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A button „order and buy“ is illegal

The text 'order and buy' on a button is not an authorised label, as decided by the Local Court Köln in a ruling from April 28, 2014 (Case No. 142 C 354/13).

The plaintiff sells calendars of compulsory auctions. The defendant left his personal data on a real estate platform asking them to call him back. The plaintiff called the defendant back and sent him an email with the offer of a six months subscription at a price of 132€. In the email was written the following text: 'TO ORDER AND BUY YOU WILL RECEIVE AN EMAIL. PLEASE CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINK' . The defendant clicked on the link, but did not pay the monthly fees. The plaintiff demanded the costs of the subscription.

The Local Court Köln decided that no contract has become effective. The label 'order and buy' does not meet the requirements and procedures connected to closing a contract in accordance with the ' button solution'. According to article § 312j paragraph 3 p 2 BGB  the button must be labeled like for example ' order and liable for payment' or something similar. The text 'order and buy' on the button is not an explicit wording because it does not clarify the specific character of the 'button solution'. It must be clear to consumers that they have a commitment and that they have to pay. The Local Court Köln pointed out that the text 'order and but' does not clearly define whether the defendant has to pay a price or not. It was not sufficient that the plaintiff pointed out the price to be paid in the email sent to the defendant. When ordering something, the payment obligation has to be notified to the consumer beforehand. The mere text 'buy' is not sufficiently clear, because there is the possibility of a purchase on trial basis; the buyer is not obliged to make a payment immediately. Also the text 'order and buy' does not specify that the defendant was supposed to purchase a subscription.