Leisure services provided by a trader are covered by consumer protection. In case of problems, you can contact the Consumer Advisory Services if the leisure service is provided by a company, or if it is a fee-based activity open to all members of a sports club or some other organisation. Disputes about club membership are not within the scope of consumer protection legislation.
Leisure services and consumer protection
Typical leisure services include instruction in sports and arts, including swimming and music lessons. The Consumer Protection Act applies to leisure services provided by a company. It may also apply to an association offering services which are open to everyone and for which a fee is charged (the association engages in gainful business activities). The nature of the activities and the consumer authorities’ competence must be assessed individually in each case.
The main rule is that
- the Consumer Protection Act applies to sports clubs’ and other organisations’ activities and events which are open to everyone and for which a fee is charged
- any disputes related to club membership (including membership, coaching and operating fees) are not within the scope of consumer protection legislation.
Defects in leisure services
While the Consumer Protection Act does not contain specific provisions on leisure services, defects in such services can be assessed on the basis of the general provisions on defects in the Act.
Leisure services covered by the Consumer Protection Act should
- be as agreed and presented in marketing materials regarding their content and delivery
- be organised professionally and carefully
- correspond to what consumers are normally justified in expecting of similar services
- comply with the requirements laid down in legislation, decrees and decisions of authorities.
The leisure service may have a defect if, for example:
- the schedule of a course is changed, and the new schedule does not suit the participants
- the service is not provided on the agreed number of days
- the facilities or equipment are inadequate or inappropriate
- the instruction on a course is not competent.
You can demand that the service provider rectifies the defect. If this does not happen or the defect cannot be rectified, you have the right to
- a price reduction that corresponds to the defect
- compensation for any losses resulting from the defect.
If the defect is substantial and it cannot be rectified, you have the right to cancel the contract and have the money you paid for the service refunded.
Minor changes to and deviations from what was agreed or stated in the advance information do not necessarily give you a right to compensation.
Follow these steps if the service is defective or not as agreed
Report the problem to the service provider and try to negotiate on rectification or compensation.
You can use our Complaint Assistant to do so if you wish.