eprimo GmbH is now prohibited from cold calling consumers in the supply area of the municipal utility company Stadtwerk am See GmbH & Co. KG - or instigating cold calls - without their prior express consent. In case of a violation, eprimo might be fined up to EUR 250,000.00. That is the decision taken by the Regional Court (Landgericht) of Ravensburg (court ref.: 6 O 289/16) after Stadtwerk am See took legal action with the help of the law firm Becker Büttner Held (BBH) against the unfair telephone advertising practice of eprimo. The municipal utility company is also entitled to damages.
The court found that eprimo had commissioned calls to consumers, without obtaining their prior consent, in order to promote its services and to have the consumers conclude a contract for switching from their current energy supplier to eprimo during the promotional call. The case was aggravated by the fact that several consumers were called and kept in the dark as to the actual purpose of the call; it was not disclosed that eprimo was the party behind the calls. Some consumers even received an order confirmation for the switching of suppliers without having made a corresponding order in the telephone call. According to the Regional Court of Ravensburg, this practice constitutes unfair telephone advertising combined with anticompetitive commercial practices targeted at misleading consumers. eprimo therefore has to disclose to Stadtwerk am See the exact number of such calls. This will be the basis for calculating the damages Stadtwerk am See is entitled to claim.
Lawyer and BBH partner Nils Langeloh comments: "Under competition law, promotional calls are subject to very precise rules. The eprimo calls did definitely not comply with these rules. Misleading and nuisance calls to consumers - as in the case at hand - easily discredit entire industries. We are thus pleased to have obtained, together with Stadtwerk am See, a court decision ordering eprimo to cease its practice. This will protect the consumers in the supply area of the municipal utility company."
Becker Büttner Held is a leading provider of advisory services for energy and infrastructure companies and their customers. Energy and supply companies, particularly public utilities, municipalities and local authorities, industrial companies and international groups are among its core clients. BBH advises these and many other companies and organisations in all legal matters and also assists them with business and strategic advice.
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