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What are my consumer rights? 20 ways to reclaim your money

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Published: 30/01/2020 | Update: 18/09/2020

What are my consumer rights? 20 ways to reclaim 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!

20 ways to reclaim 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!)
  11. Get your money back from a flight cancelled due to the coronavirus
  12. Claim money back from an undelivered package
  13. Not satisfied with an app? Ask for your money back
  14. In the event of an inconvenience during your bus journey, you are entitled to your money back
  15. Get your money back if you made a wrong payment
  16. Has your mail not arrived? Get your money back
  17. Claim your money back from an unjust fine
  18. Get compensation from Facebook
  19. Claim your money back from a cancelled festival
  20. Negotiate with your mobile operator and get a discount on your subscription

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!)

10 more ways to reclaim your money

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 2018 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 in the past three years, 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 Appeal.

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.

11. Get your money back from a flight cancelled due to the coronavirus

An early booking is usually rewarded with a lower price. Unfortunately this summer many flights were cancelled due to the coronavirus sweeping the globe.

In the case of a cancellation by the airline, or a red travel code for the destination of the flight, you have the right to reclaim your money. Many airlines have been offering vouchers in these cases. But you are not obliged to accept a voucher. You have the right to opt for another flight (the first flight with seats available), to rebook your trip or to get your money back.

Be wary of the date on which your trip got cancelled. If you were informed of the cancellation more than two weeks before departure, your right to receive a refund expires.

If you used a booking platform such as Skyscanner, this party is responsible for handling the cancellation. Reach out to them to negotiate a fitting solution.****

Find an example letter that you can send to the airline or booking platform here.

12. Claim money back from an undelivered package

The benefits are aplenty when it comes to online shopping. It’s quick, simple and can be done from the comfort of your own home. Dutch webshop Bol.com even guarantees same day delivery for some items. But what to do when an ordered product doesn’t get delivered? Be sure to pick Paypal in the list of payment options. Paypal’s terms and conditions can put your mind at ease. If a product isn’t delivered or doesn’t match the description on the webshop, you can get a full refund on your purchase.

13. Not satisfied with an app? Ask for your money back

Returning an item that doesn’t satisfy you to a shop is easy. But what if you’ve made an app purchase that you want to return? Works the same! If you’re dissatisfied with an app, you can return it in the Apple Store as well as in the Google Play Store.

For Apple Store purchases you have fourteen days to return the app and get your money back. Go to reportaproblem.apple.com, log in with the Apple-ID you made the app purchase with, look up the app you’d like to return, click the ‘Choose Problem’ dropdown, and submit your form.

The Google Play Store applies a shorter return period of 48 hours. Go to your account in the Google Play Store, scroll down to ‘Order History’ and select the app you’d like a refund for, click on the three vertical dots on the right side of the app and then click ‘Refund’.

If you weren’t able to request a refund within 48 hours, you can contact the app developer. You’ll find their details on the app page in the store. Unfortunately apps don’t have an overall refund policy, so the chances of getting your money back might be slim.

14. In the event of an inconvenience during your bus journey, you are entitled to your money back

Public transport organisation Connexxion believes that a ride on one of their buses should be comfortable and relaxing. If that wasn’t the case for you, you can fill in a form on their website. Some scenarios warrant the right to get your money back.

15. Get your money back if you made a wrong payment

If you’ve accidentally transferred money to the wrong account, ask your bank to transfer the money back to you, in other words, to reverse the transaction. Your bank contacts the recipient’s bank. If the recipient refuses to transfer the money back to you, you’ll have to take legal action to get your money back. You can contact your bank to get the recipients contact details.

Is your bank at fault when it comes to an incorrect transfer? Contact them as soon as possible. Your bank is required to reverse an incorrect transfer immediately. You can reclaim possible financial damage from your bank.

16. Has your mail not arrived? Get your money back

Imagine you’re selling a book and you stamped it online. The recipient contacts you a couple of weeks later, saying the book hasn’t been delivered. This is when you contact PostNL. If something went wrong stamping your package, and PostNL is at fault, you’re entitled to get your money back. Fill in the reimbursement form up until fourteen days after sending your package, if your request for a refund is accepted, you’ll receive the money within two weeks.

17. Claim your money back from an unjust fine

Dutch paper AD revealed in 2018 that one in three traffic tickets ended up being unjust after the recipient challenged the fine. Do you feel like you might have received an unjust fine?

There are two ways to challenge a fine: digitally, on the website of the Dutch central judicial collection agency, Centraal Justitieel Incassobureau (CJIB) or by letter to the district attorney. This letter should include your personal details, the number stated on the fine and the reason you’re challenging the fine.

Your objection can be declined, amended or granted. A declined objection means you’ll have to pay the fine. Is your fine amended? You’ll receive a different ticket, with a (probably) lower penalty. And lastly, is your objection granted? Congratulations! The fine will be destroyed.

18. Get compensation from Facebook

Were you a Facebook user between the 1st of January 2010 and the 1st of January 2020? You might be eligible for compensation. According to the Dutch consumer association, Facebook collected user data during this period. Facebook even made money by sharing the data with third parties, without asking for permission.

Curious to see if Facebook should compensate you? Find out here.

19. Claim your money back from a cancelled festival

It doesn’t happen very often but every once in a while a festival is cancelled due to bad weather or a global pandemic, for example.

The festival organisation is obliged to refund your money as soon as possible. If the organisation postpones the festival to a later date, you can decide to agree to it, or ask for a refund.

If all goes well, the organisation itself will take action to give you your money back. Do you feel like you’ve been waiting for a while? Sending them a registered letter can help. After this, the organisation has 14 days to refund your money without extra collection costs.

20. Negotiate with your mobile operator and get a discount on your subscription

Phone plans can be expensive, but many providers would prefer to offer you a discount rather than losing your business to one of their competitors. Especially if you are a loyal customer, or if you and your partner are both members.

You can phone them yourself to negotiate. Go over your current contract, check the current promotions being offered, decide on your negotiation target, make a script and off you go.

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