the terms of the already concluded flat-rate agreement. The evolution of the price of electricity has absolutely no impact on the agreements between the customer and Agva Kraft, because it is the object of the fixed price agreement (that the price is fixed) ”, writes Arctander. and adds:
“However, customers who are not eligible for a promotional offer may experience termination of their agreement.”
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I think a new customer is someone who has never been a customer before, explains Patrick Johansson.
He is one of many Agva Kraft customers who received a notice yesterday that they would lose their lucrative fixed rate contract.
– Here they come up with a breach of contract almost three months after being able to instantly verify that I was a client in September 2018. It’s a huge failure in the internal routine, and if you are a conspirator you can. suspect. they use it as a kind of fuse when they do. The market is heading in a different direction than expected, Johansson says.
He accepted the offer in July fixing the price of electricity for the twelve months at 44.9 øre per kWh. In November, its spot price reached 1.3 crowns.
He is a member of the Prismatch Strøm Facebook group, where yesterday’s poll showed 29 members claimed to have been wrongfully kicked out of a fixed price deal with Agva Kraft. Johansson told E24 he wouldn’t be surprised if it ended in a class action lawsuit against the company.
Many of the Facebook group’s complainants say they have been customers for several years, but many also say they have never purchased power from the company before.
Finn Erik Arctander of Agva Kraft received comments from Patrik Johannson over E24, but did not comment on them.
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Elklagenemnda can call on
Iversen of the Consumers Council notes that customers who have been made redundant can file a complaint with the company and demand that the original fixed price agreement be kept.
– If you do not agree, the case can be taken to Elklagenemnda. In the meantime, you’re free to make a new deal with any company, says Iversen.
He pointed out that many companies may face economic problems due to high electricity prices.
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In an article published on Thursday, Pareto manager Lars of Scorpene explained how the high price level in particular It puts pressure on the cash flow of power companies.
Pareto Summit told E24 it would be surprised if power companies didn’t overstate current prices.
The Consumers Council is asking Norwegian electricity customers to monitor whether deals and prices have changed, says Iversen.
– If you have a fixed rate contract, it will apply until the end of the contract period. If you have a non-binding agreement, you can switch to another better agreement at any time.