You buy a telephone and at the same time take out insurance, for a few euros per month, in the event of breakage or oxidation. Except that you find yourself paying several hundred, sometimes several thousand euros, with “small deductions”, 15 euros here, 25 euros there, over several years. “My mother-in-law, who is 91, bought a phone in 2019, says Patricia to RMC. We made her take out contracts. account. In 2019, over the year, he was deducted 436 euros. In 2020, 871 euros. And in 2021, 1,338 euros. Each year, it increases. ”
Abusive deductions, requests for reimbursement not followed by effects and impossibility of terminating contracts: methods denounced by more than 500 people on a Facebook page entitled “SFAM scam”. SFAM for French Mobile Insurance Company. Second shareholder of FNAC, the company, which claims 8 million customers in Europe, changed its name to Indexia in 2019, after having already had to pay a fine of 10 million euros to the repression of fraud for misleading commercial practices. .
According to information from RMC, a dozen people approached a lawyer to initiate a collective legal action. “People are ready to come together. We are going to take action very quickly to obtain reimbursement of the sums unduly deducted”, explains Emma Léoty, the lawyer in charge of the case.
>> All the podcasts of “RMC is committed to you”
“I got up in the morning to go scam people”
A former employee of a franchised FNAC Indexia agreed to speak to RMC anonymously…Officially, Valéria advised customers in the book department. But most of his days consisted of selling as many insurance contracts as possible to as many clients as possible. “Clients found themselves in debt, she confides. I even had a client who found herself in the Bank of France because of me. I hated myself. I got up in the morning to go and scam people. that was my job.”
Despite the name change, and the record fine, the methods continue. In a document from the Paris Court of Appeal of September 2021, we discover that the DGCCRF again received more than 700 complaints concerning the group and its subsidiaries, between September 2019 and May 2020, in particular for problems of impossible termination. “Reading a document entitled “internal procedure” would reveal that first-level complaints are not processed. These instructions would confirm the practices denounced by consumers, linked to the lack of effective consideration of their request for termination , and would explain the maintenance of the bank debits despite the oral confirmation of their termination by the advisers”, can we read in this document.
For journalist Yohan Pavec, founder of the Youtube channel Le Canard Réfractaire, who has been investigating Indexia for years, not only is nothing changing, but the situation is getting worse for customers: “Practices are perpetuated, and even amplified with the time, with the creation of new services, with new direct debits which are added to previous direct debits, and prices which also increase”.
Internal tensions related to the treatment of customers
Internal documents that RMC was able to obtain also show internal tensions in the company, related to the treatment of customers. In questions addressed to the management, and in a letter addressed directly to the CEO of Indexia, Sadri Fegaier, France’s youngest billionaire, the CFDT asks: “How many times does a customer wishing to cancel have to call to have their cancellation taken into account?”, or “Is it beneficial for the company to invoice customers in their free month?”.
Asked about these different points, the number 2 of Indexia, Jean-Pierre Galéra, is formal: “I can assure you that at no time are we giving this kind of instructions”. He claims not to be aware of the questions addressed by the unions to the management: “Customers can terminate either by mail, or by telephone, or by email. And at the first request, we terminate their contract”. Justice will now look into the matter.