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Injunction on electricity company Werel Oy on grounds of illegal marketing and contract term amendment practices

At the end of 2016, electricity company Werel Oy had sent its customers a notification that their ongoing electricity supply contracts would be changed into two-year fixed-term contracts unless they indicated that they did not accept the change. Otherwise, the fixed-term contract would enter into force.

In January 2017, the Consumer Ombudsman issued an injunction on Werel, reinforced with a penalty payment of EUR 100,000. Werel was using a negative sales method, which is deemed as inappropriate marketing and contrary to the Consumer Protection Act.  At the same time, the company breached the stipulations of the Electricity Market Act and the Consumer Protection Act regarding changes in contract terms, according to which an electricity supplier cannot unilaterally amend electricity supply contracts.

Werel objected to the Consumer Ombudsman’s injunction, which thus became void. The Consumer Ombudsman started proceedings in the Market Court for a resolution to the case in March 2017. In the summer, Werel announced that it would accept the injunction, and the Consumer Ombudsman withdrew its application from the Market Court and imposed a new injunction on the company.