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Price information and services

Section 13(2) obliges business and trade to provide price information regarding the supply of services in the same way as for goods.

The obligation to provide price information applies in the event of a sale or order from the trader’s business premises meaning physical premises or garage to which the consumers usually have access. Such premises could be hairdressing saloons or fitness centres.

Where it is possible to book or order services online or electronically, price information should likewise be provided.

The main rule is that the trader must indicate the minimum total price for the service, whether the service in question is a hair cut or a lawyer’s salary for drawing up a will.

In the event that the trader cannot state the total minimum price for a service, the trader must state the basis on which the price is calculated if this enables the customer to calculate the final and total price for the service wanted.

The trader is not required to provide price indications if:

• A price span must be anticipated in the basis of the calculation
• The price of the service is calculated in man hours, and it is not possible for the consumer to assess the number of man hours needed to carry out the job. Workman services are often calculated this way

Provision of price information will be mandatory in the following cases:

• Services whose price is calculated in units, e.g. square metres, combined with a basic tariff. The customer is then able to calculate the total price of e.g. a floor lacquering when measuring the size of the floor. The trader is therefore obliged to inform the customer of the price per unit and the basic tariff
• A telecom provider should state all regular costs linked to a subscription service as a total minimum price as well as variable costs such as the charge per call, charge per minute, and call display charges. This will enable the customer to calculate the final, total price on the basis of her use of the telephone

Where a trader is required to provide the basis on which a price for a service is calculated, all costs, including fees which can be quoted as a total price and the customer is required to pay, are included in the total price (regular costs).

Moreover, traders are obliged to indicate variable costs and fees. Fees which should be counted among the regular costs are booking fees, payment and invoice charges. A variable fee is e.g. the text message tariff in a specific mobile subscription or the charge per call in a mobile or stationary telephone subscription. In the event that different payment options are available, and where payment with e.g. giro is subject to the collection of a fee, regular costs should be indicated including as well as excluding the payment fee, cf. the similar procedure pertaining to goods outlined above.

Where a service provider offers a number of differentiated services the requirements set out for price indications are considered complied with if the price or the basis on which the price is calculated is stated for a relevant selection of the services. On selecting the number of services to appear in the over-all price indication, the frequency of the execution of the service must be taken into consideration. It is also important to give the consumers a genuine impression of the price level of both expensive as well as less expensive services. The DCO is of the opinion that the number of differentiated services must be substantial in order for the provision to apply.

Where a purchase constitutes a combination of both a product and a service, the price indication must state the price of the product as well as the basis of calculation for the service, inclusive of VAT and fees. A purchase of a mobile phone at a lower price on the condition that a specific subscription is taken out serves as an example.