The Balearics fine ING 23,000 euros for hiding its free phone

ING was fined 23,100 euros after a complaint from Facua-Consumers in action for hide your phone freeas reported by this entity in a statement in which it details that the Directorate General for Consumption of the Balearic Islands was the one that initiated the sanction procedure.

As detailed, after Facua’s complaint, the General Directorate of Consumer Affairs of the Balearic Islands initiated a penalty procedure in the amount of 23,100 euros for having offered mandatory information on its free consumer service telephone number in a manner that is not easily accessible on its website and for not having provided users with a link allowing to access the online dispute resolution platform.

The consumer association informed the consumer government that this bank, In the “Contact Us” section of its website, it indicates that its consumer information and customer service telephone numbers There are two lines of geographic prefix numbers at the base rate. Thus, according to Facua, you have to “find out on the web and click on the heading ‘For more information, see our commercial information channels and incident management’ to locate the toll free number“.

The second section of article 21 of Royal Legislative Decree 1/2007, of November 16, which approves the consolidated text of the General Law for the Defense of Consumers and Users and other complementary laws, establishes that “in the cases of basic services of general interestcompanies must have a toll-free customer service number“.

Thus, although ING complies with the obligation to offer a free telephone number for customer service, the Directorate General for Consumption of the Balearic Islands considers that ING has committed a serious administrative offense since the location of the number “is not very intuitive, so that it is not easy for an average consumer to access it“.

Facua stated in its complaint that not having an easy-to-locate toll-free number”works as a real limitation or obstacle for consumers can come into contact with the accused to claim effectively, and generates economic damage in return for the expense that he is forced to bear”.

In addition to the serious administrative offence, Consumption considers that ING also committed a minor offense for not having provided a link allowing access to the dispute resolution platform since, despite the indication “it can be accessed via this link“, there was no linked page.

For all these reasons, the Directorate General for Consumer Affairs initiated sanction proceedings against this bank, imposing a provisional sanction of 23,100.02 euros for having committed two offenses in defense of the rights of consumers and users (19,500, 01 euros for the grave and 3,600.01 euros for the minor).

Facua clarified that to date, ING has already activated the link on its website to access the form for managing complaints and claimsalthough the free customer service phone number still does not appear in the “contact us” section.

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