Cell-phone contract problems

178 posts in this topic

Hi everyone!

 

I signed a contract with Vodafone (in München) for 2 years this September. I am an American citizen and wish to stay here permanently. However, I was in another country recently and had to use my cell-phone in roaming. The charges are now a little over 400 Euros. I tried cancelling my contract, wrote to Vodafone, explaining that I have to leave the country and wishing to pay the 400 Euros over three months in installments.

 

Unfortunately, Vodafone will not cancel my contract, saying that leaving the country and not coming back in not a valid reason. They are now telling me that I will have to pay the minimum amount (around 30 Euros) until the contract runs out, which is until September 2012, even though I would be in the US!!!

 

I don't know what to do! I am ready to give back the phone, settle my cell-phone bill, and start fresh.

 

What would happen if I just ignore the bills and do not pay a cent? I'm aware that Vodafone would report this to Schufa, but how long does this negative rating stay on my Schufa? Do potential employers ever do credit checks here in Germany? Can Schufa take you to court over unpaid cell-phone bills? Does this mean that I will never be able to take out a credit?

 

Thank you for your help!

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They will probably take you to court and it will incur extra costs. If you plan to stay in germany such an unpaid bill will likely casue you problems when you apply for a mortgage, another cellphone subscription, or a loan. I don't think employers will check these data.

 

I would just pay the bill, are you that broke?

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I am an American citizen and wish to stay here permanently.

 

until September 2012, even though I would be in the US!!!

 

So which one is it?

 

If you signed a two year contract, you have to pay until it runs out.

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Schufa is some sort of private run register about people who failed to pay bills.They themselves can't take you to court, that's not their business.

However, Vodafone will tell Schufa that you haven't fulfilled your financal obligations resulting out of the contract you have with vodafone. This could, or rather will, lead to a negative score at them. If you ask for a loan or for a non-prepaid phone contract in future, your negative score will hinder you and no one will give you credit or a phone contract. You will stay scored negative at the Schufa as long as you haven't paid your debts at Vodafone at least, can't recall for the moment how long afterwards possibly.

 

Vodafone is not going to let you get away if you just ignore their bills. In the worst case they will reach a court decision and will be allowed to oblige your employer to withhold a part of your earning and transfer it to Vodafone. Worst case, but happens.

 

A possible future employer could, if he has a contract with Schufa, ask them to give him your current credit rating.Happens. So pay if it's anyhow possible, quick.

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They will not take back a used phone. Talk to them again, and if possible with your abmeldung copy (which you should do on leaving Germany for long term). You will still have to pay a monthly minimum for the remaining months. Raise some cash by selling your phone in the used market.

 

And if you refuse to pay now, you will end up paying vodafone and most likely the fees of some collection agency.

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I will stay here, but had to tell them I would be leaving, even though I won't. I thought that would be a legitimate reason to cancel someone's contract. According to them, it's not. What is then? Death??

 

And yes, I am broke. Surely if I weren't, I would pay the 400 Euros. And the problem is not even paying that money in installments, the bigger issue is cancelling a contract because it is just too expensive. I'm pretty sure Vodafone wouldn't feel anything financially if they were to help a customer and make an exception. Doesn't anyone in Germany know what it means to be human anymore?

 

Also, since I'm from the US, there's a thing called "Early Cancellation Fee". Depending on the provider, it can be $200. Reasonable price. The Germans love to copy the US at pretty much anything, but when it comes to convenience, they're pretty much in the dark!

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Miss Lidi,

 

don't want to give you a lesson, but it has been you who signed that contract. An alternative for someone playing safe would have been a prepaid contract, very common. And for Vodafone, it's not even german, it's british by the way.

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*facepalm*

 

Pay your damn bills or go home, fertig. That is what we call being a responsible adult. You do not have a dire circumstance that makes you exempt from the norm.

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What would happen if I just ignore the bills and do not pay a cent?

Expect a collection agency to knock on your door very soon.

 

And in future never sign a contract without understanding the terms of service.

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And expect that they will add on significant additional costs that will make the final costs much higher then the original bill.

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I love how other people enjoy reading about the misfortunes of others! It's as if they themselves never had a bill they wanted to dispute, no, everyone here is a perfect, law-abiding citizen. Coming from another continent to live in Germany is not an easy task, and for all of you who are here trying to find a job and get a residence permit, you can agree with me. And I certainly could leave Germany and not pay the bill. No one would give a damn. But as I wrote, I WANT to pay the amount I have and just CANCEL the contract early - which in Germany obviously doesn't seem to exist. Why are people like myself - who have a change of circumstances and need to get out of a contract - judged with such hatred? Early cancellation fees would fix the problem.

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Is this about the roaming bill, or about the fact that Vodafone won't cancel the contract prematurely? Not really clear from the OP post...

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No, the roaming bill is not even that important, I made a deal with them to pay 'in Raten'... It's about Vodafone cancelling the contract early.

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Sorry, but they won't. You signed up for two years, so you're stuck with the contract for two years.

 

I can give you one bit of advice, however: write (or mail/call) them now, stating that you're canceling your contract. That way you've canceled it plenty of time in advance and won't run the risk of getting auto-renewed because you missed the cancellation deadline.

 

Sorry about your circumstances, but if you search the site, you'll see a number of threads on the subject of canceling cell phone contracts, all of which conclude that it is near-impossible.

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Since you already lied to them it is maybe to late, but beeing broke- and I mean really, not just particular about wich bills you want to pay- is a "ausserordentlicher Kündigungsgrund". If you explain your circumstances you may find they make exceptions. But if they think you have the money to leave the country and to pay the flight they might wonder why you are unable to pay their bills.

If you don't know what to do look for a "Schuldnerberatung".

 

Edit: You need to cancel the contract in writing.

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