(The newspaper online): Ruben Özkan is one of many who told Nettavisen about their experience in Elkjøp.
Thinking he would get a discount and a free streaming subscription with his purchase, Ozkan's purchase ended up being more expensive than he promised.
Many Nettavisen spoke to say they received a discount on their purchases, as well as a free multi-month subscription with Viaplay and TV 2 Play with Elkjøp. Some are offered a free subscription with Allente, but not everyone is told it's an Allente subscription they're signing up for.
Shortly after customers sign up for a free trial, they receive an invoice, along with information that they are linked to Allente for six months.
Elkjøp tells Nettavisen that they are aware of the problem.
– Just deceiving
Özkan intended to buy a dishwasher that was on display in Elkjøp in October. A salesperson made an offer to get more discounts on the dishwasher, as well as six months of free subscription to the streaming service. He didn't know it was Alente who was signing.
– I asked him about the cost and he said it was free. He said it's six months free, then there will be bills, and I can resign after six months,” Ozkan told Netafsen.
The offer looked good, and Ozkan accepted. But soon after, he received a bill from Alente in the mail.
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Two weeks later, a hefty bill arrived, and I now thought I had been scammed, Ozkan says.
He tried to get customer service at Allente for two days, when he was finally able to speak to a customer service representative. It was not possible to terminate the subscription, but he received a slight discount on his monthly amount, about 180 Norwegian kroner.
– There are probably many people who fall into this trap, without asking for more or getting more information. Ozkan tells Nettavisen that Elkjøp is big, and I think that's very sarcastic of them.
Don't shop in Elkjøp anymore
It is not difficult to find complaints from customers who feel cheated by Elkjøp. After Nettavisen wrote about Allente customers struggling to unsubscribe from the streaming provider, more stories emerged.
“The dispatcher said I would get a discount of NOK 1,500 if I agreed, and that I could go down to Elkjøp Alnabru when I received the first invoice from Allente.”
“I don't understand what Elkjøp is trying to achieve with this kind of behavior.”
“I bought a PS5 from Elkjøp this summer and got a discount for tethering myself to TV 2 Sumo and Viaplay for 6 months, but they said nothing about the fact that Allente is the supplier and that it includes a parcel TV.”
Eva Dagen told Eek Nettavisen that she also went through the same trap in Elkjøp.
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She says she was offered free TV 2 and Viaplay for six months, and received no explanation that she then had to switch from Altiboks, which she already owned, to Allente.
Ek found out the next day that she had signed for six months with Alente which was not free. On the same day, I tried to cancel the subscription, but it did not work.
– Very confusing and I was very busy that day. Shop at Power From now on, Eek writes to Nettavisen.
The usual complaint to the Consumer Council
The Consumer Council is well aware of the problem, not necessarily with Elkjøp, but from many other companies. This lack of communication is common, says Thomas Iversen, a consumer advocate at the Consumers Council.
It's a fairly common complaint they receive, where customers are offered something for free but it turns out to cost money. However, it is not necessary that this was done illegally, but that the customer himself did not pay enough attention and realized that the item would cost money.
In this case where people say that Elkjøp never mentioned the binding agreement that costs NOK 300 per month, Iversen is clear that Elkjøp is breaking the law.
-If something is marketed as free, it must be free. It should be very clear if it changes that he is no longer free, Iversen told Nettavisen.
He adds that it is perfectly legal to give something away for free, because it will then cost money, but that should be made absolutely clear.
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Elkjøp is aware of customer complaints
-We unfortunately realize that some customers did not receive sufficient information and may have felt deceived when they entered into such an agreement with us. “We deeply regret this,” Elkjøp assistant sales manager Martin Stenvoll Pedersen wrote in an email to Nettavisen.
They encourage any other customers who regret entering into such an agreement to contact Elkjøp directly and the store where they shopped.
– In order to avoid similar experiences, we implemented measures during the fall to clarify the content of the agreement and improve the flow of information between the seller and the customer, Pedersen wrote to Nettavisen.
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