Cheap contracts, expensive DB tickets: that will change for consumers in December

Cheap contracts, expensive DB tickets: that will change for consumers in December

December 2021 will be a real blissful month for consumers. You get better conditions for cell phone and internet contracts and can defend yourself if providers don't keep their promises. But many have to leave a few feathers in their wallets when they are being handled.

TKG amendment: December 1, 2021 will be a happy day for consumers

With the new version of the Telecommunications Act (TKG), consumers will have a good deal more power over their contractual partners from December 1st - and better conditions automatically when the contract is concluded. You benefit from new notice periods, you are protected from entering into contracts on the phone and you will soon only pay for what you can actually use with the landline network.

Fixed line Internet: only pay for what you get

From December onwards, your right to a price reduction with regard to the Internet provider will be put on a new footing. You can use the Federal Network Agency's official broadband measurement app to check the performance of your connection. If you receive significantly less internet speed than is specified in your contract, you can reduce the monthly payments accordingly. But you have to be patient: The desktop version of the app should be available from mid-December.

Total failure of the offer are also possible reasons for a reduction - or for termination without notice. If outages last longer than two calendar days, you are entitled to compensation from the provider. If you move and your provider is not active in your new place of residence, you can cancel with one month's notice.

Cancel monthly after the end of the term: That changes with contracts

With cell phone, internet and telephone contracts, a lot changes to the benefit of the consumer. The tacit extension from one year to the next is history. At the end of the agreed term (maximum 24 months), term contracts are automatically converted into contracts that can be terminated on a monthly basis , unless a different arrangement has been separately agreed beforehand. o2 takes this into account: tariffs without a duration are offered at no extra charge.

In the case of combined contracts, for example with landline and mobile networks, it will often be sufficient in the future that one component is not fully fulfilled in order to be able to terminate the entire combination. It is also becoming more complex and therefore safer to conclude contracts for telecommunications on the telephone . This is only possible if you have already been informed in writing about the main contents of the contract.

If this is not the case, contracts concluded by telephone are not considered effective . Customers have to confirm this in writing afterwards - for example by email - so that it can take effect. In general, contracts must contain a summary of the essential components such as costs and services as well as information on termination and contact details of the provider.

Providers can unilaterally make changes to existing contracts under certain conditions, but must inform customers about this at the latest one month and at most two months in advance. If the changes are to your disadvantage, you can cancel without notice.

Fiber optics and rail travel: consumers pay extra

A change that is supposed to support the expansion of fiber optics can affect many consumers: In the future, landlords will be able to pass the costs for an FTTH connection - i.e. fiber optics into the house - to tenants . This also applies retrospectively and can be billed for connections since 2015 via the ancillary costs.

It will also be more expensive for Deutsche Bahn customers: As of December 12, the flex prices and the prices for route season tickets will be increased by an average of 2.9 percent. This also applies to the subscription costs for BahnCard 25, 50 and 100 (source: t-online).

Windows 10: Support-off for the 2004 version is pending

Loyal Windows users will also have to be prepared for a change. Microsoft will end its support for Windows 10, Version 2004 on December 14th. Then the last update is due (source: Microsoft). If you want to stay up to date in the future, you will have to upgrade the version.

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