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What are my consumer rights? 10 ways to claim your money
30/01/2020

What are my consumer rights? 10 ways to claim your money

Dyme was started to help you with your finances, but also to protect you against commercial malpractices and financial injustice. We’re building smart technologies for you to save money, but we love to share our knowledge too.The purpose of this article is to gather all the ways you can claim your money back from companies and authorities as a consumer. If you’ve been disadvantaged in any way, you’re entitled to your money. Also, legislation does not always keep up with changes on the market and malpractices might come to light years after they’ve taken place. Read about how to claim your money back below!

10 ways to claim your money
  1. Get your money back from cheap phone plans offering a ‘free’ phone
  2. Claim your money back when you’ve experienced airplane delays
  3. Mortgage providers that charged fines that we’re too high for the mortgage type they offered
  4. Get money back that you’ve paid extra on your television
  5. Claim money if you’ve been sold a false investment insurance
  6. Get your money back spent on Airbnb service fees
  7. You can often get back the brokerage fees paid to your realtor
  8. Receive the money you paid for an NS train ticket after delays
  9. Get back your money after forgetting to check out whilst using public transport
  10. Receive rent benefit (even in retrospect!)

All the claims listed

Below you can find all the ways to claim your money back that we’ve recently found. We’ve made sure these tips are short and sweet. To access the longer versions of these tips, read the following blogpost(s):

10 ways to claim your money (that you probably didn’t even know you’re entitled to!)

1. Get your money back from cheap phone plans offering a ‘free’ phone

In 2016 the Dutch Supreme Court decided that the ‘free’ phones with contracts were misleading, as the devices were not free at all: the price of the phone was spread out over the monthly subscription costs. This is contrary to Dutch law and telecom providers need to pay back the consumers.

To get your money back, act as follows:

  1. Request your old contract from your phone provider.
  2. Write a letter to your provider stating that your old contract is nullified in retrospect.
  3. Also state that you’re entitled to the old retail value of your phone.

Submit your claim here!

2. Claim your money back when you’ve experienced airplane delays

A flight that has been delayed for three or more hours means you are entitled to compensation from your airline. If the delay is more than five hours, you have the right to cancel your trip and get your money back as well. Following European law, you’re entitled to €250 for flights up to 1.500 km, €400 for all flights between 1500 and 3500 km and €600 for all flights of more than 3500 km.

Don’t feel like figuring out how to get your money back on your own? Use this website to claim your money!

3. Mortgage providers that charged fines that we’re too high for the mortgage type they offered

If you decide to pay off your mortgage early or refinance your mortgage, your bank will charge you with a penalty rate. Many banks or mortgage lenders have miscalculated these financial losses, resulting in you paying fines that were too high. If you’ve paid too much, you might be entitled to a refund of the surplus paid to your bank as a fine. Does this sound like something that might have happened to you? Contact your bank to find out.

4. Get money back that you’ve paid extra on your television

Did you buy a picture tube TV manufactured by Samsung, Philips, LG, Panasonic,Toshiba or Technicolor between 1996 and 2006? Fat chance that you paid too much! Consumentenbond, the Dutch consumers association, has calculated that consumers on average paid 10% more for their colour televisions or computer screens than they would have without agreements amongst producers. The consumers association has started a campaign for these consumers that paid too much. If you’d like to become eligible for compensation you can join their campaign.

5. Claim money if you’ve been sold a false investment insurance

The Dutch have coined a term for false investment insurances: woekerpolissen. These cash value insurance contracts were signed as a way to save. The insured would pay a monthly amount to cover the mortgage or as an addition to a pension. But insurers kept quiet about high costs that these inlays caused. These high costs meant that, when the insurance ended, not as much money as promised was available. There are many collectives that can help you put in your claim. Two such collectives are consumentenclaim and woekerpolis.nl.

6. Get your money back spent on Airbnb service fees

The Dutch Crown Court established on the 16th of October 2016 that mediators, such as Airbnb, aren’t allowed to charge any service charges if they also act as the rental party. All Dutch citizens that have rented a property through Airbnb between July 2016 and now, can reclaim this service fee. You can do this yourself by contacting Airbnb with a letter or an e-mail, or you can be helped by several services, such as dienenvantweeheren.nl.

7. You can often get back the brokerage fees paid to your realtor

Real estate agents, just like Airbnb, aren’t allowed to in brokerage fees from the renter and landlord. You’re also not obliged to pay any agency costs, bemiddelingskosten in Dutch, for the rent of a room or house if the property is not part of the realtors own property range.If a mediator works for the property owner, no agency or service fees can be charged. Up until the first of July 2016 this was allowed. So if you’ve started renting after this date, you’re entitled to reclaim your agency costs.

8. Receive the money you paid for an NS train ticket after delays

Delays are no fun for anyone, but travellers are the ones most affected. This is why the Dutch railway company NS compensates its travellers for delays. A delay longer than 30 minutes can already mean compensation. If your travelling on a high speed line? Compensation can be coming your way after 15 minutes of delays. The NS will pay for your ticket, but you have to work for this refund. You can request a refund through this page. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to get your money back if your ticket price was lower than €2,30, if a delay was stated beforehand, if the delay was caused by a company other than the NS, if you’ve requested a refund more than three months after the day of the experienced delay or if there were circumstances beyond the NS control at play, like a national power outage.

9. Get back your money after forgetting to check out whilst using public transport

Forgetting to check out whilst using public transport can cost you quite a lot of money. Not good! We’ve all forgotten to check out at some point, but most of us weren’t aware that you can claim back your money. The Dutch railway provider NS is no bad guy, so you can claim your money back easily through https://www.uitcheckgemist.nl/. Fill in your details and your money will be with you shortly.

10. Receive rent benefit (even in retrospect!)

If you’re renting a property whilst your income is less than €22.700 a year, you might be eligible for rent benefit. You must be over the age of 18 and (for 2019) your maximum equity must be €30.360. If you’re applying for this aid with a partner, your shared equity must not exceed €60.720. The partner you’re applying to the aid for and your housemates must have the Dutch nationality or have a residence permit. Your monthly rent must not exceed €424,44 and must be independent accommodation. Lastly, you must have signed a legal contract with the landlord and are registered in a municipality. On the website of the Dutch tax authorities, Belastingdienst, you can calculate your rent benefits. If you’re entitled to housing benefits you can apply for rent benefits for 2019 and for the years before. You apply for these benefits through the Belastingdienst. For more information you can read our article on rent benefits.

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