Last year I got a phone call from Places.nltelefoonboek.nl offering me a year service free of charge. As a foreigner, I thought perhaps this would be useful. They assured me that they would let me know well in advance about the renewal of the contract, so that I would be informed when the year had passed and so I could make an informed decision on whether to stay their costumer after this trial period. I was not aware that I was agreeing to a contract that would be automatically renewed and that authorized them to automatically subtract money from my account, I had no idea this was even possible… This was all over the phone, there was no written contract made. To be honest, I completely forgot I was even on there- there was absolutely no outcome for me in having my information on their website. People find me from my own website, a domain I pay 30 euros for a year. I received an email from them last month, an email I almost disregarded as spam by the looks of it. Last sentence in the email it’s stated that the contract will be automatically renewed. However, nowhere is there a link to where to check andor cancel the upcoming payment, nowhere is there a statement about the deadline in order to cancel this upcoming payment – not even the price of the service is mentioned. I went on the site, wanting to cancel, but could not find any way in which to do so. My Dutch is not great, so I got a Dutch friend to look with me, also she did not find a way. Now I have received an invoice of 240(!) euros from them, with the threat of incasso. I called and emailed them extensively, but no help to get there. I’m saddened to have been tricked in this way, and that I’m now paying for a heavily overpriced, very expensive service that I do not want… and saddened by the knowledge that there are obviously firms out there that takes advantage of hard working ZZPers who dismiss the last sentence in a scrappy-looking email.
I'm happy when Places cancel any threat of incasso. And I hope they take my experience to heart - and that this is not as intentional as it seems. If it's important to you that people experience your service before they pay, make it clear that you want them to actively consent!