Consumer advocates warn against the electricity suppliers Voxenergie & primastrom. Both companies have had a lawyer send us a statement.
Consumer advocates warn against these electricity suppliers.
Update from May 12, 2022: Voxenergie and primastrom have a lawyer answer
Today, May 12, 2022, Voxenergie and primastrom, who give the same street in Berlin as their address and both belong to Primaholding, sent us an undaunted answer to our inquiry of May 4, 2022 through lawyer Michael Philippi from the law firm. We did not receive a direct answer from the two companies through a spokesman. In our experience, this approach is completely unusual. For the most part, the lawyer’s statement does not address the allegations made by consumer advocates at all, but instead criticizes the nature of our inquiry and obviously tries to prevent reporting. We reproduce here only those parts of the statement that relate to the criticism of consumer advocates and omit the other parts of the statement.
Our clients, voxenergie GmbH and primastrom GmbH, have commissioned us to comment on your attached request of May 4th, 2022.
2. The following statements are therefore only made as a precautionary measure and within the scope of what is possible given the general request (
So this is where the part of the answer that is relevant to the accusations of consumer protection begins):
In the case mentioned by VZB, it was not possible to understand from the press release without naming the specific customer data whether the allegedly affected customers of our clientele actually responded to an increase in electricity prices – partly because of the exorbitant rise in energy costs on the exchange – and a herewith associated special right of termination have been pointed out. The correspondence provided by the VZB for this purpose had all the relevant data blacked out, which our clients could have used to identify the customers and check the facts. Our client had informed VZB of this out of court within the period set by VZB.
3. If customers had to increase electricity prices and the related down payments due to the extremely high procurement prices (see above), this was done as a necessary contract adjustment on the legal basis of § 313 Paragraph 1 BGB. A more detailed statement on any individual cases is not possible here due to the high number of customers of our clientele, but in principle our clients send price increase letters in such cases, in which reference is also made to a special right of termination associated with this.
Our clients cannot accept the blanket accusation of ‘foisted contracts’ due to a lack of specific individual cases. In general, however, our clients identify themselves when initiating and concluding a contract by designating the company name and also complying with the applicable legal regulations. (
Here ends the part of the statement that refers to the allegations made by consumer advocates)….
The newspaper for municipal economy has dealt in more detail with Voxenergie and Primastrom in the article The controversial practices of the electricity providers Voxenergie and Primastrom. The Hamburg consumer advice center accuses Primastrom of violating information obligations. The Saarländisches Rundfunk, in turn, writes that Voxenergie and primastrom have been criticized nationwide for a long time because of their business practices.
Update end, beginning of the original message: consumer advocates warn of these electricity suppliers
The Bavarian consumer center and the Rhineland-Palatinate consumer center warn of two electricity suppliers. According to the consumer advocates, since January 2022 “the complaints to the consumer advice centers about the questionable behavior of voxenergie and primastrom have skyrocketed”.
The complaints are usually about “the fact that the two providers have increased the agreed consumption price sharply despite the price guarantee”. Often, the two criticized electricity suppliers would also have increased the monthly payment extremely sharply. Furthermore, both companies repeatedly ignore the statutory special right of termination that customers are entitled to in the event of contract or price changes, as consumer advocates emphasize.
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The consumer centers advise affected customers not to pay the inadmissibly excessive claims.
“The Federal Network Agency, as the responsible supervisory authority, should intervene quickly and effectively in view of the numerous breaches of contract,” demands Marion Gaksch, energy law expert at the Bavarian Consumer Advice Center. “In the case of the consumer centers alone, the number of reported cases should be several thousand.”
Fabian Fehrenbach, energy law expert at the Rhineland-Palatinate consumer advice center, agrees with his colleague from Bavaria on these points.
The consumer advocates from Lower Saxony also warn against Voxenergie and primastrom. The Lower Saxony write literally: “Please understand that we can hardly cope with the flood of inquiries about primastrom GmbH at the moment. Be patient!”.
In turn, the Brandenburg consumer advice center issued a warning to voxenergie.
Federal Network Agency is informed
According to their own words, the consumer advice centers informed the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) via their Federal Association (vzbv) about these abuses at an early stage and asked for regulatory intervention. The Federal Network Agency is currently examining the market behavior of the providers that has been criticized by the consumer associations. The consumer advice centers offer information on problems relating to electricity and gas contracts here. You can use this link to complain to the Federal Network Agency about an electricity supplier.
The reviews of primastrom on trustpilot are extremely negative.
In this context, the consumer advocates point out the problem of the legal assessment: because those seeking advice would ask again and again whether these processes are fraudulent or whether behavior is relevant under criminal law. However, the answer to this question is not the responsibility of the consumer advice centers, as they emphasize. But this question would have to be assessed by the criminal investigation authorities. This in turn requires a criminal complaint to the police or the public prosecutor’s office, which only those affected can report themselves, as consumer advocates explain.