From June 1, 2023, insurance, energy or telephony professionals will have to offer their customers a termination procedure to end a contract in 3 clicks. The aim is to protect consumers from abuse and scams and to reduce paperwork.
It’s not a revolution, but it’s progress for the consumer, according to MoneyVox Arnaud Chneiweiss, the insurance mediator. From June 1, a cancel button must make its appearance – and be easily accessible – on the website of insurers for auto, home and health insurance contracts. A system that must also be put in place on the site of energy, gas and electricity suppliers, but also of operators who sell telephone and Internet subscriptions. The same goes for sites of press publishers, video services on demand (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney +…) or dating sites and sports halls.
This facility granted to subscribers comes from the purchasing power law of summer 2022. For the deputies behind the text, it must be possible to end a contract in 3 clicks. The aim is to protect consumers from abuse and scams and to reduce paperwork.
What will this button look like?
This button must indicate the words Terminate your contract or a similar unambiguous formula, displayed in legible characters, specifying the text. This function must also contain a general reminder of the conditions for terminating the contract, including the possible existence of a notice period and the consequences of the termination for the insured.
Finally, the client should have t formally identified by name, first name and contract. THE reason for termination must be requested and informed by the customer. There date should also be clearly indicated.
This framework was defined by a decree which only concerns insurance contracts. Another decree is expected to set the rules for other subscriptions. According to our information, the formal requirements will be equivalent.
Do you have to take out your contract online?
From June, the consumer will be able to terminate the contract whether it was initially concluded electronically or not. Including for insurance companies which resisted for a long time before giving in to consumer defense associations. The only condition is that on the day of termination the insurer offers an online subscription service.
Clear, competition must operate to the sole benefit of the consumer. And this is the image of Netflix, whose termination course was highlighted by a member of the majority. The American video-on-demand giant offers the following route: I can subscribe on the 1st of the month, cancel on the 2nd from my customer area, take advantage of the service until the last day of the paid month and then take advantage of a competitor’s catalog.
What are the limits of the termination button?
Beyond the wow effect of the novelty, and its free, when you previously had to pay for a registered La Poste to cancel your contract, the limits of this button are numerous. Simply canceling involves as many dangers as subscribing too easily, warns Olivier Gayraud, lawyer at the consumer association CLCV. First, this button does not change anything in the terms of the signed contract: if the subscription had a minimum commitment period, it will be necessary to wait until the end of this period to cancel it without penalty. Secondly, to avoid disputes, this button must be accessible from a secure personal space and not be offered without identification like a simple contact form.
Finally, once you have activated this simplified termination, obtaining a summary date and timestamp is essential. He must inform you about the changes in progress, such as the amount of any costs, list Olivier Gayraud. The information must be clear and unbiased. It is then a proof to keep, because it confirms the exact moment of the end of the contract. This is why, mainly in car insurance, but also in home insurance, I advise not to cancel oneself to avoid breaches of guarantee, caused by a bad sequence of contracts.
A regulatory twist that changes nothing
Clearly, the contracts and rules in force, depending on the sector, continue to apply. Only the form changes, not the substance.
electricity, gas: reduce your bill with our online comparator
Questioned by MoneyVox, Maif confirms that this change is a regulatory change that does not change anything with regard to the conditions for terminating each of the contracts. The insured will be able to more spontaneously express a desire to leave for such and such a contract. (…) This should lessen the effects of the harmful retention procedures sometimes put in place by certain companies.
In energy, it doesn’t work like that for individuals. You don’t have to terminate your contract and sign another one. The change of supplier acts as termination, specify the services of the energy mediator MoneyVox. However, if you change your gas kitchen to an all-electric one, you can close your gas contract without penalties and immediately, with or without a button.
A tsunami for many companies
For Arnaud Chneiweiss, the insurance mediator, the fears ultimately concern the usual bad students and in particular the regularly vilified affinity insurance. A precautionary measure temporarily prohibiting the distribution of any insurance contract has been taken against SFAM, but they are not the only ones. The Canal + or Le Monde media, such as the telephone and Internet operator SFR, are regularly criticized for complicating the lives of their customers who wish to leave them.
In general, this measure risks being a tsunami for many companies which leisurely complicate the terms of unsubscription, estimates the association 60Millions of consumers. In particular, those which require the sending of a registered letter without clearly indicating the address on the cover page of their site, or which impose more or less long periods of notice in order to dissuade a maximum of customers from give up their service or bet on long processing times for the file to continue to collect one or two additional monthly payments.
Investigations from when?
The text of the law also provides that any breach of these new obligations will be punished with a administrative fine of a maximum of 15,000 euros for a natural person and a maximum of 75,000 euros for a legal person. The Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF) will be responsible for conducting the investigations.
An organization to which some press publishers – weakened by a high level of unsubscription – have planned to request an informal period of educational observations in the event of possible controls. A request that the CLCV could support for two or three months, the time for the implementation of this new button.