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Several years ago I bought a domain name. I have never really used it, and have been wanting to get rid of it for quite some time now, but every year the hosting service finds another trick to make me pay for another year. (I admit: I'm playing a bit into their hand by being forgetful from time to time)

This year I again get an invoice. I thought I cancelled through email or their ticketing system last year, but I can't find anything that confirms my memory. However, I did find something else. I found an email in which they said that up until now, their service is always prepaid. They will only extend the domain name after you pay the invoice. However, starting from that will change. From then on, their service will be subscription based. Which means that they will automatically extend the domain name, even without your approval, to avoid losing it.

And honestly, I kinda get their change. I understand why many people would be happy with this, and I don't have a hard time believing that they made this change with the best intentions. And normally I wouldn't want to abuse this. But in this case, due to other unethical things they do and did in the past, I would like to get rid of them ASAP.

So I wonder... does merely receiving this email mean that I am bound by their new policy? Or can I expect to still be under the old regime, where the service was prepaid?

Note that this is (imho) different from services such as e.g. Facebook, where you actively use the service, so you agree to their ToS every time you log in. With domain names, you only use it passively. And in my case I didn't use it at all. The domain name hasn't been in use for years, and I haven't logged in on the webpage since last time I got an invoice.

Jurisdiction: The company is situated in The Netherlands, while I myself live in Belgium.

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    Comments have been moved to chat; please do not continue the discussion here. Before posting a comment below this one, please review the purposes of comments. Comments that do not request clarification or suggest improvements usually belong as an answer, on Law Meta, or in Law Chat. Comments continuing discussion may be removed.
    – Dale M
    Commented Jul 18, 2023 at 4:12

1 Answer 1

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What does the contract say?

If it says that they have the right to unilaterally alter the terms by providing you with notice by email, then they have the right to unilaterally alter the terms by providing you with notice by email.

These types of service contracts typically have such terms.

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  • Comments have been moved to chat; please do not continue the discussion here. Before posting a comment below this one, please review the purposes of comments. Comments that do not request clarification or suggest improvements usually belong as an answer, on Law Meta, or in Law Chat. Comments continuing discussion may be removed.
    – Dale M
    Commented Jul 18, 2023 at 22:02

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