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I am a 17-year-old student. In summer 2016, I registered for a MUN (Model United Nations) in Friedrichshafen, Germany. After two months, I lost interest in attending the conference set for October 23rd. The conference costs 40$, a fee to be payed until some day in September. I never payed the fee and continued to ignore their e-mails about the fee deadlines, until I got a message, asking me to either transfer the full amount of money and join the conference, or cancel my registration and transfer half of the amount, as "the conference could only be cancelled without additional fees until Semptember 2nd." In the following, you can see a picture of the form used to register, stating

Please be aware that you can cancel your registration with full payback only until the 2nd of September. registration form of the mun conference

I have not signed any paper document. Even though the prevailing legal situation in Germany might be different than in the USA, could this issue (given my continuing refusal to pay), if brought to court, have any success?

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To add to Nij's answer:

You write

I have not signed any paper document.

You seem to assume that a binding contract can only be entered into in writing. This is wrong.

In most countries (certainly in Germany), a binding contract generally does not require a written document. A contract can be entered into orally, or even silently ("Schlüssiges Handeln", "Implied-in-fact contract").

All that is required for a contract is that one party made a proposal, and the other party indicated their agreement, implicitly or explicitly ("Willenserklärung").

Clicking "yes" on a website can mean entering into a contract if you could reasonably be expected to understand that you were accepting certain obligations (such as that of paying a fee).

So in your case, you probably entered into a valid contract, and will have to fulfill your obligation under it, which means paying.


From a practical point of view: If you choose not to pay, the organizers will probably either drop the claim (if you are lucky), or they will pursue it. In that case, they can send you a "Mahnbescheid" for their claim. At that point you either pay within 14 days, or respond that you reject the claim, then there will be a trial, which you will probably lose, and pay a lot more than 40€. If you do not respond to the Mahnbescheid, you will receive a "Vollstreckungsbescheid", and then a visit by a Gerichtsvollzieher (officer of the court).

My advice would be to pay and learn to properly cancel registrations.

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When you registered for the assembly, it is almost certain that you agreed to a set of terms and conditions.

Amongst these will be a clause stating that you will pay the fee or any penalties for late withdrawal.

If the organiser thought it was worth the trouble and cost to chase this payment, you would have to prove that you did not agree to these terms and conditions (extremely unlikely) or that these terms and conditions are not reasonable (even more unlikely).

Whether you want to ignore it and hope for the best or pay them to go away, is up to you.

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