Cell-phone contract problems

178 posts in this topic

 

It's as if they themselves never had a bill they wanted to dispute

You don't want to dispute the bill. You want to get out of paying it. Disputing it means that you are claiming that there is a reason that you do not owe the money. You admit to signing a two year contract that has no cancellation. You admit to using the phone. There is nothing to dispute.

 

 

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

You don't just owe the 400 euros. You also owe 30 euros a month until the contract expires. You're not doing anyone a favor by offering to pay part of your obligation. And what would be the point in having customers sign a contract if you were just going to let them out of it because they WANTED out?

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While I don't agree with OP's deceitful intentions, I do agree that the phone contracts here are miserable.

 

When I moved to Munich the most recent time before my current stay (back in 2005), I called Telekom and informed them that I want DSL, but I am a freelancer and don't know how long I would be here, could be 3 months, could be 3 years, so I have to be able to cancel on short notice. "No problem. You have to stay for at least one year to get the hardware, though". Ok. I decided to take the risk that I would leave before the one year was over and have to pay for a line that I wasn't using.

 

Over four years later (middle 2009), it was time for me to leave and I cancelled. I get a letter back that they will accept my cancellation in . . . get this . . . almost two years. That wasn't our agreement.

 

Long story a bit shorter, after many faxes and telephone calls and a letter from me, I get a letter from them, "since you haven't responded concerning this matter . . . " and they started a Mahnverfahren, which I contested. That was about a year ago and I haven't heard anything since.

 

*Edit: add to that the fact that I've been a faithful customer of theirs in my family home for over 20 years and I just have to wonder what kind of customer service they are providing.

 

*EDIT to the EDIT: After that stay in Munich I went to FFM, but was in a hotel for the first couple of weeks, by which time they had already pissed me off enough, not to want to get another phone line from them, once I did settle into an apartment. Now I would love to have a DSL line again in Munich. Instead, I got UMTS while in FFM and that is what I will be using from now on. All they did was lose a good customer, from whom they would have lost a grand total of 1 month's contract, if they had just stuck to the original deal, and gained another 16 months (and counting) of another contract.

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I had an 18 month Vodafone contract in the UK, but moved to Germany in month 10. You guessed it: I had to pay £30 per month for the remaining 8 months. It hurts - not the £30 per se, but the idea of paying for an unused service, but hey, I just classified it as 'moving cost' in my mind, to make it more bearable!

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That's why I'd always choose prepaid. No calls, no bill. If you are abroad you just buy a local prepaid card and that's all.

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I use pre-paid too. If I want a new phone, I fork out for it myself and I am not stuck in a contract.

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Schufa is some sort of private run register about people who failed to pay bills

Not quite/entirely, SHUFA is a credit bureau. It's the German/EU equiv. of the big 3 back in the US (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion)

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What do you mean a "credit bureau"? In business terms it's an AG - an Aktiengesellschaft - a privately held company. Just like Equifax, Experian and TransUnion funnilly enough. In all cases they are private companies (often publicly traded, but not in public ownershop) that simply collect, store and trade information as their business model which is by definition what a credit bureau does.

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I don't get it - if you don't know how long you will stay, then WHY sign up for a two year contract?? Why not get pay as you go. The clue is in the title!

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She DID know how long she wanted to stay (permanently, she said in her first post) she just lied about moving back to the U.S. to try to get out of contract early.

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Miss Lidi, Toytown is very conservative when it comes to contracts and other's behavior in general. That is just the neighborhood. I think people here are probably a bit more by the book than in their own country, in general, as there is always the possibility of getting deported. But it is interesting.

 

Good advice from El Jeffo, Beuel and Guest though. Advice can be great, but attitudes here can sometimes make one shake one's head.

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WOW - I love how my reputation on my profile went from neutral to poor in one single day!! I came here with the intention of seeking advice, and in return I have people judging me left and right. For those of you who are giving unbiased information and just helpful advice, THANK YOU.

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What do you mean a "credit bureau"? In business terms it's an AG - an Aktiengesellschaft - a privately held company. Just like Equifax, Experian and TransUnion funnilly enough. In all cases they are private companies (often publicly traded, but not in public ownershop) that simply collect, store and trade information as their business model which is by definition what a credit bureau does.

