During the last years, numerous German consumers have become victims of cost- and subscription traps in electronic commerce. The German lawmaker has reacted to this by adopting the Law for better consumer protection against cost traps in electronic commerce, which came into effect on August 1st 2012. Today the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection presented evaluation results of a study about the implication of this law.
The evaluation has the following results: Overall, the law has a positive effect and reached the intended goals. Yet, at the same time, companies remain uncertain about the concrete implementation of some aspects of the law. Also, consumers express a need for more information about the law and their rights. The implementation costs with regard to money and time remain manageable. Side effects exist, but can be classified as moderate. Although the new law has had noticeable positive impact, its acceptance among companies remains low.
It hence follows that from a substantive legal standpoint there is currently no need for further actions to be taken by the German Federal Government. Yet, in order to increase legal certainty, sector specific concretization through self-regulation could be developed. Furthermore, law enforcement mechanisms as well as consumer information activities could be improved and extended.
The evaluation was conducted jointly by Prof Dr Gerald Spindler (University of Göttingen), Prof Dr Annlies Blom (Survex – Survey Methods Consulting) and Prof Dr Christian Thorun (Institute for Consumer Policy – ConPolicy GmbH).
Further information can be found here.