Insurance contracts for smartphones, computers or tablets, that start with a free periodare now banned in Belgium, announced Friday the Secretary of State for Consumer Protection, Eva De Bleeker.
The move comes in the wake of the Switch store scandal, for which many deceived customer testimonials have been unearthed for several years. RTL info was the first to denounce these scams, received via the orange Alert us button:
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The FSMA investigated
The Financial Markets Authority (FSMA) had decided to carry out inspections in several of the brand’s points of sale and had noted non-compliance with certain legal or regulatory provisions, in particular with regard to customer information and rules driving.
Concretely, Switch employees were signing expensive insurance contracts, without really saying it, and customers only realized it a few months later after a free period. After its inspections, the FSMA prohibited 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 these practices from taking place resulted in a royal decree, countersigned by State Secretary De Bleeker and Ministers Demargne and Van Peteghem. The general principles of insurance are not called into question, but it is now forbidden to offer offers starting with a free period.
“From now on, the periodic premiums must be equal and be distributed equally over the duration of the contract. Teasers and growing bounty payouts will no longer be possible“, specifies the cabinet of the secretary of State.