Purchase of goods and services
Avoiding hidden and unwanted subscriptions
Beware of the many offers online for free trial packages or tickets and gift cards with major discounts. You risk being tied into a subscription without being aware of it. Read here about your rights if you receive an unwanted trial package or receive a bill for a subscription you didn’t order.
In principle you have a 14-day cooling-off period if you have entered into an online subscription agreement with a seller or service provider in an EU Member State.
If you only discover that you are bound by a subscription after the cooling-off period expires, write to the seller as soon as possible and ask them to document that you have accepted a subscription.
The seller must prove that you have accepted a subscription
When you order a trial package on a website, it must be clearly stated in connection with the order if you are committing to a subscription. If it is not clearly stated that you are undertaking a payment obligation, then in principle you are not bound by the agreement.
It is the seller who must prove that you have accepted an online subscription agreement that you have to pay.
You must also have received information about, for example, the cooling-off period and, if applicable, any lock-in period. If you haven’t received this information, you are not bound by the agreement.
If you want to cancel a subscription
Some companies have very specific requirements for how to cancel a membership or subscription. It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with these requirements before starting the subscription. You can find these, for example, in the general trading terms and conditions in the event of cancellation.
If you want to cancel your subscription, it is not enough to simply stop the payment or, for example, delete your profile. The subscription will then continue to apply, but without you paying for it. This can later cause problems with reminder fees and debt collection. You must therefore give direct and written notice to the company, for example in an email.
There are no formal requirements for how to cancel your subscription, but the seller can recommend a method in their terms and conditions. To avoid problems, you should always terminate the membership in the manner described in the terms of the agreement. If you have to use a form on the website, take a screenshot before submitting it so you can document that you have cancelled your membership.
Many memberships are continuous. This means that your subscription will be renewed automatically unless you terminate the agreement yourself. If you are in the middle of a lock-in period, you cannot terminate your membership until the period has expired. Any lock-in period must be stated in the terms of the agreement in order to be valid.
Do not pay for an unwanted package
Many sellers offer a free or very cheap trial package, for example on health products, pills and the like. When you order a trial package, the seller may only send you this one package, unless it is clear that you are signed up for a subscription that includes multiple shipments.
You are not obliged to pay if you subsequently receive a new package or a bill for a package you didn’t order. Nor are you obliged to pay for the return of a package to a seller that you didn’t order. However, you have a duty to store the package properly until the seller either picks up the package or sends you a return label. If the seller does not do this, then you can do what you want with the package.
You should contact the seller in writing and point out that you didn’t order the item and will not pay for it. Also inform the seller that they can pick up the item at your place of residence.
What to do if you receive a package you didn’t order:
- Send an email to the sender and explain that you have received a package that you didn’t order. If the company has a contact form on their website, take a screenshot before submitting it so you can document your complaint
- Do not simply return the package. Ask the sender to pick up the package at your place of residence
- If the sender maintains that you have ordered the package, you must request documentation
- If you didn’t order the package and the sender will not pick up the package, then you can do what you want with it.
- Subscriptions: Request documentation from the seller that you have entered into a subscription agreement
- Always remember to keep a copy of your objection
What to do if you receive a claim
- Complain to the seller immediately and demand documentation for the claim. Always keep a copy of your complaint
- Complain to the debt collection agency immediately if you receive a debt collection letter. Always keep a copy of your complaint
- Do not pay unless you receive documentation of the claim.
Tips for avoiding unwanted subscriptions
- Before you order, check whether you will be bound by a membership/subscription
- Pay extra attention if there is a major discount or saving
- Check if you are required to receive more shipments before you can unsubscribe again
- Save a copy of the advertisement
Dating sites and dating subscriptions
In principle you have a 14-day cooling-off period when you create a dating profile online. However, dating sites will often ask you to accept that the cooling-off period will no longer apply because the subscription begins the second you finished creating the profile. It must be clear at the time of creation that your cooling-off period no longer applies in order for the agreement to be valid.
Save a copy of the agreement so you can later see what you have committed to. If necessary, take a screenshot of the agreement.
