Warning against online subscription traps
The European Consumer Centre Austria (ECC) is currently receiving requests regarding several online portals that are indicating costs inadequately. Among others, these are "rezepte-portal-24.net", "routenplaner-24.net" and also "horoskop-portal-24.net".
According to the imprint, those portals are operated by the firm "Premium Media Service Ltd." that is situated in Belize. But the service centre for Europe and therefore the contact point for European consumers is the "Pable Domainverwaltung" in Vienna.
Note: The registration on these websites is not free of charge!! The indication of these costs is difficult to recognize. These are so called subscription traps. This means: Consumers registrate themselves with their mail address in order to use the offered services or to participate in a lottery. A little while later, they receive a bill due to their "subscription" or "membership".
Violation of the button solution
This procedure is prohibited by the new regulations of the EU Consumer Rights Directive. The corresponding Austrian law came into force on 13.06.2014 (see this article). According to the "button solution", the costs of a service have to be clearly indicated. If a consumer concludes a contract by clicking on "registrate", "order" or something similar, all associated costs have to be stated. The button has to labeled with terms like "buy" or "order with obligation to pay".
If the button solution is violated, no contract results. Consumers are not obliged to pay anything! If the trader or company claims that a contract with obligation to payments exists, the consumer can declare his withdrawal to be on the safe side (this was possible even before the implementation of the button solution). On our website, you find a sample letter to send to the company.
On the online portals of the "Pable Domainverwaltung", indications of possible costs are hidden on the bottom of the site or only appear after the registration.
Important note for German consumers: In Germany, the button solution came into force in August 2012. Affected consumers can refer to it, even if the website is operated by an Austrian firm.
Consumer protection helps
The European Consumer Centre Austria (ECC) helps consumers with cross-border problems in Europe. If you live in another EU Member State and face troubles with one of the above mentioned or alike websites operated by an Austrian provider, please feel free to turn to us. Find our contact details here.
The Verein für Konsumenteninformation (VKI) helps Austrian consumers who get inadmissable bills from Austrian providers.