Credit: ILR

The mediation service of the Luxembourg Regulatory Institute (Institut Luxembourgeois de Régulation - ILR) recently presented its annual activity report for the year 2020.

The report, summarising the activities of the mediation service, revealed that the ILR received 134 mediation requests in 2020. This represents an increase of 8% compared to the 124 applications submitted in 2019. In total, the ILR received 109 requests in the area of ​​electronic communications services (101 in 2019); eight in the energy sector (electricity and / or natural gas) (fourteen in 2019) and seventeen in the field of postal services (nine in 2019).

The ILR observed an increase in requests for mediation in postal services. The number of requests in this area have almost doubled over one year.

Of all mediation requests received in 2020, 56% resulted in an agreement between the parties. In 80% of cases, an agreement had already been reached at the start of the mediation procedure. The ILR also noted a slight increase in online requests; 88% of mediation requests were made online, compared to 82% in 2019.

As a qualified entity, the ILR also dealt with mediation requests submitted by the national service of the mediator of consumption (Service national du Médiateur de la consommation). These represented 10% of requests received in 2020.

In addition, 4% of requests were made by consumers not residing in Luxembourg but having a dispute with a Luxembourg company active in one of the three areas of competence of the ILR.

The ILR always offers consumers some recommendations to follow. Generally, it advises consumers to contact the company in writing upon discovery of a problem. The company can then rectify the situation as soon as possible and the consumer has written proof of his / her challenge.

For the termination of a subscription to electronic communications services, the ILR emphasised that it is important to check in what form and when the contract can be terminated. In the event of termination before the minimum commitment period defined in the contract, the consumer must pay early termination fees, corresponding to the remaining subscription months. In the case of a subscription linked to the acquisition of a  mobile phone, the consumer agrees to a 12- or 24-month subscription during which he / she pays part of the price of the phone on a monthly basis. At the end of the minimum commitment period and without termination by the consumer, the contract continues at the same price conditions for a new period determined in the general conditions. In this context, the ILR suggested that consumers contact their operator before the end of the commitment period in order to obtain a more attractive offer.

The ILR also recommended that consumers of electricity and natural gas sign a supply contract as soon as possible. Before signing a contract, the supply of electricity or natural gas is provided by the supplier by default, at much higher prices. This default supply lasts only six months and the consumer must sign a supply contract before the end of this period to avoid a power cut. Consumers are free to choose their supplier.

The annual activity report of the mediation service is available (in French) at: