Buying goods and services in Finland
In Finland, some service agreements require the purchaser to have a Finnish personal identity code. If you don’t have a Finnish personal identity code, this might also restrict the use of some services.
Nowadays almost all Finns have their own mobile phone. That’s why there are almost no public telephones or telephone booths.
Mobile phone contracts
Depending on the operator, a Finnish personal identity code may be required to get a monthly billed mobile phone contract.
Rather than a monthly billed contract, there are also prepaid contracts, where you pay the operator for phone use in advance. In most cases you do not need a Finnish personal identity code to get a prepaid contract. You can make and top up a prepaid contract online, in the operator’s store or often in kiosks or shops. To do this online, Finnish online banking codes are usually required.
Home landline phones are increasingly rare in Finland. Operators still offer home phone contracts, but in their marketing they encourage people to use mobile phones.
Nowadays in Finland many of the contacts between authorities, companies and private persons take place online. The banks have increasingly moved their services online, and may for example charge a service fee for paying bills if you don’t use your online banking service. You can also apply for Kela benefits and do your tax return online. For personal matters of this type, your identity is verified using online banking codes or an electronic ID card (Population Register Centre).
Libraries, for example, have computers for public internet access. Many bank branches have an internet terminal for using online banking services and paying bills. Employment and Economic Development Offices often have internet terminals for jobseekers.
Public places, like libraries, schools and restaurants, often provide a free open-access broadband network that you can use on your own computer.
Making a contract
Depending on the operator, a Finnish personal identity code may be required to make an internet contract. To use some operators’ online stores, you may also need a Finnish mobile phone number.
If you don’t have a Finnish personal identity code, you can get a prepaid contract, where you pay for internet use in advance.
To receive Finnish digital TV broadcasts, you need a set-top box or a TV with a built-in digital decoder. Analogue TV broadcasts ended in Finland in 2008. Resident taxpayers in Finland pay a Public Broadcasting Tax instead of a separate TV licence fee.
Occupants usually make their electricity contracts themselves, unless agreed otherwise with their landlord or housing company. You can make an electricity sales contract with the electricity supplier of your choice, but electricity distribution agreements are always made with the local grid operator. In practice all customers have to do is contact their electricity supplier, who take care of the distribution contract on their customers’ behalf.
You can make an electricity contract without a Finnish personal identity code. In that case the electricity supplier may ask for your date of birth or passport number.
You can compare electricity suppliers and prices on the Energy Authority’s electricity price comparison service.
You can get more information on electricity prices and contracts on the Finnish Energy website and from the Energy Authority’s consumer information service.
In the Nordic countries credit information is managed by private companies. The companies have agreements with the other Nordic countries, so credit entries registered in Finland can usually also be checked in the other Nordic countries.
Under Finnish law, everybody has the right to check their own credit information free of charge once a year. You can check your credit information in person or by sending a request to the company that manages the credit information.
Credit information entries on private persons are not made without their knowledge. Credit information entries are kept in the credit information register for a limited period only.
If you have problems
If you have problems you can contact the national Consumer Advisory Service. The Consumer Advisory Service provides information on consumers’ rights and obligations, mediates in disputes between consumers and companies and advises e.g. on questions about housing and property transactions.
In conflicts concerning cross-border transactions, you can contact the European Consumer Centre.
If you have any questions, please fill in our contact form.
NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.