The insurance group Indexia (ex-SFAM) has to answer again for misleading commercial practices in court. The consumers’ association helps the victims to assert their rights.
In its letter of April 2022, UFC-Que Choisir gives a large place to its constitution of civil party, with the DGCCRF (General Directorate of Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control), in the upcoming trial against the insurance group Indexia (ex-SFAM).
In 2018, UFC-Que Choisir had already sounded the alarm by filing a complaint against SFAM, which organized a misleading commercial speech leading consumers to subscribe to an insurance contract related to various products, including multimedia or telephony, without them having understood it. This case was closed with a settlement between SFAM and the DGCCRF and the payment of a fine of 10 million euros.
In 2022, SFAM is back on the scene with new controversial practices. Based on its experience, SFAM (now INDEXIA) has developed a new strategy. It is no longer a single company – SFAM – that is organizing dubious practices, but rather 5 companies of the INDEXIA group (SFAM, FORIOU, HUBSIDE, CYRANA and SERENA) that are being prosecuted.
A new modus operandi
The main companies of the INDEXIA group are now suspected of having designed and deployed a parallel commercial policy, between March 2014 and July 2020, with the sole objective of preventing consumers at all costs from cancelling their so-called contract, and obtaining refunds of the sums taken.
In practice, consumers discover suspicious payments on their bank account, with different wordings, dates and amounts. Once the company has been identified, they quickly initiate a procedure to terminate the contract(s).
However, despite the confirmation of their termination by the advisors of the various companies, internal instructions were put in place not to process these terminations and to maintain the direct debits.
The thousands of reports received by UFC Que Choisir confirm these practices. An obstacle course is then opened to obtain the reimbursement.
Instructions for use for victims
UFC-Que Choisir intends to allow all consumers who are victims of these practices to win their case in this new case.
The association puts online today, free of charge, on its website, all the tools necessary for victims to assert their rights and intervene before the Criminal Court of Paris.
Consumers should check if they are concerned by the practices being prosecuted and personalized letter templates to be a civil party in the upcoming trial are available on our site.
For Alain Bazot, President of UFC-Que Choisir, “Beyond the necessary criminal repression, the compensation of all victims to which the association is working will be decisive to eradicate the recurrent practices of the companies of the INDEXIA group”.
In an interview to our colleagues of France Bleu Isère, Jean-Pierre Galera, deputy general manager of Indexia Group whose head office is in Romans-sur-Isère (Drôme) explains that “the company does its best and that the dissatisfied customers are a minority. It’s less than 1% out of 7 to 8 million clients we have been managing for 22 years.”