The Berlin Regional Court has ruled that Netflix cannot simply change the prices of existing subscriptions. The conditions for price adjustments are not sufficiently transparent for the streaming service, according to the reasoning.
Dhe streaming service Netflix is not allowed to change the prices of current subscriptions. This was decided by the regional court in Berlin and thus allowed a lawsuit by the Federal Association of Consumer Organizations (vzbv), as the association announced in Berlin on Tuesday. “At Netflix, the conditions are formulated so unclearly that they give the group scope for arbitrary price increases,” said Jana Brockfeld, vzbv’s legal officer.
The Berlin district court agreed with the vzbv that the conditions for price adjustments were not sufficiently transparent, it said. (AZ: 52 O 157/21)
According to the judgment of the regional court, there must be clear and understandable criteria for changes in the fees, so that customers can understand a claimed price change or at least check it for plausibility, said the consumer advocates.
In its Terms of Service, Netflix said it has the right to change subscription prices “from time to time” and “in its reasonable discretion to reflect the impact of changes in the total costs associated with our service.”
Netflix has appealed
According to vzbv, the court also objected to a lack of balance in the contractual clause. There is a lack of clarification that Netflix is not only allowed to adjust prices upwards, but is obliged to reduce prices if costs are reduced, it said. According to the consumer advice center, the streaming provider has appealed the judgment to the Berlin Court of Appeal. (AZ: 23 U 15/22)