Consumer advocates criticize the lack of a cancellation button

Since July, providers have had to offer a button on their websites that customers can use to cancel current contracts at the push of a button. According to consumer advocates, this has not yet been implemented by many.

The cancellation button has been mandatory for websites since July 2022 and applies to all contracts concluded online. This can be both mobile phone and landline contracts, but also subscriptions to streaming services, magazines or the like, TECHBOOK reported. There is no need to give notice of termination in writing and it should be just as easy as concluding contracts and subscriptions online.

However, when checking 840 known sites, the consumer centers often found deficiencies. Only 273 of them have implemented the button satisfactorily and thus offer a legally compliant termination option, as the Bavarian Consumer Center announced. As a result, the consumer advice centers warned 152 companies – some because of several websites that were the subject of complaints.

Button was often missing completely

During the review, which lasted from July 18 to October 14, the consumer centers and other consumer associations checked well-known websites from various industries. In 349 cases, the button was completely missing, in 65 cases it was hidden and in 38 cases it was not labeled correctly. According to their own statements, the auditors of the consumer centers also found 339 other violations. According to the regulations, the cancellation button was only installed on 273 pages.

“We regret that it has not been implemented on so many websites. There was enough time for it in advance,” said Tatjana Halm, Head of the Market and Law Department at the Bavarian Consumer Advice Center. “We hope that improvements will be made immediately on all sides.” The first effects are already evident. By November 2nd, 86 of the companies who had been warned had submitted the required cease-and-desist declaration, according to the consumer advice center. In some cases, the courts will also have to decide. It was also noticed “that some companies that did not receive a warning from us have improved their pages,” said Halm. The testing of websites should continue.

Consumers who find defects themselves can report them online to the consumer advice centers. If a website does not have a cancellation button, consumers have the right to cancel existing contracts with immediate effect and regardless of any terms. However, they must then be able to prove that the cancellation button is missing, for example by means of a screenshot. However, customers should note that the button may not be visible for a short time due to maintenance work or the like. You should therefore check the missing button again at a later point in time before taking any action.

With material from dpa