Online services

Have you bought a membership for a dating service, an online betting site, Netflix or Spotify? These services are not directly regulated, so the contract determines your rights and obligations.

Check the terms and conditions

Norwegian law does not directly regulate the purchase of general services. This means that your rights and obligations are determined by the contract. Pay extra attention to the terms regarding prices, right of withdrawal and cancellation, lock-in periods, subscription time and termination.

Is the contract valid?

If you have not expressly acknowledged that the service you ordered implies an obligation to pay, the contract is not binding. If the order is executed by pressing a button, the button must clearly state that you agree to an order/payment, e.g. “buy now,” “confirm purchase” or similar words.

Furthermore, information about the duration of the contract and the price must be clearly stated and be part of the order registration process. “Clearly stated” means that clicking on the terms and conditions that apply to the subscription or payment is not enough. If you have to press a button to activate the order, the information must be as close to the order button as possible and with a text size that enables you to see the information clearly. If this is not the case, you can argue that the contract is not binding based of the fact that the terms were not presented correctly.

Right of withdrawal

As a rule, you have 14 days to cancel a service you booked from the time you purchased the service.

You may have agreed that the trader should start to supply a service, e.g. a dating service, before the end of the cooling-off period. If you have explicitly agreed to start receiving the service before the end of the cooling-off period, the trader may charge you for what you’ve already received if you decide to cancel. Read more on your right of withdrawal here.

Termination

Note that many services are automatically renewed unless you take active steps to terminate your subscription. Many people find it difficult to unsubscribe. Some choose to block their payment card to avoid further withdrawals. This is not a sufficient means of termination and you could still get an invoice from the company by mail.

If you wish to terminate the contract, the rules for termination are stated in the terms and conditions. It is often sufficient to send a written notice to the service provider, preferably by e-mail, where you inform them that you are terminating the contract.

Some service providers complicate a termination by setting formal administrative requirements for how a contract should be terminated. These formal termination requirements can be deemed unreasonable. For example, the business may require you to send a termination by mail or fax, when you know a single click would suffice. It should be just as easy to end a subscription as it is to sign up.

Chargeback – refunds from credit provider

If the service provider continues to withdraw money from your bank account, even after you informed them of your intention to terminate the contract, you should simply block your bank card. Note that you may later receive an invoice from the service provider by e-mail. You should also contact your bank to ask them about the possibility of getting a refund through them. Read more about chargeback here.

Contact ECC Norway

If you have further questions regarding online services, feel free to contact ECC Norway.