Press Release 18-03
Energy regulators propose a cross-sectoral
Guide on Bundled Products to protect consumers
- CEER consults on draft Guide to protect consumers who buy bundled products
- Guide is being developed in the framework of Partnership for the Enforcement of European Rights (PEER) collaboration of regulators from different sectors
Today, the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER)1 launched a public consultation on a Guide on Bundled Products aimed at protecting consumers who buy “bundled products” within or across economic sectors. The goal is to work with sectoral regulators, consumer protection authorities, etc. to develop guidance for companies and regulators in all sectors (not just energy).
CEER consults on draft Guide to protect consumers who buy bundled products
Bundled products are also known as combined, optional or additional services, and can be offered within a sector or across several sectors, for example broadband bundles (e.g. internet/fixed telephone/TV/mobile telephony services) or products bundled across multiple sectors (e.g. energy and household insurance; banking and travel insurance, etc.). The potential complexity, and multi-sectoral nature, of bundled products raises the question of how to help consumers make better choices when faced with complex products and markets.
CEER President, Garrett Blaney, explained the rationale for the Guide on Bundled Products:
“Bundles make it more difficult for consumers to compare offers, to make satisfactory choices and to exercise their rights. This draft Guide on Bundled Products is a first step for fellow enforcers of consumer rights to collaborate on principles that could be applicable across sectors. In launching this public consultation, we hope to benefit from a cross-fertilisation of ideas from many sectors to protect consumers who buy bundled products.”
What’s in the Guide on Bundled Products?2
The draft Guide sets out principles that can be adopted by companies and national regulatory authorities (NRAs) to better protect consumers who choose bundled products. It makes 10 recommendations for companies (e.g. simplicity, clear liability principles, transparency, billing and information on contract conditions) and 5 for NRAs (general rules on bundles in consumer law, protection of essential services, cross-sectoral cooperation and market monitoring) covering all sectors (and not just energy). The Guide promotes a consistent framework for the treatment of bundled products in all EU Member States across various sectors.
Guide is being developed in the framework of PEER collaboration of regulators from different sectors
CEER invites other sectoral regulators (e.g. financial, telecoms, water, etc. to cooperate on developing this cross-sectoral Guide on Bundled Products in the framework of the Partnership for the Enforcement of European Rights (PEER).3 PEER seeks to enhance cooperation and strengthen the enforcement of European consumer rights by improving cross-authority collaboration of relevant public authorities with consumer-related responsibilities across different sectors.
This consultation was launched ahead of the Citizens’ Energy Forum (20-21 September) in Dublin. Interested parties are invited to respond to this CEER public consultation by 14 November 2018.
Brussels, 19 September 2018
Ends - see Notes for Editors