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Old 06.04.2021, 22:22
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Automatic extension of trial subscription by Mobility

Hello Folks,

I had taken a Mobility Trial subscription for 4 months in Dec 2020. This was extended automatically for 1 year by them in March this year (4 weeks before the end of the trial period).

When I contacted them saying that I do not need the subscription and requested to cancel it, they said that they had sent a reminder mail to cancel 2 weeks before the extending it. I am sure I did not receive any such mail as I am very careful with checking and deleting any mails.

After further communication reminding and clarifying the above to them, they are still very inflexible and are unwilling to cancel the subscription citing the reminder mail (which I did not receive) and T&C's (www.mobility.ch/mobility-contract - Point 9) which mentions about the auto renewal.

However, considering that I had taken a Trial subscription, converting it to a full one without explicit consent seems to be a borderline unethical practice to me.

I obviously do not want to pay for a service for 1 year that I do not require.

Looking for advice from the forum on what else can be done with the Mobility folks to convince them to cancel the subscription and avoid paying for a service I clearly did not sign up for.

If they still do not budge, is there a consumer forum in Switzerland where I can get help?
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  #2  
Old 06.04.2021, 22:35
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Re: Automatic extension of trial subscription by Mobility

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However, considering that I had taken a Trial subscription, converting it to a full one without explicit consent seems to be a borderline unethical practice to me.
The annals of English Forum are well-populated with similar tales, and basically the conclusion is always the same - read the small print _before_ you sign up for a free trial.

It's fairly common practice, not just in Switzerland, and basically you won't have a leg to stand on. You signed the contract, the onus was on you to understand it and cancel it in line with the conditions, otherwise you have already agreed to the year's membership.

Pretty much any internet subscription 'free trial' works like this, for example. Free, but needing a credit card, is always a giveaway for them...
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Old 06.04.2021, 22:52
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Re: Automatic extension of trial subscription by Mobility

What Ace1 said. Lots of people get caught out by this sort of thing in the UK because they don't cancel when they should. You'll just have to suck it up for this year and make sure to cancel it before the next renewal date comes up.
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Old 07.04.2021, 18:34
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Re: Automatic extension of trial subscription by Mobility

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However, considering that I had taken a Trial subscription, converting it to a full one without explicit consent seems to be a borderline unethical practice to me.

I obviously do not want to pay for a service for 1 year that I do not require.

Looking for advice from the forum on what else can be done with the Mobility folks to convince them to cancel the subscription and avoid paying for a service I clearly did not sign up for.
Welcome to Switzerland.
Probably what happened was that you signed up for the service and there was a trial period in which you can cancel. Probably also it wasn't worded that way.
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Old 07.04.2021, 18:58
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Re: Automatic extension of trial subscription by Mobility

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When I contacted them saying that I do not need the subscription and requested to cancel it, they said that they had sent a reminder mail to cancel 2 weeks before the extending it. I am sure I did not receive any such mail as I am very careful with checking and deleting any mails.

After further communication reminding and clarifying the above to them, they are still very inflexible and are unwilling to cancel the subscription citing the reminder mail (which I did not receive) and T&C's (www.mobility.ch/mobility-contract - Point 9) which mentions about the auto renewal.
Reminder is irrelevant. T&Cs have "The Mobility agreement for private customers remains valid for an indefinite period, provided that neither of the contracting parties provides notice of termination" - that's what got you. It's a pretty common business tactic in Switzerland and some other countries. Consider the money you have to pay them now a lesson in modern business practices.

Art. 8 UWG *might* be able to help you, though case practice seems lacking and potential costs of finding it out the hard way are probably not worth it but you could try if it's a matter of principle to you rather than money.

Last edited by spark; 07.04.2021 at 19:15.
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Old 07.04.2021, 19:10
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Re: Automatic extension of trial subscription by Mobility

And when it does come time to cancel it again, make sure to do it by registered letter. E-mails, phone calls won't do.
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Old 07.04.2021, 19:21
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Re: Automatic extension of trial subscription by Mobility

Email would actually suffice, so long as they email back cancellation confirmation.

