Ministry of Commerce approves of consumer right to break off contract with their heating suppliers

“The Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications of Serbia has adopted a decree on the basis of which it has been determined that the Majdanpek thermal power plant engages in unfair, i.e. aggressive business practice, forcing consumers to pay for a heating service that they do not want”; this was announced today by the Association for protection of bank service consumers Efektiva, which says that the Ministry’s decision is a historic one for consumers in Serbia.

As specified, the decision of the Ministry of Trade established that a consumer from Majdanpek twice submitted a request for disconnection from the heating grid, but the power plant ignored their request and continued to issue heating bills, after which it filed a lawsuit against the consumer, reports Beta news agency.

“This decree breaks the monopolistic domination of heating plants in Serbia and will allow consumers to disconnect from the heating grid and look for a cheaper way to heat their homes,” the press release said.

Efektiva also pointed out that, so far, various obstacles have been imposed on consumers in Serbia that have prevented them from exercising their right not to use a service they do not want, i.e. the heating plants are keeping their consumers “stuck” in a contractual relationship, which does not even exist.

“It is the classic position of a slave owner in the 21st century, in which the consumer does not have the right to complain about the quality of service or the price, does not have the right to refuse the service, but their only “right”, i.e. obligation, is to pay the bill issued according to the amount determined by local government,” Efektiva adds.

The association believes that the Ministry of Trade’s decision will make the local authorities re-think pricing policy for utility services.

(Politika, 10.02.2021)




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