TECH CRUNCH - Aug 24 - InterNations has operated an expat networking experience since 2007, offering a free "Basic" tier of membership or a premium tier which requires shelling out for a year's subscription up front to get free/reduced price entry to networking events, plus access to some additional site features. The German company appears to be a fan of nominative determinism - having named the subscription "Albatross," given how difficult it is for users to exit once they upgrade from Basic to paying contract. Several former members complained their memberships were auto-renewed for a full year without any warning in the middle of the pandemic. When they contacted InterNations to request a refund they were refused. In emails to users who are requesting a refund, InterNations simply points them to German law - which does appear to be the legal sticking point here. As a number of expat blogs warn, service contracts in Germany can be a lot harder to get out of than into. Tricking consumers into recurring payments is never a good long-term business strategy, and it certainly isn't now that reputational damage can scale all over social media in seconds.