Problem with email is just that the legal system views it as an unreliable method of communication, you can't prove the recipient got your email. But if they email back, that's your proof.
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Old 07.04.2021, 20:58
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Re: Automatic extension of trial subscription by Mobility

Spam folder?

If I were you I would try the "I am so sorry I made a mistake but I really do not want it, can you help me?" route versus the "I am a consumer and I have rights" route which does not legally stand given the above.

Perhaps just perhaps they take pity and cancel or cancel after a few months etc.
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Old 07.04.2021, 21:22
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Re: Automatic extension of trial subscription by Mobility

tbh their contract doesn't say the have to remind you of the cancellation window, so you're basically screwed. You accepted the contract when you subscribed.

I would try to be nice and get it canceled.
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Old 07.04.2021, 21:27
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Re: Automatic extension of trial subscription by Mobility

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However, considering that I had taken a Trial subscription, converting it to a full one without explicit consent seems to be a borderline unethical practice to me.
There must be a lot of "unethical" trials out there then - every single one I've done for magazines, online services etc etc has had this approach.

As others have you said, crying "unethical" when you signed the contract as worded is unfair. If anything, trying to wriggle out of a contract that seems to follow fairly standard practice is the unethical act.
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Old 07.04.2021, 21:56
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Re: Automatic extension of trial subscription by Mobility

Also stop 1 minute to consider Mobility is not lead by Rich Uncle Pennybags. It's a Genossenschaft/Cooperative. They're not trying to screw anyone for profit. It's simply their T&Cs.

Also remember any other contract in Switzerland is about the same: the place you rent for living, the gym, phone, etc.
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Old 07.04.2021, 21:58
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Re: Automatic extension of trial subscription by Mobility

How much does a 1 year subscription costs ?
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Old 07.04.2021, 23:25
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Re: Automatic extension of trial subscription by Mobility

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Pretty much any internet subscription 'free trial' works like this, for example. Free, but needing a credit card, is always a giveaway for them...
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Welcome to Switzerland.
Probably what happened was that you signed up for the service and there was a trial period in which you can cancel. Probably also it wasn't worded that way.
It is a paid trial for a fixed period of 4 months with no mention whatsoever of an auto renewal while signing up.

They have just worded it in the fine print of a contract - cancellation 4 weeks before the end of the trial period or auto renewal!

Credit card is optional; they can send the orange payment slips as well.

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And when it does come time to cancel it again, make sure to do it by registered letter. E-mails, phone calls won't do.
In this case, it can be done online on the portal itself.

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How much does a 1 year subscription costs ?
CHF 279 including insurance. All this for a service I do not plan to use even once!
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Old 07.04.2021, 23:26
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Re: Automatic extension of trial subscription by Mobility

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Also stop 1 minute to consider Mobility is not lead by Rich Uncle Pennybags. It's a Genossenschaft/Cooperative. They're not trying to screw anyone for profit. It's simply their T&Cs.
The way the whole thing is designed, they sure seem to be acting like Moneybags and looking for ways to screw the customer.

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Spam folder?

If I were you I would try the "I am so sorry I made a mistake but I really do not want it, can you help me?" route versus the "I am a consumer and I have rights" route which does not legally stand given the above.

Perhaps just perhaps they take pity and cancel or cancel after a few months etc.
Just wow! If the Almighty business so wishes, please take pity on me the poor consumer and forgive me for my sin of not registering legalese written by lawyers and help me by not fleecing me of my money.

When a consumer does not question what is not right, businesses will continue their tactics unfettered. A consumer is not at the mercy of a business.

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As others have you said, crying "unethical" when you signed the contract as worded is unfair. If anything, trying to wriggle out of a contract that seems to follow fairly standard practice is the unethical act.
You can disagree with me; but calling me unethical is uncalled for.

