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The year in review

Since the entry into force of the class action regime in the Belgian legal order in September 2014, eight class actions have been instigated. Seven out of eight actions were brought by Test Achats, the main Belgian consumer protection organisation.

The first action was brought against the commercial airline company Thomas Cook following a major delay of a flight from Tenerife South to Belgium. The second action was launched to obtain compensation from the national railway company SNCB/NBMS for the interruption and the suspension of the train service during eight days of strikes in 2014 and 2015. The third class action was brought against the Volkswagen Group within the context of the 'Dieselgate' scandal. The fourth action was initiated against the largest Belgian telecommunications company (Proximus) after it introduced a renting formula for its new decoders. The fifth class action was initiated against eight websites involved in the resale of concert tickets at exorbitant prices. The sixth class action was initiated against the marketing company Groupon following a sales offer for diapers by a company named Luierbox. The seventh class action was brought against three Facebook entities within the context of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. The most recent class action was initiated at the initiative of the Ombudsman for Energy by the consumer ombudsman service against six energy suppliers concerning fixed fees that energy suppliers continue to charge when the energy contract is terminated early.