It is important that you read the terms and conditions of the dating site carefully before purchasing a subscription for online dating. You are only bound by the subscription if you have been made aware that you are bound by a membership or that it costs money.
Check, among other things, how long you are committed and how to cancel the subscription. If you cannot find clear information about, for example, the lock-in period, the price and the deadline for cancelling the subscription, then be careful when signing up for the dating site.
Some dating sites offer a welcome offer where you get the first month for free. You are then bound by a membership that costs money. Other dating sites offer a free membership with the option to upgrade to a membership that costs money. If you have signed up for a trial subscription to online dating, then pay special attention to whether the agreement with the dating site automatically continues after the trial period so that you are bound by the agreement until you terminate it yourself.
Also check if you are signing up for a direct debit agreement, and keep an eye on your account on an ongoing basis. Furthermore, check to see if you are agreeing to receive promotional materials and newsletters when you sign up for the dating site
How can I make a complaint about a dating site?
If you find that the dating site continues to withdraw money after you have cancelled your dating subscription, you should contact the dating site immediately.
If you cannot solve the problems by contacting the dating site, you can complain to the Complaint Resolution Centre if it is a Danish company and if the subscription has cost more than DKK 1,050.
Read more about the consumer complaint system here (Insert link) https://www.forbrug.dk/klagemuligheder/oversigt-over-klageinstanser/forbrugerklagesystemet/
If the dating site is domiciled in one of the other EU Member States, Norway or Iceland, you can contact ECC Denmark, which offers free guidance and redress. (Insert link to the new page for lodging a complaint)
If the photos you have uploaded on your profile are misused for marketing purposes, contact the dating site in the first instance. If you cannot find a solution, you can contact the Consumer Ombudsman. (insert link) https://www.forbrugerombudsmanden.dk/
Can the company send a claim against me for debt collection when I didn’t order the item?
A seller may not send a claim against you for debt collection unless the seller can document that you owe money for a product or service. If you didn’t order anything from the seller, it will be difficult for them to prove a purchase.
If you receive a debt collection letter stating that you have ordered goods that you have not paid for, you must immediately contact the debt collection agency or the lawyer in writing and state why you believe you should not pay. In this way, you can document that you have drawn attention to the error. You risk being obliged to pay for the goods if you are passive and do not respond to the debt collection letter. Always remember to keep a copy of your objection.
If you have previously complained to the seller, you can send a copy of your objection. Ask the debt collection agency to show documentation for their claim and refuse to pay unless the claim is documented.
How do I get a debt collection company to stop sending reminders after the termination of my subscription?
If you receive an unjustified demand from a debt collection company or a lawyer in another country, be sure to object in writing to both the seller and the debt collection company. You must state that you cannot accept the claim. If you have received confirmation of the termination of the subscription, you must attach the confirmation.
Once you have objected, the debt collection company must not send you more reminders. If the debt collection company then wants to pursue the claim against you, they must do so in a Danish court – but they often do not do so.
It is important that you are not passive, but respond as quickly as you can once you have received the demand.
If you receive a claim that may be correct but you want to make a complaint, ask the company to tell you how to make a complaint.
You may find that a company with branches in both Denmark and another country sends a debt collection claim. In such cases, send your written objection to both branches. Remember to document your objection, for example by taking a screenshot before clicking send.
In Denmark, the period of limitation is three years. In other countries, the deadline may be longer.
If you still receive reminders, you can file a complaint with ECC Denmark if the company is based in another EU Member State, Norway or Iceland. Contact ECC Denmark here (Insert link to the new page for lodging a complaint).If you feel harassed or pressured by a company that, for example, frequently calls you and makes demands, you can report the company to the National Police of Denmark.
If it is a Danish company, you can report them to the Consumer Ombudsman (In Danish, forbrugerombudsmanden.dk).
Get help with your complaint
If you have entered into a subscription agreement without being aware of it, or have received a package or an invoice for a package that you didn’t order, then you must contact the seller yourself and try to find a solution.
If the seller does not respond or the seller continues to demand payment etc., you can complain to ECC Denmark, which offers free legal guidance and help to complain by contacting the ECC Denmark network.