Netflix sued for breaching French consumer law
| 25 November 2014
After being available in the country for barely weeks, Netflix has run into a lawsuit from France's consumer body the CLCV.
NetflixOrangeNoting somewhat pointedly that the subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) leader offers its service from a company based in Luxembourg, the CLCV is accusing Netflix of not complying with French consumer law and is suing under what it calls 'malicious and illegal clauses'. Specifically, it notes that contrary to the country's law, Netflix reserved the right to change contract terms, potentially imposing new obligations, at any time without informing the consumer.
In addition, the CLCV asserts that Netflix does not provide information on a guaranteed minimum level of quality nor any information regarding compensation and refund arrangements as appropriate. In what it calls a 'more symbolic but potentially significant' note, the French body observed that certain conditions of use refer to texts in English and contain 'a rather unusual' legal explanation in the French language.
The CLCV concluded that it was keen to stop a small but noticeable potential drift of French consumers having to communicate with Silicon Valley offices in English. Yet heading off any accusations of culture wars, the CLCV stressed that it welcomed the arrival into France of what it described as 'an innovative audiovisual offer' that would make a positive contribution to a French pay-TV market that it regarded as being governed by too few players offering subscriptions at too high a cost.
Netflix has yet to respond officially to the CCLCV's claims.