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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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, I subscribed to an online streaming adult video service

Resolved Question:

Hi,
I subscribed to an online streaming adult video service but attempted to cancel shortly afterwards. However, I was given two methods to cancel, by fax which is not suitable and by completing an online form accessible from my account pages. However, this form was nowhere to be found and despite e-mail contact with customer support was not able to cancel my subscription. I therefore e-mailed to request that my account be cancelled but was directed towards the online cancellation form which I could not find. So I sent a final e-mail setting out my wish to cancel and cancelled the payment instruction with my credit card.
No, several months later I am receiving contact from Auer Witte Thiel solicitors, acting on behalf of the content provider request monies for subscription fees not paid and threatening court action. I would like to know where I stand and would really appreciate your advice.
Many thanks
Ian
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Are they UK based?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jo,

Thanks for your quick response. The service provider is Saboom.com, based in Germany, and the litigator acting on their behalf is Auer Witte Thiel, again Germany based.

Ian

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks.
But you are in the UK?
How much do they say you owe?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes I am in the UK.

I have had two separate e-mails, one saying I owe around 180 EUR and the other saying I owe around 80 EUR.

Ian

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I wouldn't worry about this.
You did cancel. You may not have used their specified means of cancellation but if they are seeking to rely on that then the court would probably say that is an unfair term and so void under UCTA.
In any event though, if they are based in Luxembourg then they will not sue you in the UK. They could sue you in Luxembourg and seek a European enforcement order but that is expensive and onerous and for this amount of money is not worth the cost.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69994
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks - just a few points of clarification please;

What does UTCA stand for?

I did e-mail Saboom on several occasions explaining that I was unable to cancel online but that I did wish to cancel and I have kept these e-mails as evidence - so just to confirm you think that given I made clear my intention to cancel that the courts, if I were taken to court, would find in my favour?

Should I respond to Auer Witte Thiel explaining that I made every effort to cancel and will not be making payment?

As far as I know the account with Saboom is still active - is there a risk that the debt will build and build to the point at which it becomes a debt worth pursuing?

Thanks

Ian

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Unfair Contracts and Terms Act.
You may not have used their specified means of cancellation but if they are seeking to rely on that then the court would probably say that is an unfair term and so void under UCTA.
I would probably respond to them to that effect. It wouldn't do any harm. They will probably write back making further threats.
It is possible they could leave this open. Then you would just have to defend it on that basis.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I guess I could also cite the Consumer Rights Directive 2011/83/EU which suggests that a clear message setting out intention to cancel is sufficient notification and should be accepted? I did this be e-mail on several occasions and hold copies.

Ian

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Directives are not binding unless they are adopted by member states.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So as the firm is based in Germany, do you feel that the fact I clearly stated my intention to cancel the contract via e-mail means the firm must accept this as notice of cancellation under German law?
Thanks
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I don't know anything about German law. I am based in the UK.
Unless Germany has adopted the Directive it would not be binding.

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