Pay-TV services, streaming services and terminal devices in connection with subscription sales

When you purchase a phone or internet subscription, you may be offered a pay-TV service, streaming service or a terminal device as an additional product. If the operator offers you a service bundle of this type, they must tell you clearly about the additional product's features, contract duration and the price.

When you purchase a telephone or internet subscription, you may also be offered other products, including pay-TV or streaming services or terminal devices, for example mobile phones, tablets or broadband modems. Some of the key legal provisions on subscriptions also protect your purchases of additional  products when the operator sells you a service bundle.

A service bundle means that

  • the operator sells you several products under a single contract, or closely related contracts, and at least one of them concerns a telephone or internet subscription.

The parties to all contracts must be the same. For example, this means that if a household appliance store sells you a telephone and offers you a telephone subscription provided by an operator who is their partner, this is not a service bundle.


Purchases of service bundles have additional protection

If you have been sold a bundle that consists of a subscription and an additional product, such as a pay-TV service or a terminal device, the additional product must be mentioned in the contract summary that you get before you conclude the contract.

  • The contract summary must identify such details as the type of terminal device or the name of the channel package. This helps you to understand the contracts you conclude as a whole and to make a rational decision about buying the bundle or not.
  • Additionally, the duration of lease contracts on terminal devices, channel package contracts or streaming contracts included in the bundle must not be more than 24 months.

If you have the right to cancel any of the contracts on services or terminal devices included in a bundle that has been sold to you because the service or terminal device in question was not as agreed or it was not delivered to you, you also have the right to cancel all contracts on the services or terminal devices included in the bundle.

Other sales of terminal devices and service contracts are covered by general consumer protection

If you are purchasing a terminal device or concluding a contract on a channel package or streaming service that is not part of a bundle, your contract is covered by the general consumer protection provisions.

In this case, too, the vendor must tell you about the key features of the goods or services and the contract before the contract is concluded, including the price of the product and the duration of the contract. The contract may also not contain terms that are unfair for the consumer.

In most cases you can terminate a pay-TV package if its contents change

The content of pay-TV services may typically vary or change over time. For example, a sports programme or TV series may be taken over by another service provider and included in their selection instead.

If your pay-TV contract is valid until further notice, you can terminate it at the end of the period of notice if you do not accept the change in the content of the service. The period of notice may normally not be longer than one month.

As a rule, you may not terminate a fixed-term pay TV contract before the contract period ends. However, you may terminate the contract during of the contract period if the content of the channel package has not stayed as unchanged as possible and sufficiently versatile and, because of this, it no longer is consistent with the service you originally purchased.

The point at which the change in the content of a channel package is significant enough to entitle you to terminate a fixed-term contract ultimately depends on the details of each case.

If, after a change made to a channel package, you feel that it no longer corresponds to the service you originally purchased or no longer has the content that is a central part of your order,

  1. Contact your service provider and tell them that you wish to terminate the contract.
  2. If there is a problem, you can contact the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority’s Advisory Services.

Additionally, you usually also have the right to terminate a fixed-term contract if you have payment difficulties because of an illness, unemployment or other reason that you cannot control (a so-called social force majeure). In this case, the company only has the right to charge fees until the date on which the contract was terminated.