Paying premium customers have more options on the Jameda review portal than basic members. A couple of doctors from North Rhine-Westphalia thinks this is unfair. It prefers the Federal Court of Justice – but has so far met with little understanding.
The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) is facing a further ruling on the neutrality of the Jameda evaluation portal and the right of doctors listed there to have their data deleted. Two dentists from North Rhine-Westphalia demand that they no longer be listed there. From their point of view, there is a kind of two-class society at Jameda: Premium customers can use paid gold or platinum packages to spice up their profile with photos or refer to their own specialist articles or websites. In contrast, so-called basic customers who pay nothing only have a silhouette as a profile picture and hardly any other option to make their profile more appealing.
The two doctors think that is unfair. You do not want to tolerate appearing in the review portal under these circumstances. However, the responsible BGH Senate did not give the plaintiffs too much hope during the trial. There is no general obligation to treat paying and non-paying doctors equally. Rather, it depends on the individual case. In the case, the couple had successfully requested in the previous instances to be deleted from the portal. In addition, it did not want to be recorded there in the future either.
The medical professionals criticized a total of 24 features of premium profiles that, in their view, harm them as basic customers. The Senate picked out four points in the negotiation and indicated that it would not follow the plaintiffs’ point of view and that it would not recognize any unreasonable disadvantage. It is unclear when the verdict will be given.
Managing director defends Jameda concept
Jameda said he had already changed the criticized points as a precaution before the negotiation. Since then, the couple has been back on the portal with their basic data – against their will. The company thinks it is fundamentally unethical to give preference to paying customers, said Jameda managing director Florian Weiß. The ranking of doctors who can be rated by patients on the portal is also completely independent of the customer status of the doctors listed.
In principle, because of the public interest, in terms of the free choice of doctor and also because of the freedom of communication, doctors have to accept that they can be found in such portals. However, the portals must not leave the ground of neutrality for this, the BGH had made it clear in 2018 and a dermatologist’s complaint for deletion was upheld.
Jameda then had to change its business model with the corresponding advertising formats for premium customers. According to its own statements, Jameda lists practically all doctors nationwide. It obtains the data for this from publicly accessible sources such as telephone book entries or practice openings. Around 70,000 of the doctors listed have booked premium packages, which means they pay for special functions and services.