Consumer protection advises: You now have to know about cell phone and internet contracts

Consumer protection advises: You now have to know about cell phone and internet contracts

With the new Telecommunications Act coming into force in December 2021, mobile and Internet customers are facing many changes. Easier termination and shorter terms are then part of every contract. Consumer advocates welcome the new regulations.

As of December 1st, things will change for the better for mobile customers and everyone who has internet or landline contracts. "Guilt" is the new version of the Telecommunications Act, which then comes into force under the cumbersome name of the Telecommunications Modernization Act. That sounds daunting at first, but it actually brings a lot of benefits for consumers .

Telekom, Vodafone, o2: Providers have to switch to a one-month notice period

One innovation stands out, which affects everyone who has a cell phone, landline or internet contract. Because such contracts will soon no longer be allowed to be extended one year to the next - even if you do not terminate (source: German Consumer Association / VZBV)

The following applies in the future: If the term specified at the beginning of the contract has been exceeded and an automatic extension has also been contractually agreed, consumers must be able to terminate at any time with one month's notice .

The typical mobile phone contract from Telekom, Vodafone, o2 and Co., for example, has a term of 24 months. If these have expired and the notice was not given in time, another year has been added so far. There is again an early notice period of three months. If that is missed again, there will be another 12 months and so on.

As of December 1st, after the end of the first term, the law will switch to a contract that can be terminated at any time, with a period of four weeks. According to the VZBV, this also applies retrospectively to previously concluded contracts.

Further innovations are planned around contracts for mobile communications or landline internet: Changes to the terms of a contract can be made unilaterally by the provider. Since in such a case consumers could easily be at a disadvantage, a right of termination without notice is introduced . Customers can make use of this if the contract is to be adjusted unilaterally to their disadvantage. Providers must inform them in writing about the changes in good time.

Duty to provide information: This is how consumers always get the best deal

In addition, all customers who have an ongoing contract with a provider for Internet, telephone or mobile communications will in future be informed about better alternative tariffs at least once a year . The providers are obliged to do this. Existing customers should be saved from paying too much for overpriced old tariffs.

Cheap smartphones are not only available in contracts - we have put together the best bargains in the video .

Contracts discussed over the phone are no longer valid from December 1st without written confirmation. They must also contain a summary of the main parts of the contract, such as the provider's contact details, agreed terms and costs, and the duration and conditions for an extension or termination.


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