Currently, many who were looking forward to making new acquaintances on the internet and registered with online dating platforms such as dateformore.at or daily-date.at are experiencing an unpleasant surprise. The supposedly free service turns out to be chargeable after a "14-day test phase". The user immediately receives an invoice from the German Ideo-Labs GmbH and, if he does not pay it, shortly afterwards one or more debt collection letters from Jedermann Inkasso GmbH.
Based on the fact that these contracts are concluded with consumers at a distance, the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act (KSchG) and the Distance and Off-Site Selling Act (FAGG) are applicable in addition to the general rules of civil law. Accordingly, before the consumer is bound by a contract or his contractual declaration, the trader must inform him in a clear and comprehensible manner about numerous details of the contractual relationship, including the total price or the total costs incurred for each billing period. This information must be provided to the consumer in a clear and comprehensible manner, adapted to the means of distance communication used. Similarly, the trader shall provide the consumer with a confirmation of the concluded contract on a durable medium within a reasonable period of time after the conclusion of the contract, but no later than the start of the provision of the service.
If a contract concluded via a website obliges the consumer to make a payment, the trader must clearly and prominently draw the consumer's attention to the price, among other things, immediately before the consumer makes his contractual declaration. He must ensure that the consumer explicitly confirms when placing the order that the order entails an obligation to pay. If the ordering process takes place via a button, this button must be clearly and legibly marked exclusively with the words "order with obligation to pay" or a similar, unambiguous wording that informs the consumer that the order is linked to an obligation to pay.
If the trader does not comply with these obligations, the consumer is not bound by the contract or his contractual declaration. The "Register now for free" button on the websites mentioned does not fulfil this requirement and also gives the impression that the consumer is obtaining a free service. The requirements under section 8(2) FAGG are met.
Nevertheless, it is important not to take the debt collection letter lightly, but to defend yourself and reject the claim as unjustified. Lawyer Balazs Esztegar will be happy to support you in defending yourself against the debt collection claim.