Consumer Authority fines KPN
The Consumer Authority has imposed a fine of EUR 9,500 on KPN for incorrectly informing consumers about their rights. In the confirmation letter received by a number of new subscribers to KPN, the cooling off period was stated incorrectly. After entering into an agreement by distance selling, either by telephone or the internet, the consumer has the right to a cooling off period of seven working days upon receipt of the corresponding paperwork. However, in the confirmation letter sent by KPN to new subscribers, the cooling off period was stated as seven working days after the date of the letter.
Marije Hulshof, Director of the Consumer Authority explains: "The cooling off period is a very important aspect to consumers when engaging in distance purchasing. On the basis of the information received, the consumer is able to form a complete picture of the service and the obligations resulting from the service, and so restricting the cooling off period means restricting consumer rights."
The matter was brought to the attention of the Consumer Authority by Tele2, Atlantic Telecom and Pretium Telecom, who requested that the Consumer Authority take action against KPN as it had, in their opinion, committed a number of violations of consumer rights. An investigation ultimately indicated that a violation had occurred on the matter of reporting the cooling off period, and that this violation may have a negative impact upon the interests of the consumer. In the meantime, KPN has acknowledged the violation and brought an end to the practice. The Consumer Authority did not identify any further violations by KPN.
KPN can object and lodge an appeal against the decision made by the Consumer Authority.