December 9, 2022

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Slaughtered by the Consumer Council

Slaughtered by the Consumer Council

The reactions were not long after electric company Tibber announced changes to its billing procedures earlier today.

An email sent to customers explaining the change. Tibber customers must pay for a month and a half’s consumption on the following invoice (which arrives within two days): Actual consumption in September, plus Tibber’s estimates for the October half.

In the following month, you will pay for actual consumption in the latter half of October plus projected consumption in the first half of November. The real consumption bill from the first half of October has also been corrected against what is stipulated. and so on.

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Consumer Council is critical

The Consumer Council reacts to the new billing procedure and makes it clear that all businesses must notify customers 14 days in advance when they make changes to terms.

– We can’t see that Tibber did that. When Tibber notifies a customer a few days in advance of a change, they make it difficult to switch companies, Thomas Iversen, a consumer attorney at the Consumer Council, tells DinSide.

He believes that it appears to be a creative attempt not to be defined as prepayment, and recommends that everyone take the opportunity to determine the due date as far in advance as possible.

The Consumer Council is generally skeptical about prepayment. This also applies when it comes to electricity, where at worst customers end up giving the company an unsecured loan, Iversen says.

Thomas Iversen, consumer attorney at the Norwegian Consumer Council.  Photo: Consumer Council

Thomas Iversen, consumer attorney at the Norwegian Consumer Council. Photo: Consumer Council
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Consumer lawyers say customers will note in their wallets that they have to pay a month and a half of electricity consumption in October.

The client should not be the bank of electricity selling companies. If companies need protection, this needs to be resolved in another way, which is something that the authorities can look into, he says and adds:

– We will now look at how these changes will be implemented and how this will affect the ranking on strompris.no. Agreements with down payment are indicated in red on the service.

– We’re sorry

DinSide submitted Tibber’s criticism to the Consumer Council. Gaute Haversen-Westhassel, Director of Public Relations and Communications at Tibber, who writes the following in an email:

First of all, we regret the effects this has had on all Tibber customers and have a great understanding of the difficult situation many are in. We are fully aware that this is coming suddenly for our customers and we are very sorry about that, but we currently have no other way to secure the lowest possible price for electricity.

Haversen-Westhassel says the lack of government guarantees for Norwegian Electric Power means they have to change their billing practices in no time.

– We had hoped that a guarantee plan would be drawn up for this purpose, and we entered into a dialogue with the Energy Committee of the Norwegian Parliament, the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Finance, but we have not received any clarification so far.

We know the deadline is short and we hope that more flexible payment solutions will make customers better able to deal with higher electricity prices now and in the future, he concludes.

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