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franceinfo conso. The seven “cacti of the worst” of 60 million consumers


Every year, 60 Million Consumers Magazine awards its “cacti” to companies that have served their customers the most poorly. (DR)

franceinfo: Who abused consumer confidence in 2020 and did not ensure a quality of service worthy of the name? We can see this with the ranking established each year by the magazine 60 million consumers and to present it to us we are with Lionnel Maugain, section manager at the magazine. Year 2020, the year of a pandemic that has upset consumption and this marks the winners: the golden cactus is for Go voyages-Opodo, a major player in online tourism …

Lionnel Maugain : it’s a bit normal: it is in the travel sector that litigation is the most numerous in 2020. So in first place, we have this major player in the sector, Go voyages-Opodo, which belongs to the E Dreams group : it’s a bit normal. It is in the travel sector that litigation is most numerous in 2020. What they are criticized for is that they have been unable to cope with requests for reimbursement from their clients. They have handled two million cases, but there is still a lot to deal with: since March 2020, there are certain clients who are waiting for sums which are sometimes considerable.

Did their competitors do better?

The most important criticism made of Go voyages-Opodo is that it was slow to react to the consequences of the crisis. Their customer service was not strengthened until late. Tens of thousands of consumers, if not hundreds of thousands, have made multiple phone calls and emails, and they have never been able to reach anyone. Hence this colossal exasperation which earned them their golden cactus.

During the confinement, many French people launched online prize pools, for caregivers in particular, is the cactus of the bug of the year for Leetchi?

Yes, because many of the creators of these online prize pools have complained that they cannot collect the money. Leetchi has not stopped asking them for supporting documents, quotes, invoices, the intervention of an association to receive the funds … We can understand this type of verification, but this has resulted in the blocking of many funds that have were formed in good faith when they were most useful. So again, this is customer service that has been totally overwhelmed.

We are leaving the field of the health crisis to talk now about the abuse cactus of the year. It is for an energy supplier, ENI, the Italian group which is pinned in particular by the energy mediator. What was the problem?

We are appalled by the number of complaints which concern this gas and electricity supplier ENI. This relates to inaccurate invoices as well as overpayments not reimbursed on time, undue withdrawals, difficulties in terminating contracts … Not to mention the way in which they often canvass in an abusive manner and which has earned the company a sanction of a fine of € 315,000 imposed by the repression of fraud. To be honest, it is really the worst energy supplier of the year and yet there is competition in this sector!

And the cactus of the sesame health scandal that contaminated hundreds of products that had to be taken off the shelves?

In September-October, this is a case that we have not necessarily talked much about, even though it is still tens of tons of sesame. It’s seeds are mainly from India and over there they have been treated with too high levels of a material called ethylene dioxide Classified carcinogenic, not good at all! It is found in a great many products, ready meals, cookies, bread, rusks, chocolate bars, etc. Product recall campaigns have not been very loudly trumpeted. What is also most shocking in this case is that a large number of products affected by this overdose of pesticide are “organic” products, so it’s really a health scandal!

The dangerous product of the year cactus takes us to the United States, with a reclining baby chair, a kind of bassinet that can be put upright and it is very dangerous for infants!

Yes, and this is also an opportunity to raise an alert in France: the University of Medical Sciences of Arkansas has demonstrated a risk of suffocation as soon as the deckchair is tilted more than ten degrees. And there, the baby risks suffocation, either by turning over on its side or on its stomach, or by tilting its head too much. This type of product will be banned in the United States since they still counted a hundred deaths! In France, there was a recall on a Fisher-Price model in 2019, but no other has been organized since. In general, we would like to draw attention to inclined beds for babies. It’s really dangerous.

These cacti can be found on the website of 60 million consumers.

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