What is gonna follow, is a rather detailed account of my troubles with the abovementioned Swiss company, and the Swiss embassy in Athens (no troubles with the embassy, they were amazingly helpful).
About four months ago, I was hired to work as a programmer for a small ISV. Before my showing up there, the company had received by surface mail what looked like an advertisement by a Swiss company for FREE inclusion in their Internet Catalogue of European Businesses. A form was filled-in and faxed to them, signed by the boss...
About four weeks later, the company got an invoice for 600€. It seemed we owed InterCable money for having been included in their cdrom version of the catalogue. A closer look to the signed fax we sent them revealed that it actually said that by signing we silently agreed to be included in the cdrom version of the catalogue. If all we wanted was inclusion in the online version, we should have returned the fax unsigned.
The company immediately send an email asking for cancellation of the so called contract, only to be notified that cancellation was impossible, since more than three weeks had passed since the placement of our so-called order.
At which point the company choose to ignore them. But requests for payment kept on coming.
This was the situation when I joined in.
Google revealed a rather interesting collection of facts about InterCable. The majority of the links it produced where complaints about InterCable's misleading contracts and practices. I started reading and discovered that the best way to stop them was to file a formal complaint with the Swiss embassy in my country. So I did.
Here is the letter I initially sent to the embassy (company names and logos removed).
They were most helpful. They immediately called and told me that the matter of InteCable had come up in the past, that after the complaints InterCable usually stopped sending invoice and threats of legal action, and if I could send them an English version of the letter with all related correspondence attached.
Here is the English version I sent after their request. I then waited.
A couple of weeks later, InterCable sent us the cdrom we had supposedly ordered… :-)
Another week later I received a call from the Swiss embassy informing us that the matter had been closed and that InterCable would bother us no more. Any invoices we might get, we should ignore, cause they were probably sent before the matter was closed.
We mailed their cdrom back to them.