The service package for PlusTV was changed, and customers received a bill with 10 euro added to the monthly charge. The Finnish Consumer Agency intervened because such a fundamental change had been made in the contract terms, to the detriment of the consumer, that consumers should have been offered an opportunity to enter into a new contract with new terms.
Digi TV Plus Oy, or PlusTV, sent its customers a notice last summer that informed them of an expanded service package. According to the notice, the number of channels would be increased, and the monthly charge would be raised from 8.90 euro to 19.90 euro at the same time. The service package did not expand for all customers at the same time, but varied depending on which part of Finland they lived in. Most of the customers were affected already the following autumn, however, and received bills reflecting the price increase. The company's contract terms included a clause concerning price changes. It was possible for consumers to cancel the service contract, but if they did not, the contract continued automatically at the higher price.
A major change calls for a new contract
Since this involved a fundamental change from the consumer's point of view, the company should not have changed the contract terms unilaterally. If a company wants to make major changes to its contract terms that are detrimental to the consumer, it should offer new contracts as opposed to continuing the old ones. In this case, the company must offer the new contract to the consumer. The new contract with the new terms becomes effective if the consumer accepts it. On the other hand, the company can cancel the old contract if it will no longer be offering the service on the old terms.
In order to rectify the situation, the company has agreed not to charge the price difference to those customers who had not approved the new contract.