Expatica news

Consumer watchdog slams phone companies

14 July 2004

BRUSSELS – Belgium’s leading consumer rights watchdog on Wednesday launched a crackdown on phone companies A.C.N. and Euphony.

Test-achats has criticised the companies for linking their customers with professional and non-professional consultants who try to recruit them as independent salesmen.

The watchdog has issued a warning to consumers on its website not to be tempted by the sales trap.

Profits are often very small and the risks of this type of ‘pyramid’ marketing structure are huge, it cautions.

According to Test-Achats, Euphony has already been charged and fined by the Belgian judiciary for this type of activity in 2001.

A.C.N has been accused of similar practices for promising its customers commission if they become independent salesmen.

The company offers a ‘team trainer’ kit for aspiring company consultants for the modest price of EUR 665.

The Professional Association of Direct Sales (APVD) confirmed that it had refused to allow the American company A.C.N to join its ranks because it did not meet adequate consumer or legal standards.

APVD said the company had been rejected by sales bodies across EU for the same lapses in standards, which included an opaque commissioning system, psychological pressure and aggressive recruitment methods.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news