Can you end your internet subscription before the term is up?
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Internet contracts are usually valid for a whole year. But what happens if you have to leave the Netherlands before the year is up? Can you cancel your internet subscription before the end date listed on your contract?
Be wary of penalty fees
When it comes to subscriptions, Dutch law is generally in favour of the consumers. However, if you end your internet subscription before the contract term ends, you may have to pay a penalty fee.
Dutch law is generally in favour of the consumers.
Companies are required by law (the Dutch “Wet van Dam”) to let you end your subscription with a notice period of one month. But this only applies after one year has passed. The same goes for all kinds of subscriptions, like magazines and newspapers, TV, and fitness subscriptions etc.
Various Dutch Internet Service Providers (ISPs) handle the early termination of your broadband subscription (that is, ending the contract within the first year) differently.
Usually, if you want to end your contract before it expires, you’ll have to make an upfront payment for the remaining amount. For example, if your contract is for a year and you want to terminate it after seven months, you’ll need to pay for the remaining five months immediately.
The exception to this rule, however, is if you’re permanently relocating to a country where your ISP can’t co-host your package.
How to cancel your contract without paying a penalty fee
We reached out to the major providers in the Netherlands - KPN, Telfort, XS4All, Ziggo, and T-mobile - and found that in case of this specific situation, all providers except T-mobile will cancel your contract for free. T-mobile charges you 50% of your remaining subscription fee instead.
Common procedure for most ISPs
First, you need to figure out what documents will you need to provide your ISP with. Depending on your ISP, you may need to provide the following:
- An email stating your intent to officially terminate the contract earlier than agreed upon, and a brief explanation as to why
- Proof that you are leaving the country permanently, such as a notice from your local city council that you have deregistered from your address in the Netherlands
- Proof that you are moving to a country where your ISP is unable to deliver service, such as a job contract in the country you’re moving to
- Your contact details, including your full name, address and postcode your contract is registered to
- Your customer service number
An example: KPN
The following procedure that we confirmed with KPN’s customer care department is an example of the steps you need to follow.
Step 1: Deregister
Go to your local gemeente or stadhuis (town or city hall) to officially deregister from your address in the Netherlands and declare that you’re leaving the country permanently. Get the confirmation in hard copy.
Step 2: Obtain the necessary documents
Obtain an official document - such as a job contract or an admissions letter from a university - showing that you’re moving to a country where KPN is unable to provide service.
Step 3: Send mail
Write an email to [email protected], stating your intent to end your contract early, and why. Attach digital copies of #1 and #2, and include your KPN customer number, your address and contact details.
Step 4: Verification
After receiving your email, KPN customer service will call you to verify that the details are accurate, and thereafter, cancel your contract for free.
Are you eligible to cancel your contract for free?
We recommend checking with your provider to clarify whether you’re eligible to cancel your contract for free and what processes you will need to follow.
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