It is the Danish Consumer Ombudsman’s assessment that the dating website Be2’s marketing practices infringe Danish and European law.
Therefore, the Danish Consumer Ombudsman has requested that the Luxembourgish authorities take action against the dating website. Be2 is based in Luxembourg but markets its services in other countries, including Denmark.
The Danish Consumer Ombudsman has raised this matter based on complaints from Danish consumers.
Commonly, the consumers have signed up for a trial subscription or a short-term subscription to Be2’s services for a certain price, but later discover that they are invoiced for a much larger amount that agreed upon. The information that the subscription is automatically extended unless the consumer actively cancels the subscription is not clearly provided on the website. Furthermore, the consumers experience difficulties when trying to cancel the subscription as cancellation must be done via fax, letter or login on the website. Be2 claims that the subscription can be cancelled via email but consumers complain that their cancellation requests sent via email are not recognized.
The Danish Consumer Ombudsman has requested that the authorities in Luxembourg ensure that consumers – prior to entering into a subscription – are clearly informed that the subscription is automatically extended. Additionally, Be2 shall comply with consumers’ cancellations sent via email.
Danish Consumer Ombudsman, Christina Toftegaard Nielsen, states the following:
“It is our assessment that Be2 misleads consumers in violation of both Danish and European law. As the company is based in Luxembourg, we have requested that the Luxembourgish authorities process the case in order to ensure that Be2 for the future will act in compliance with the law”
“We can see that consumers experience major problems with Be2. They are invoiced for larger amounts than agreed upon, it is very difficult for consumers to cancel their subscriptions and the information that the subscription is automatically extended after the trial period is not provided in a clear manner. We want to put a stop to this.”
When a trader based in an EU member state markets his services on the internet, and directs his marketing at other EU member states, the trader must comply with the marketing law of the country in which he is established. As a rule, this country’s authorities are responsible for enforcing the rules. This is established by the country of origin principle enshrined in Article 3(1) of the e-Commerce Directive, which is implemented in Danish law through Section 3 of the E-Commerce Act.
NOTE: The article is translated version of a press release from the Danish Ombudsman, which can be found at their website: Forbrugerombudsmanden: Luxembourgsk datingside vildleder forbrugere.