February 5, 2023

Wire Service Canada

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Dear billers, what happens to customers after an antitrust decision on a surge? Here’s what to expect and the questions that remain unresolved

A new chapter opens in rebus on one-sided and upward variations on Electricity and gas prices suggested by their companies users In spite of ban provided for in the Assistance Ordinance bis. If you give it a hand latest metricsAntitrust By imposing the suspension of these changes on seven companies, a broad interpretation of the mass appears in favor consumersOn the other hand, you run the risk of being affected Boomerang. With infinite explanatory keys and the beginning of a chain of controversial And the pleas To the TAR, which puts consumers in a more chaotic situation. The questions and doubts are endless, because it really is dl bis help rule is never detailed, I was born mysterious. Thus there was never any statutory clarification, despite the huge range of the match that might be refereed. Moreover, the customs duty freeze is even in effect April 30, 2023. What happens after this date? Without further action, it’s easy to fear that companies will try to retrieve what they lost. Therefore, consumers, whether they are families, entire apartment complexes, or small businesses, find themselves in a dilemma in which it is difficult to make forward-looking choices.

What happens to those who have already changed the resource – What happens, for example, if the user passes the character containing the proposed change variable resource But now that the proposed increase is illegal, do you want to go back to the previous increase? Antitrust argues that a manager who made a customer flee by proposing price increases should write to him to advise him that he can go back to the old conditions. The company will have to declare “individually and in the same form to consumers who have exercised the right of withdrawal (…), Possibility of returning to supply in previous economic conditionsThe antitrust says. At this point, the user can choose to return. The problem: A change of operator should only include a fee for stamp duty and any security deposits. However, contracts with special terms are often stipulated – for example fixed prices for a certain period – in which it can be entered Conditions that require you to pay a contribution In the event of early cancellation. Generally, then, it takes 1-2 months to change.

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The case of residing with the old supplier (with high prices) – Even the customer who has not changed the supplier has to wait for a message from the supplier stating that the increase is prohibited. But either way, he points out Fabrizio GhidiniHead of the Energy Department Federconsumatorito me ilfattoquotidiano.itThe risk is that the companies, while currently promising not to implement the increase, will not send the letters because they have done so He appealed to Tar or preparing to do so. So the family can find themselves in a choice, without a call reassuring them of the tariff ban and without knowing what will happen after April 30 or after the various sentences of Tar or the Council of State. One solution may be to return to the market protected Which is extended, however – Ghidini asserts – “the procedure will not be entirely smooth since the aim so far has been to move towards the free market”.

Another question mark: Will those who suffered from the illegal increase be compensated? according to post consumptioncall him ilfattoquotidiano.it, “Consumers who have paid more for these illegal overcharges have the right to claim compensation from the operator with a complaint and if a reconciliation attempt is not proceeded in Arrera.” Based on the data provided by the companies themselves, it appears that 7,546,963 consumers, condominiums and micro-enterprises are affected by communications with changes in economic conditions, of which approximately 2,667,127 had already suffered an unexplained increase of the price.

Doubts about the antitrust interpretation – but the most contentious issue over which the companies have waged a tough legal battle is The legality of the ban on tariff changes also for contracts that have expiredBacked by Antitrust. According to the suppliers, this is a very broad vision that goes beyond the intentions of the legislator. Doubts on this point in particular come from some consumer associations. The seller who bought the energy at a certain higher price can be asked to sell it lower cost If it has contractual obligations at fixed rates, but this demand is absolutely absolute unmotivated In the presence of contractual expiration periods that occurred without the obligation to auto-renew,” he points out Absolute userswhich calls for a “very urgent meeting” with antitrust and advertising Arrera so that “all misunderstanding About the existence of alleged unilateral changes affecting 80% of users of electricity and gas companies.

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Company appeals – Meanwhile, the date for the hearing to consider the issue of the Special Court of Appeal has been set for February 22 pleas Erin Based on dolomite;. also In the Announce an appeal to Tar and from the statements of other companies it is easy to predict that others will follow. “The authority – notes Enel – requests that the article in question also be applied to the renewal of contracts, and therefore proposes a standard interpretation Wrong – wronged – wronged Exceptional provision, contrary to national rules and European regulations.” For his part Hera Already declared that it “has always acted in accordance with existing regulations (…), and has proposed the renewal of economic conditions only if they are due to expire”. Therefore, the company declares that it “reserves the right to protect its causes in the appropriate offices.” Edison also believes that the Authority’s “Regulatory Interpretation of Article 3 of the Aid bis Decree is wholly illegitimate, and reserves the right to defend its reasons in the appropriate offices” and “affirms that it has never made unilateral changes during contracts, which are limited, in compliance with contractual obligations , on the renewal of economic conditions at the expiration of normal contractual expiration.”

On the other hand, there are consumer associations that point instead to a stricter line. Such as codacon which submitted a new complaint to 104 public prosecution offices across Italy, to ascertain whether the practices adopted could constitute any criminally relevant cases, from fraud to embezzlement, to interruption of public service.

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