Indexia to be tried for deceptive marketing practices

The Indexia group will be tried by the Paris Criminal Court for “misleading commercial practices” after overcharging for insurance for telephones and computers, the Paris prosecutor’s office said on Saturday, confirming press information.

Through the intermediary of several companies such as SFAM, the Indexia group markets, among other things, services to insure telephones and computers as well as subscriptions to obtain reductions after purchase (cashback).

After receiving hundreds of reports from customers, the repression of fraud had expedited an investigation.

This investigation, which lasted several months, revealed practices consisting in misleading consumers wishing to stop direct debits, cancel their subscriptions and be reimbursed for the sums debited after termination of their contract, that their requests had been taken into account, or even effective, had explained at the beginning of April the general direction of competition, consumption and the repression of fraud (DGCCRF).

The conclusions of the investigations had been transmitted to the Paris prosecutor’s office which cited the leader of the Indexia group and seven legal persons to appear before the criminal court.

They will be judged for misleading commercial practices and obstacle to a control, indicated the parquet floor, without specifying the date of the lawsuit.

A first administrative investigation had targeted SFAM for the same suspicions in 2018 after reports from customers to the consumer association UFC-Que Choisir and the DGCCRF.

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A search had been carried out at the headquarters of the company, which had agreed in 2019 to pay a fine of 10 million euros.

This fine, which turned out to have no significant impact on the group’s growth, did not, however, put an end to customer alerts for overbilling.

Following similar complaints, the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority on March 2 banned the Belgian subsidiary of SFAM, Switch, from marketing its insurance products in the country.

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