Be careful when terminating different subscription contracts – consumers complain about the termination service

The European Consumer Centre has received 60 complaints from Finnish consumers about the subscription termination service, which is subject to a charge, provided by the Dutch company Metis International B.V. Consumers have reported that they have received an invoice for a service they did not order, or that they have mistakenly terminated a service on the Finnish-language website when looking for the actual service provider.

Metis International B.V. offers a service whereby it sends a letter of termination on behalf of a customer for a service of their choice, such as streaming services or magazine subscriptions. The cost of the termination service is €30, which, according to the company, consists of printing out the termination letter and sending it on by post. The European Consumer Centre has received 54 complaints from Finnish consumers about this year and 6 complaints last year. The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority’s (FCCA) Consumer Advisory Services has received 57 complaints about the same service this year and 10 last year. The figures include 36 overlapping cases where some consumers were referred from Consumer Advisory Services to the European Consumer Centre.

The complaints have concerned in particular situations such as:

  1. Consumers have mistakenly tried to cancel their subscription via the website. For example, they have found it through search engine results after looking for the website or contact details of the service they are trying to cancel.
  2. Consumers report that they have never visited but have nevertheless received an invoice from the company.
  3. Consumers have knowingly ordered a termination service for €30 but have not received the service they bought or have been unable to pay the invoice due to an issue on the company’s end.

Instructions for consumers

  • Always terminate subscriptions directly through the providers’ own self-service channels or customer service. Be careful not to end up with a termination service subject to a charge, if you search for the service you want to terminate using the name of the service via internet search engines.
  • If you have received an unjustified invoice from a vendor, make a written complaint to the company disputing your liability to pay. You should send your complaint by email so that you can keep a copy of it for yourself. The company’s email address is listed on its website in the “Yhteystiedot” (Contact Us) section.
  • The company’s invoice is unjustified if you have not ordered the termination service. The burden of proof that a contract has been concluded lies with the service provider. In addition, if you have explicitly ordered a termination service but this has not led to the termination of your subscription, you may be able to claim that there was a defect in the termination service.
  • The consumer is also not liable to pay if the trader has not informed the consumer in advance of the conditions for exercising the right of cancellation or of the obligation to pay compensation for the cancellation of a service that has already begun. The same applies where the trader has started performance of the contract during the cancellation period without the consumer’s express request. Currently, the website does not provide any information on the conditions for exercising the right of cancellation or on liability, nor does it ask for the consumer’s explicit consent to the service being performed during the cancellation period. This means that you are not liable to pay for any termination service provided in whole or in part by the company. However, in order for these rules to apply, you must have cancelled the termination service within the 14-day cancellation period. If you have not been informed of the terms and conditions for using the right of cancellation, the cancellation period will be extended to 12 months. If the vendor provides the missing information during this period, the cancellation period ends 14 days after the date on which you received the information.
  • If you do not pay your invoice, you may receive payment reminders from the company. You do not have to dispute each invoice individually, as one complaint to the company is enough. So far, we are not aware of any cases that have progressed to debt collection.
  • If your case is not progressing with the company and you need advice, contact the European Consumer Centre. If you have already contacted us and are still receiving new payment reminders, you do not need to inform us of these. Contact the European Consumer Centre again only if you are contacted directly by a debt collection agency or court of law.

The European Consumer Centre is currently mediating individual cases with the company in cooperation with the European Consumer Centre in the Netherlands. The Finnish Consumer Ombudsman is also aware of the issues concerning

The termination service has also been the subject of complaints to consumer authorities in other countries. This year, there have already been a little over 400 consumer contacts in Sweden and 320 in Denmark about the company.

Another similar termination service that charges is about which there have also been individual complaints. It is also backed by a Dutch company, ROI is King Group B.V. The problems reported by consumers about this company are similar to those reported about