What is our role?
- We work to ensure that contracts for products are balanced and clear, and that they do not unfairly lock consumers into one supplier.
- We work to ensure that all advertising of Internet, phone and television services provide consumers with the information they need to be able to choose between different services.
- We work to ensure that consumer rights are also addressed when providers use new sales and advertising methods in the digital economy.
Important to know
The Consumer Authority believes that binding periods for subscriptions should not exceed twelve months. Consumers must get an economic benefit to compensate for the disadvantage of the binding period, and it must be possible to get out of the contract by paying a fee. Since 2013, this has been a requirement of the Electronic Communications Act.
Long notice periods can have a locking-in effect for the consumer. Notice periods that are longer than the time necessary to cancel a contract may therefore constitute an unreasonable requirement. The period of notice should be no longer than the current month plus one month.
Locking-in terms and mechanisms
Other terms that unreasonably prevent consumers from switching from one provider to another can also be illegal, such as when the terms require cancellations to be conducted in a certain way. In addition, terms that oblige you to buy one service in order to get another can be an illegal forced bundling.
We believe that terms requiring consumers to also pay for a TV subscription in order to sign up for Internet access (“forced bundling”) are illegal. Both Canal Digital and Get have committed to put an end to forced bundling in 2016 after negotiations with the Consumer Authority.
In advertisements for a service or product, price information and other significant information must always be provided on the first screen in order to give a complete picture of the offer. This includes total price, information about any binding periods, the length of the binding periods and other variable costs. Read the Consumer Authority’s guidelines on price marketing.
Marketing of speed
In the marketing of speed on mobile phones, mobile broadband and broadband, one must always state the speed the customer can expect, as well as the fact that the speed will vary.
Consumers must be able to trust what is written in user reviews. This means that all reviews, both positive and negative, must be published. Traders that use reviews must never purchase or write fake user reviews. Read our guidelines here.
Use of tests in marketing
Mobile providers often use test results in advertisements in order to promote the speed and coverage they provide. If they use test results, they must be able to back up the claims. The Consumer Authority has a set of requirements for providers who use tests in marketing.
Hidden marketing in social media and traditional media
According to the Marketing Control Act, all advertising must be identifiable as such. The reader shall be able to distinguish advertising from non-advertising. Read more about this in our guidelines for labelling marketing in social media.