With much fanfare, Test Aankoop went to war against Facebook after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Three years later, this turned out to be mainly due to a campaign to recruit paying subscribers for Test Aankoop.
‘Test-Purchase to Court Against Facebook’, we titled in May 2018. Several European consumer organizations worked on a mass claim against the social network following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The requirement: 200 euros fee per user.
The legal claim already died a silent death this spring after Test Aankoop reached an agreement with Facebook in which it would enter into a collaboration. Both parties do not want to say whether Facebook pays fees to Test Aankoop. But there would undoubtedly be “an offer” to the 44,000 people who took part in the case.
That offer is now available: The people who took part will receive a digital version of the Test Aankoop magazine for six months, Europe Assistance’s ‘Safe & Connected’ (an insurance policy for IT support) for a year and access to DigiGuide for six months. A platform with practical technical assistance.
But that offer also contains a snag. For example, it is not about free copies of Test Aankoop, but about a subscription that only the first six months are free. Furthermore, anyone who wants to register must provide a bank account number on which Test Aankoop activates a direct debit of EUR 9.50 per month. In addition, as an interested party, you must also provide your postal address, even if it concerns an entirely digital offer.
Test Aankoop confirms the offer, but nuances that those who sign up will be asked by email whether they still want to remain a member after five months. The consumer organization emphasizes that it does not receive any subsidies or advertising revenue but has borne all costs of the class action against Facebook. The subscribers themselves did not have to pay anything but could win in a ruling.
However, that ruling did not come because Test Aankoop concluded an agreement with Facebook for further cooperation. “Thanks to the agreement with Facebook, we have been able to establish a Consumer Trend Priority platform and a Reporting Channel that allows us to report to Facebook about trends and issues that have arisen regarding their services. Including those relating to privacy.’ According to spokesman Simon November. However, the consumer organization does not provide any further explanation about the content of the collaboration for the time being.
So it seems that Test Aankoop announced legal action with a lot of noise, convincing 44,000 people. But three years later, Facebook escaped a lawsuit, and the consumer organization tried to recover victims of Facebook from recruiting subscribers itself.