3.5 million Europeans affected by subscription traps

5/9/2017

In Europe, 3.5 million consumers are estimated to have been affected by subscription traps over the past three years. Those affected, 19 percent chooses to pay when the company demands money, even though they do not consider themselves to have ordered anything.

Over the last three years, 3.5 million consumers in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Netherlands, Belgium and Austria are estimated to have accepted an offer online or in social media that led to a subscription trap, making subscription traps a multi-million industry. That shows a survey from Sifo Kantar, commissioned by ECC Sweden and the Swedish Consumer Agency.

Subscription traps are offers on cheap products that lead to costly subscriptions for those who accept. Usually, the consumer needs to pay with debit or credit card to claim the offer, otherwise by invoice.

The results of the survey show that the European consumers have low awareness of their rights when they suffer from a subscription trap. Among other, 19 percent of consumers chooses to pay when the company demands money, even though they do not consider themselves to have ordered anything. The survey shows that the average cost of a subscription trap for European consumers is 115,7 euro.

The survey also shows that 51 percent of European consumers knows that they can contact their bank or credit card provider to make a claim if the seller refuses repay, so-called chargeback, and that only 11 percent of those affected by a subscription trap chooses to do so.

"More consumers must have the courage to stand up for themselves when they receive goods they have not ordered or get lured into unwanted subscriptions. They should dare to contest instead of paying. The result shows that we still have much to do regarding consumers embracing essential information", says Jolanda Girzl, director of ECC Sweden.

About the survey

The survey was quantitative survey conducted by Sifo Kantar in the six countries Sweden, Norway, Finland, Netherlands, Belgium and Austria, which have reported the largest number of problems with subscription traps within the ECC network.

Download the presentation from Sifo Kantar (in English)

About subscription traps

About the ECC-Net

ECC [country] is part of the network of European Consumer Centers Network that consists of ECC offices in 30 countries in Europe. ECC-Net offers free information and advice to consumers on cross-border purchases within the EU, Norway and Iceland.

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Questions are answered by ECC Sweden's Head Officer Jolanda Girzl, phone: 054-19 40 52. Follow us on Twitter.