Last edited by hyper; 07.04.2021 at 23:58.
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Old 07.04.2021, 23:26
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Re: Automatic extension of trial subscription by Mobility

I understand it is mentioned in the fine print of the contract.

To all who have chipped in saying that this is standard in Switzerland - Just because it is a standard practice does not make it right. Legally right, but surely not as a good business practice.

My problem with the whole thing is 2-fold -

1. Firstly, how many folks bother to read the contract and even if normal folks like us do, I doubt we register most of it. I am sure the folks at Mobility (and probably other businesses) are well aware and banking on this.
2. Secondly, the whole process of the automatic renewal is designed to be sly i.e. converting a paid trial into a full annual subscription without explicit consent of the customer. Wording it in the fine print of a contract rather than being upfront with the customer is deceptive.

A good business would want customers to stick or come back to them because of the service; not because one is forced to pay due to the fine print in a contract.
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Old 07.04.2021, 23:44
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Re: Automatic extension of trial subscription by Mobility

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I understand it is mentioned in the fine print of the contract.

To all who have chipped in saying that this is standard in Switzerland - Just because it is a standard practice does not make it right. Legally right, but surely not as a good business practice.

My problem with the whole thing is 2-fold -

1. Firstly, how many folks bother to read the contract and even if normal folks like us do, I doubt we register most of it. I am sure the folks at Mobility (and probably other businesses) are well aware and banking on this.
2. Secondly, the whole process of the automatic renewal is designed to be sly i.e. converting a paid trial into a full annual subscription without explicit consent of the customer. Wording it in the fine print of a contract rather than being upfront with the customer is deceptive.
This is or could be a valid point. In general, let's say in civilised countries, the contract needs to either be explained properly and/or be easiliy able to understand for it to be fully enforceable. This could be your line of argument - that it wasn't made clear enough. If you rationally object they *might* show some 'good will' and let you off. There's a large contingent on EF you take the "you signed it you're bound by it" view.

But get used to Switzerland being full of shysters and cheaters.
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Old 08.04.2021, 00:00
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Re: Automatic extension of trial subscription by Mobility

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I understand it is mentioned in the fine print of the contract.

To all who have chipped in saying that this is standard in Switzerland - Just because it is a standard practice does not make it right. Legally right, but surely not as a good business practice.

My problem with the whole thing is 2-fold -

1. Firstly, how many folks bother to read the contract and even if normal folks like us do, I doubt we register most of it. I am sure the folks at Mobility (and probably other businesses) are well aware and banking on this.
2. Secondly, the whole process of the automatic renewal is designed to be sly i.e. converting a paid trial into a full annual subscription without explicit consent of the customer. Wording it in the fine print of a contract rather than being upfront with the customer is deceptive.

A good business would want customers to stick or come back to them because of the service; not because one is forced to pay due to the fine print in a contract.
I agree with points 1 and 2. They're reasonable and you're right. But, it makes no difference because there's still a contract. There's a certain uselessness about being reasonable and right when contracts are involved.
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Old 08.04.2021, 00:38
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Re: Automatic extension of trial subscription by Mobility

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I agree with points 1 and 2. They're reasonable and you're right. But, it makes no difference because there's still a contract. There's a certain uselessness about being reasonable and right when contracts are involved.
Could well be the case in Switzerland. In the UK almost all things are based upon the concept of reasonableness, no matter what is written. I know we're not in the UK.
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Old 08.04.2021, 06:23
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Re: Automatic extension of trial subscription by Mobility

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Could well be the case in Switzerland. In the UK almost all things are based upon the concept of reasonableness, no matter what is written. I know we're not in the UK.
These types of auto renewal after trial period contracts are common in the UK as well.
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Old 08.04.2021, 06:55
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Re: Automatic extension of trial subscription by Mobility

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I understand it is mentioned in the fine print of the contract.
You use the term "fine print" several times, as if to suggest that it was somehow hidden. It wasn't. Your failure to understand what you signed up for is nobody's fault but your own.
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