The German software developer has been accused of obscure, illegal subscription policies.

A customer claims to have been billed for a renewal of TeamViewer’s remote access software services even though they had only purchased a one-year license. The aggrieved customer has reportedly been approached by Creditreform debt collectors for the payment sent by TeamViewer.

Online forums are filled with discussions about the incident, with many questioning the legality of TeamViewer’s practices. Some have gone so far as to describe its policies as ‘predatory.’

Many believe the renewal policies do not comply with Germany’s new Fair Consumer Contracts Act (FCCA). One of its purposes is limiting digital services’ ability to automatically renew contracts for another year.

This is contrary to TeamViewer’s policy, stated in its contract’s fine print. When customers agree with the vendor’s Terms & Conditions at the time of purchase, they agree to an automatic renewal policy that will instantly charge them upfront for their next year’s subscription.

To know how to opt out of this arrangement, customers must carefully read the fine print and learn they have to notify TeamViewer that they do not wish to continue their subscription within 28 days of their contract ending.

Legality of TeamViewer’s policies is uncertain

Commenters on online platforms claim TeamViewer’s automatic subscriptions and complicated cancellation policy are not compliant with FCCA.

When contacted for a comment on how it would adapt its policies to be in line with new regulations, TeamViewer did not respond. A company spokesperson did explain why they have an automatic renewal service in place:

“As connectivity provided by TeamViewer is often a requirement for business-critical processes we have established a convenient auto-renewal to make sure our customers do not face situations where they suddenly cannot connect to their devices anymore.”

Whether or not the company will actually overhaul its policies remains to be seen. Suffice to say, a growing number of voices insist that it must.