Facua assures that the Ministry of Consumer Affairs investigates dozens of OCU agreements with companies

After a complaint from Facua itself.

Facua assures that the Ministry of Consumer Affairs investigates dozens of OCU agreements with companies

After a complaint from Facua itself


The consumer organization Facua-Consumidores en Acción has assured this Tuesday that the Ministry of Consumption is investigating dozens of agreements signed by the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) with companies after a complaint filed by it itself last November.

In its complaint, Facua considers that the OCU violates the prohibition to "make commercial communications of goods and services" and its duty of independence, it indicates in a press release.

Facua adds that Consumo, whose investigation has been carried out by 'El País', has been waiting for months for the OCU to respond to a request for information about the agreement it announced in 2021 with Facebook.

This is an agreement through which the organization withdrew a lawsuit against the multinational for irregularities in data protection in which it claimed compensation for tens of thousands of consumers, which they ultimately did not receive, according to Facua in the statement.

Likewise, according to Facua's complaint, numerous companies pay a commission to an instrumental company of the OCU for each client that attracts them through advertising of their offers.

Facua points out that in the last decade at least eight energy companies, a telecommunications group, a financial intermediary and an insurer have done so.

In its complaint, Facua also exposes a series of examples of advertising messages launched by the OCU on its website and in its magazines to promote the contracting of services from different companies.

It points out that in some cases it not only advertises them, but also endorses the quality of the services offered without actually verifying how they are provided and ensuring that they have been assessed by "OCU experts when it is the company in question that values".

In the cases that Facua has been able to document, the commissions oscillate between 18.15 and 80 euros per customer, although in one of them the amount is variable, as it is 0.2% of the amount of the mortgage loans that users subscribe to. through an intermediary (about 300 euros in the case of an average mortgage).

According to Facua, the company that receives the payments is OCU Ediciones. The OCU only owns 10% of this company, while 90% is in the hands of the Belgian association Test Achats/Test Aankoop.

Both organizations are part of the international Euroconsumers group, which integrates consumer associations and instrumental trading companies in Spain, Belgium, Italy, Brazil and Portugal, a country in which it also owns a real estate company and a financial investment consultancy.

In addition, Facua ensures that the network has another company in Luxembourg (Euroconsumers), a foundation in the Netherlands (Stichting International Consumer Interests) and, until recently, a company in Hong Kong (Worldcado Limited), which closed shortly after going public. that its director was in charge of a company in the tax haven of the British Virgin Islands.