EU court hits out against pre-ticked boxes for online consumers

Ebookers.com may not include cancellation insurance online by default

In a decision that may have consequences for how service charges are presented on websites, Europe's highest court ruled on Thursday that websites selling airline tickets cannot have the "include flight cancellation insurance" box ticked by default.

The European Court of Juctice (ECJ) ruled that flight cancellation insurance as an optional supplement can only be offered on an opt-in basis following a case brought by a German consumer organisation against Ebookers.com, the online travel agency.

The case to prevent Ebookers from automatically including cancellation insurance with the air fare was first brought before the Higher Regional Court in Cologne, Germany, which then referred it to the ECJ.

The court pointed out, in its ruling, that European Union law seeks to ensure that there is information and transparency with regard to the prices for air services, and thus contributes to safeguarding customer protection. That requirement is designed to prevent a customer from being induced to purchase additional services that are not necessary, and thus may represent an overall direction within the E.U. to do away with pre-selected optional extras on commercial websites in general.

In the case of Ebookers.com Deutschland, when a customer selects a specific flight during the booking process, the costs are listed in the top right-hand corner of the Internet page, along with "taxes and fees" and "cancellation insurance," which are calculated automatically.

Although there is a notice at the bottom of the page to tell customers how to opt-out, the court deemed this insufficient.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jennifer Baker

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?