 

 

In the US it is normal to call a consumer reporting agency a "Credit Bureau". In this context I think of the word as meaning a register or database, not a government office. I have no idea how the phrase originated though.

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Agh. Just gotta dive in on this one.

 

I guess firstly, what OP did was somewhat silly (stuff about leaving) and also naive (not thinking thru contract and roaming - but coming from USA, where inter-state roaming stuff pretty much went away ages ago, it's easy to understand how you might not even think to check into that).

 

On other hand, cellphone co's in Europe are ripping off customers big time with excessive roaming fees. Really is sort of a cartel (OK, may or may not be from a legal perspective) and a great way to beef up their profits. I'll charge you 20c/min to access my network, and vice-versa etc. Other than smaller/newer operators, it all evens out, the celco's make more money and the consumer is footing the bill. Like it really costs that much to handle/terminate a call...

 

Not to mention, not having a cancellation fee also sucks. Peoples situations do change. Also (and perhaps more importantly), if a company has you locked in for a couple of years, they don't have a whole lot of incentive to offer good ongoing customer service.

 

Is all great for the companies, their executives' bonus, and the shareholders; but pretty crap for customers.

 

Europe - not very well integrated and far from a seamless common market, at least as far as cellphones go.

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just transfer the contract to someone else, including the phone is your own option.. fastest way is to include it. there should be a transfer form on the website or from a local vodafone dealer.. all you need then is someone who wants the contract.

 

now was that not easy?

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Elis, how do you transfer the contract in a legally enforceable way? Will the company let you sign your contract over to another person, when they could potentially hold two contracts? I know it works with real estate here. The new renter makes a new contract with the rental agent or company. Does this also hold for the phone companies as well?

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@ MiNi79 and Miss Lidi

 

Some research from the vodafone.de Customer Forum >> Vertrag >>Vodafone Basic - Vertrag übernehmen möglich?

 

 

 

eine Übernahme Ihres Vodafone-Vertrages ist möglich. Der Vertrag wird mit der aktuellen Laufzeit sowie dem bestehenden Tarif übernommen. Nach der Vertragsübernahme kann der neue Vertragspartern den Tarif auf Wunsch wechseln.

 

Folgende Punkte sind dabei zu berücksichtigen:

 

• der neue Vertragspartner muß volljährig sein

 

• er muß zahlungsfähig sein, also eine positive Bonität haben

 

Sind diese Voraussetzungen erfüllt, prüfen wir die Vertragsübernahme.

 

Den Auftrag dazu finden Sie hier: http://www.vodafone...nfofaxe/299.pdf

 

Mit freundlichem Gruß,

Matthias

 

OP: FYI, the above Vodafone Moderator answer may NOT reflect the details of YOUR contract as this example applies to a no longer current Basic Tarif. However the conditions applied to any prospective person intending to take over a contract would likely be as stated.

Roughly translated

 

  • the new Contract partner must have the age of legal majority (18yrs)
  • he/she must have the ability to meet the financial obligation, show a positive credit rating (SHUFA)
  • If these Conditions are met Vodafone may then make a decision to accept the Transfer of Contract
  • The Application Form can be found here:

http://www.vodafone...nfofaxe/299.pdf

 

Miss Lidi, in view of your posts so far on this subject which demonstrate your limited current knowledge of German Contract Law, I would strongly advise you to have a German native speaker (with a good eye for legalese) EXPLAIN the last page (on Vodafone AGB = Contractural T&Cs) to you.

In future, in Germany especially, (as in life in general) this is something you should make a habit of doing BEFORE you commit yourself to contractural obligations.

 

HTH

 

 

2B

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agree - try to transfer the contract to someone else. I had to do this when I left the UK, as we'd signed up for 2 years but then got pregnant and decided to leave after a year.

 

It was a bit of a mission to do and a bit of a struggle to find someone who wanted it, but the positive side of it was that I didn't have to be a baddie in Vodafone's eyes, and the person I transferred it to just had to see out the rest of my contract rather than sign up for a whole two years.

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No one is going to take it she owes over 400 in roaming fees, its not just a contract anymore that someone will want to take over.

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She said she is ready to pay off the 400 in installments. IMO she should do that and once it's paid off, try to pawn the contract over on somebody else.

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