Insurance contracts for smartphones, computers or tablets, which starts with a free periodis now banned in Belgium, Minister of State for Consumer Protection Eva De Bleeker announced on Friday.
The move comes in the wake of the Switch store scandal, for which many defrauded customer reviews have been uncovered for several years. RTL info was the first to denounce these scams, received via the orange Alert Us button:
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The Financial Supervisory Authority (FSMA) had decided to carry out inspections in several of the brand’s points of sale and had found a lack of compliance with certain legal or regulatory provisions, especially with regard to customer information and compliance.
Specifically, Switch employees signed expensive insurance contracts without really saying so, and customers didn’t realize it until a few months later after a free period. Following its inspections, the FSMA banned Switch from marketing insurance products in Belgium. The brand has now disappeared, and the stores have been partially taken over by Lab9 Stores, or Hubside.Store.
The insurances continue, but not the free periods
At the same time, legislative work to prevent this practice from taking place resulted in a royal decree, co-signed by Secretary of State De Bleeker and Ministers Demargne and Van Peteghem. The general principles of insurance are not questioned, but it is now prohibited to offer offers that start with a free period.
“From now on, the periodic premiums must be equal and spread equally over the term of the contract. Teasers and growing bounty payouts will no longer be possible“, specifies the Foreign Minister’s cabinet.