MPs have voted in favour of new legislation which will stop phone companies, internet service providers, sports clubs and car breakdown services from automatically renewing subscriptions for a full year unless consumers cancel in time.
The legislation, which will take effect on January 1 next year, was drawn up by Labour MP Martijn van Dam, who has been busy with the issue for the past five years.
Contracts will now run indefinitely with a cancellation period of one month’s notice. ‘At the moment, once companies have got hold of a customer, they find it impossible to escape,’ he was quoted as saying by Nos tv.
The new rules will also allow consumers to cancel their subscription by post, internet or telephone depending on how it was first taken out.
Newspapers and magazines are not covered by the new rules. Instead, they will be subject to a three-month notice period. Some 90% of Dutch newspaper sales are due to subscriptions.
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