2 April 2014
According to Nordic Ombudsmen, Finland, Norway and Sweden should follow Denmark’s example and decrease the maximum length of fixed-term agreements for communications services to six months.
The permitted maximum length of fixed term agreements for communications services such as mobile telephone and broadband internet contracts varies between the Nordic countries. In Finland and Sweden these can last a maximum of two years and in Norway a maximum of one year. On the contrary, in Denmark a fixed-term agreement can bind a customer for a maximum of six months.
Last week, the Nordic Ombudsmen discussed lengthy fixed-term agreements at their conference in Karlstad, Sweden. A maximum length of six months has been in place in Denmark for a number of years. According to Denmark’s Consumer Ombudsman Henrik Øen the arrangement has not caused any problems in the long-term. Instead it has seen an increase in competition which in turn has ensured that the price level for services has remained quite low.
Sweden’s Consumer Ombudsman Gunnar Larsson, Norway's Consumer Ombudsman Gry Nergård and Finland’s Consumer Ombudsman Päivi Hentunen found Denmark’s model an interesting one. The result of current lengthy fixed-term agreements has been that consumers are not able to get rid of a service they deem poor or too expensive for a long period of time.