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Consumer advocates appalled: online terminations have serious shortcomings

Online cancellations should actually be much easier since July 2022. An analysis by the Federal Association of Consumer Centers now shows that the majority of providers have not implemented the law in accordance with the law. Missing or faulty cancellation buttons are therefore not the exception, but the rule.

Online termination: Analysis shows clear weaknesses

Anyone who concludes a contract online must also be able to cancel it online. This simple principle has been law in Germany since July 1, 2022. Around half a year later, the Federal Association of Consumer Organizations dealt with the concrete implementation and in the process serious shortcomings were identified. A legally compliant implementation cannot be found on a full 72 percent of the approximately 3,000 websites examined.

Before that, there are some at the consumer centers Complaints from frustrated users received. The termination buttons are sometimes difficult to find or are completely missing. According to consumers, it also happens that there is a supposed cancellation button, but the contractual relationship cannot be terminated at all via this button. Cancellation confirmations will not be sent and fees will continue to be debited from the account.

In general, the federal association speaks of “significant obstacles and problems” with online cancellations. Labels sometimes deviate from the specified wording and some providers hide the button at the end of the website. Between July 18 and October 14, 2022, the consumer advice centers issued a warning to a total of 152 companies due to clear violations of the law (source: Federation of Consumers).

What makes a good mobile phone contract? The answer is in the video:

Cancellation button mandatory even for older contracts

Providers are also obliged to offer online termination for contracts concluded online before July 1, 2022. This also applies to contracts entered into in storesif these can in principle also be concluded online.

Providers have to offer online termination for a large number of contracts, for example with Mobile phone, subscription and leasing contracts. Financial services as well as rental and employment contracts are explicitly excluded from the rule.

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