The Coordinator as one of the hosts at the Brussels roundtable of experts and EU organizations dedicated to resolving consumer disputes arising from bundle products
The roundtable on “Bundled Products: Dispute Resolution & Consumer Rights Enforcement” took place in Brussels on the November 6th, 2019 and was hosted by BEUC (The European Consumer Organization), CEER (Council of European Energy Regulators) as well as NEON (National Energy Ombudsmen Network) under the Partnership for the Enforcement of European Rights (PEER).
In the opening part of the meeting, the Coordinator – as the President of the NEON, presented an introduction entitled “Cooperation among and between ADR bodies and enforcement authorities – a story to be written?”
From left: Ms. Annegret Groebel, the President of CEER; Ms. Monique Goyens, the Director General of BEUC; Mr. Janusz Gwiazdowski, the Coordinator; Ms. Anne Vadasz Nilsson, the Vice President of CEER.
The roundtable was attended by representatives of organizations associating member states’ regulators of the energy and telecoms sectors, ADR bodies from various sectors (including rail, telecoms, energy, financial services), consumer bodies, ombudsmen and the European Commission.
The purpose of that meeting was to start a cross-sectoral, cross-authority dialogue on how to better protect rights of consumers who buy bundled products, particularly to work out an effective model for out-of-court resolution of consumer disputes in said matters.
The so-called “bundle products” are goods / services that are packed together in one agreement which is convenient to consumers, if only for the reason that the consumer can conclude one agreement instead of several. Contracts for such goods / services may come out of one sector, e.g. agreement for the sale of electricity and the supply of gas, as well as they may come out of different sectors, e.g. the contract for supply of gas conjoined with insurance or telephone subscription.
Since different regulations and contractual terms only apply to specific parts of the set to which the contract relates, the bundle products pose a real challenge from the consumer protection and enforcement perspective.