Power and water contracts, district heating, electronic communication services and traffic provide examples of necessary services without which a modern society would hardly function. At the same time, they are fixed items of expenditure for households. The consumer protection of necessary services is the theme of July’s consumer tips.
The consumer has a right of withdrawal from telephone sale of electricity
The telephone sale of electricity may result in a situation in which you have only requested the salesperson to provide you with an offer or additional information, but the offer that you get is, in fact, a contract that you need to separately cancel.
- If you receive a confirmation of a power contract that you think you have not signed, you may cancel the contract within 14 days from the date on which the contract was concluded on the phone.
- If the cancellation period has expired, or if there has never been one, you can lodge a complaint in writing with the salesperson who offered you a new contract or with the power grid manager – your local electricity distributor – as soon as possible and dispute the power contract.
- You can use the Complaint Assistant www.reklamaatioapuri.fi to assist you in lodging your complaint. If your complaint to the company does not bring about the desired result, contact the Consumer Advisory Services at kuluttajaneuvonta.
Price reductions for recurring errors in invoicing
You should check all invoices before paying them. If there are recurring errors in your electricity invoices or if your invoices are not sent in time, then, under the Electricity Market Act, the issue involves an error in power distribution. Lodge a complaint with the power company that sent the invoice and require a price reduction for the invoicing error.
As the law does not provide for the size of a price reduction, reductions are always assessed on a case-by-case basis to make them equivalent to the error. In addition to a price reduction, you have the right to a reasonable term of payment if you are invoiced retrospectively for a long period of time and the payable amount is large.
Standard compensation for a power outage lasting longer than 12 hours, with a right for compensation for damages
There is a possibility of compensation for power outages. If a power outage lasts longer than 12 hours, you normally have the right to standard compensation – in other words, the power distribution network reimburses the consumer for some of the cost of electricity distribution.
You should also lodge a complaint with the network company when a long power outage results in damage. For example, if your frozen foods melt or your electrical appliances break down, you may be eligible for damages.
Compare available power contracts
It is also a good idea to compare the prices for a power contract when your fixed-term contract terminates. For additional information on price comparison, visit the website of the Energy Authority (only in Finnish and Swedish).
How to cancel or dispute an unjustified electricity contract
Compensation for power cuts
For electricity buyers, Energy Authority