Buying goods and services in Sweden

Mobiltelefon med købevalg

Online shopping

Here you can read about your rights as a consumer and about buying goods and services in Sweden. You will also find practical information about Swedish mobile telephone subscriptions, electricity suppliers, and the public service fee for radio and TV.

In Sweden, it is often a requirement that you must have a Swedish personal identity number to enter into an agreement for a service. If you do not have a Swedish personal identity number, this can limit the use of certain services.

Consumer rights in Sweden

When you buy something, regardless of whether is bought online or in a physical shop, there are certain guidelines that both you and the seller must adhere to.

If you are in any doubt about what applies when you make a purchase, you can find out about your rights in the Swedish Consumer Sales Act (Konsumentköplagen). There are also Swedish consumer organisations that can guide you.

Swedish Consumer Sales Act

The Consumer Sales Act contains basic principles that give the user and the company certain rights and obligations. The regulations protect the consumer when buying goods, When you buy something in Sweden, you should be aware of the following.

  • You have a three-year right to complain. This means you are entitled to complain to the shop about faults and defects in the item for up to three years after the date of purchase.
  • You do not automatically have the option to return your purchase (öppet köp) when you buy something in a shop.
  • You can only exchange the item or get a refund if the shop offers this.

If the item has a fault or a defect, you are first entitled to get the item repaired or replaced. If this is not possible, you can instead request a reduction in the price or a sum of money to get the item repaired elsewhere.

In order to cancel the purchase and get a refund, the fault or defect in the item must be of significant importance for you.

If you enter into an agreement on purchase of an item through distance shopping – such as by telephone or online – you have a right to cancel within 14 days.

Consumer organisations in Sweden

If you want to know more about your rights as a consumer in Sweden, you can contact Hallå Konsument, which is an independent information service coordinated by the Swedish Consumer Agency (Konsumentverket). They can also give you guidance on registering complaints.

If you have questions about your rights as a customer of a bank or an insurance company, you can contact The Swedish Consumers' Banking and Finance Bureau and The Swedish Consumers' Insurance Bureau (Konsumenternas Bank- och Finansbyrå).

If you have questions that concern cross-border trading in the EU and EEA, you can contact the Swedish office of the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC). This organisation gives free advice on consumer rights in cross-border trading in the EU, Iceland, Norway, and the UK.

Contracts and subscriptions in Sweden

It is not always easy to fix a contract for a mobile phone, broadband, electricity, etc. if you are not a resident of Sweden and do not have a Swedish personal identity number or a bank ID.

Here you can find more information about the regulations that apply when you buy goods and services in Sweden.

Public service fee

In Sweden, the radio and TV fee is a general public service fee collected through tax.

Mobile telephone, landline telephone and broadband

If you are not registered in the Swedish Population Register, it may be difficult to get a contract with a telephone company.

Despite this, contact the provider with whom you want a contract to see what they can offer customers who are not registered in Sweden.

If you have not been registered in Sweden for a long time, many companies will require salary slips or similar to prove that you have an income. In some cases, the provider may require that you pay a deposit.

For mobile telephony, you can buy a pay-as-you-go card, where you pay for your use in advance. You do not need a Swedish personal identity number to buy a pay-as-you-go card.

Landline telephone, digital TV, and broadband

In many modern rental properties, you can have landline telephone, digital TV, and broadband provided via the Internet.

Depending on where you live, you can choose between a number of providers.

Electricity suppliers and network operators

In Sweden you can choose freely between approximately 120 electricity suppliers, but you cannot choose the network operator.

The network operator owns the grid where you live, and always requires a fee for distributing the electricity to you, and this fee you cannot influence.

However, you can choose whichever electricity supplier you want. If you do not choose an electricity supplier, the network operator will allocate one to you. This can generally mean that your electricity agreement will be unnecessarily expensive. Before you choose an electricity supplier, it is worth comparing prices on the website of the Swedish Energy Markets Inspectorate (comparison service in Swedish).

You should check the terms and conditions in the electricity agreement before you sign the agreement. In addition to the price, it can be important to know what applies with regard to the period of termination, the agreement term, and what happens to the agreement at the end of the term.

If you move from your house or flat, you should terminate your electricity agreements with the electricity supply and the network operator.

Credit assessments

Institutions that lend money or approve other types of credit need a sound basis for assessing whether they will grant you credit.

To simplify the granting of credit, there are credit assessment agencies that give the creditor information about you when you have applied for credit. Complete and accurate information helps the creditor assess the risk of credit loss and other problems.

A credit report mainly focuses on the financial position. Other personal information can also be included, such as whether you are married or have emigrated to another country.

If you live and/or work in another country, the company from which you want to buy an item or service cannot see that you have an income using a credit check in Sweden. You must therefore prove your income in some other way, for example by having your salary paid into an account in Sweden.

The seller makes a commercial decision as to whether they will approve your purchase of an item or service on the basis of the risk profile shown in the credit assessment. The seller may not discriminate against EU citizens on the grounds of their nationality. However, when you live and/or work in another country, it can be difficult to buy certain services in Sweden. Contact the supplier for more information about what you can do to prove your creditworthiness.

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