What to do if you are threatened with debt collection

When foreign companies threaten you with debt collection, the most important thing is that you remain calm – and take immediate action.

You are not alone. That is almost the most important thing to stress:

“European Consumer Centre Denmark has many cases involving Danes being threatened with debt collection. This often occurs in connection with online purchases, where the consumer thought that the transaction concerned a one-off payment, but is instead charged for a subscription,” says Director of ECC Denmark, Lars Arent.

Dispute the claim in writing

If you are one of the consumers who experience being charged for a subscription that you have not accepted, you must inform the company in writing that you dispute the claim. You may also receive reminders from various debt collection agencies. Send them a copy of the email you have sent to the company.

Do not be intimidated

“You shouldn’t get nervous because of the debt collection claim, but you need to react immediately. Neither the company nor the debt collection agency is allowed to continue to charge you fees once you’ve informed them in writing that you disagree with their claim,” says Lars Arent and continues:

“They – and not you – will then have the burden of proving that you had been clearly informed. And they rarely can. Therefore, it’s also against the rules for good debt collection practices if the debt collection agencies nevertheless send reminders.”

Guide: What to do if you feel scammed

  1. You are not liable to pay if the demand for payment is not correct. If, for example, this concerns a demand for payment of a subscription fee, you must have been clearly informed that this involved a subscription when you provided your data.
  2. Complain to the company in writing and point out that you do not agree with the claim. You can download our objection template HERE
  3. If you have also been contacted by a debt collection agency, you can send them a copy of your complaint.
  4. Make sure that you can document your complaint. Contact ECC Denmark if you have any questions 

Read more about your rights when shopping online