A subscription trap means that a company claims that a consumer has ordered something that the consumer is not aware of having ordered. Many consumers pay an invoice although they consider it to be groundless, because if they do not, they are threatened with high collection charges and legal costs. For this reason, the Finnish Consumer Ombudsman has firmly addressed unfounded collection proceedings related to subscription traps in 2015 and has increased marketing supervision so as to identify and eliminate subscription traps.
The methods and results of the battle against subscription traps are covered in the Finnish Consumer Ombudsman's Newsletter 5/2015 which is a Distance Selling Theme Issue. Besides subscription trap cases it also covers Consumer Ombudsman's decisions on telesales and online marketing & selling in general.
Also two sweeps made by EU consumer protection authorities are covered presenting the Finnish results. The other sweep deals with travel services and more specifically online selling of flights (in Finland the target companies were Apollomatkat, Aurinkomatkat, Ebookers, Finnmatkat, Lomamatkat, OK-Matkat/Nordic Ferry Center, Skytours, Suomen Matkavaraukset, Tjäreborg and Travellink). The other sweep was targeted at online stores selling consumer electronics and household appliances (in Finland: Gigantti, NetAnttila, CDON.com, Musta Pörssi, Hobby Hall, Tekniset [euronics.fi], Pixmania, Prisma, Markantalo and Verkkokauppa.com).
Finnish Consumer Ombudsman's Newsletter is published 6 times per year. The last issue of 2015 will be a Financial Services Theme Issue (banking services, credits, debt collection). The previous newsletters are stored in the archive. You can subscribe to the newsletter via every newsletter or in here.