Termination of Kabel Deutschland/Vodafone contract is a big problem

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Hi LeonG - yeah I figured if it happened to me, there must be a lot of other cases, although I seem to have been particularly unlucky!

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This is the closest thread I could find, although there seems to be no shortage of people being screwed over by Vodafone. Here's my story:

I have had Kabel Deutschland for over 5 years now and then at some point during that time it became Vodafone Kabel Deutschland.

In March 2017 I contacted them to have them move my connection (I moved a couple of months prior to that) to the new address. At the same time I asked to be upgraded to the 400 Mbit line.

Fast forward about one year. In February 2018 I called them to ask to downgrade to a slower line because I had the feeling that for my usage, it would't make a noticeable difference to go down to a 100 Mbit line. I was told that is not possible. I can only upgrade, not downgrade. Fair enough I guess. I said alright. I told him I will just wait till my current contract is about to expire and then change. The guy said he could upgrade me for free to a 500 Mbit line. Now, I have been around for long enough to know better and told him immediately that no, I do not want to sign up for a new contract with a new 2 year duration. He said no, he can upgrade me for free for no additional charge and no new contract start time. He asked me if I agreed. I said he may upgrade me as long as he promises I am not agreeing to a new contract or a new 2 year start.

Fast forward a few months. I noticed in June that a new contract was indeed started pretty much the day after I called. In May I was past any "Widerrufsrecht". Vodafone's now claiming I was sent all appropriate paperwork and I did not send in any objection within their deadline. I cannot say I got any paperwork since almost every two weeks I get advertisements from them (in spite of having sent them a request for a Werbesperrung soon after I moved) which go straight into the trash. I tried telling them that I said explicitly and more than once over the phone that I did not agree to a new contract. I have tried their usual support channels: phone, email, social media. All they say is that they cannot ascertain what transpired during that phone conversation but to them, the written word is final. Does anyone else agree this is just fraud?

I am considering either

  • Involving a lawyer specializing in contract law.
  • Just sending them a letter myself stating that the current contract is not valid since I did not give them any Auftrag, so either they acknowledge the validity of the original contract or I will consider legal options.
  • Since most likely they will not acknowledge the original contract, a second letter withdrawing the SEPA Lastschrift Mandat
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Unless you can get a trans script of your telephone call, which shows what you agreed to. Then I would imagine you will lose any court case.

sorry, they are in the better position, yes I believe you, but you cannot prove it.

 

 

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1 hour ago, yesterday said:

Unless you can get a trans script of your telephone call, which shows what you agreed to. Then I would imagine you will lose any court case.

sorry, they are in the better position, yes I believe you, but you cannot prove it.

 

 

Wouldn't the court want to hear the transcript before deciding that I lose?

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3 hours ago, generalmartok said:

Fast forward a few months. I noticed in June that a new contract was indeed started pretty much the day after I called.

 

How did you "notice" this in June?  

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2 minutes ago, generalmartok said:

Wouldn't the court want to hear the transcript before deciding that I lose?

 

Did they say they were recording the call? If not, there is no recording.

 

I find it strange that they upgraded the contract with just a phone call but

3 hours ago, generalmartok said:

withdrawing the SEPA Lastschrift Mandat

is a bad idea.

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Unfortunately that not the way it works

 

if you stop paying, the will come after you for the money with fines as well.

 

if you put the new contract, they sent you in the bin, with all the other stuff they sent you - then you are not in  a good position to start.

I do not like the way 'they' have treaded you - but this kinda normal practice in Germany - I am sorry to say.

 

I as a general rule never sign up for thing over the phone, because you never get a copy of the transcript of the call, I know its boring but if you sign up to for stuff in the shop, you at least get a copy of the contract you signed.

 

I am sorry for the way you have been treated, but you will waist a  lot of time/ happiness / cost  trying to correct this, and you have to think if its worth it to you

 

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11 minutes ago, snowingagain said:

 

How did you "notice" this in June?  

I was accounting for my expenses and wondered why I am paying 10 euros more a month than I should have been. As a consequence I went to the customer service portal and tried to look up my invoices.

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This kind of thing must have happened to everyone in Germany at least once. I agree with yesterday's suggestion that it's not worth it trying to fight this. Just learn that telecom companies will harass you and lie through their teeth to get you to upgrade. That's the way they operate.

Just change to a different provider with a cheaper plan when the contract is up.

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Anyway, I am sending a strongly worded letter expressing my express objection and also threatening (just that for now) to sue for arglistige Täuschung.

It's kind of funny actually. I call them up to downgrade service. Instead, they offer to sell me more expensive products. I say no, hell no. They do it anyway. Now I am paying more for something I wanted to give up in the first place. I cannot do a darn thing about it because this is apparently Germany and we are supposed to just take it in our stride because it is not worth the costs and pain to stand up for ones rights. Pretty much what they have to do is send unsolicited confirmations of purchases to everyone in the book. Whoever isn't clever enough to immediately object in writing is then forced to pay for services they never asked for.

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Indeed. It is called sharp practice. And is rife. Sadly. Ombudsman?

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3 minutes ago, generalmartok said:

I say no, hell no. They do it anyway.

No, the problem is you believed the empty promises of their guy on the phone and said "yes" in the end, and then failed to follow up on it quickly enough.

 

I would certainly write a letter to complain - although arglistige Täuschung might be a stretch. Insist that you repeatedly asked the guy on the phone whether the upgrade he offered would restart the subscription clock and he repeatedly insisted that it wouldn't. Whether or not they have a phone record, they certainly know who did it (they'll have recorded the guy's name for commission purposes at the very least), and if there are repeated complaints about him, it might have consequences at some point.

 

You could even use the nuclear option and terminate your contract now, as of the next possible opportunity. They'll be bending over backwards for the next 18 months to get you to change your mind.

 

I'd advise against simply stopping payment, however. As others have noted, Vodafone is holding all the cards here.

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How about just witholding the 10€ surcharge.

Then when they start getting shitty, ask them for proof that you agreed to the increase... either verbaly or written.

 

 

 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, SpiderPig said:

..., ask them for proof that you agreed to the increase... either verbaly or written.

 

They probably have a record that they sent him the new contract details, including the cost. Then, the ball is in the OP's court to send them proof that he objected to them with 14 days, which he has admitted he didn't.

 

My sympathy goes to the OP but it looks like Vodafone holds the best hand.

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18 minutes ago, El Jeffo said:

No, the problem is you believed the empty promises of their guy on the phone and said "yes" in the end, and then failed to follow up on it quickly enough.

I actually kept repeating myself saying "...as long as there isn't a renewed term" but you are right. I failed to expect to be screwed over.

 

What I will do is however, sign up for legal insurance asap.

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Legal insurance will not help you with an existing problem though. You could get it "for next time" but beware that some legal insurances are notorious for denying claims for basically any reason they can think of.  I had ARAG and the one time I wanted to use it, they said no.  A friend also had ARAG and he had a couple of more attempted claims and they refused all of them.  So we both cancelled there.

 

As for your Vodafone problem, I would definitely write a letter now to cancel the contract at the first possible date.  You can even state the old expiry date or the next possible legal date. By then, you can find another provider or you can change your mind and stay with Vodafone if they give you a good deal.  I think you should also continue pestering them about proving that you agreed to a new contract.  You can also try Verbraucherzentrale.

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3 hours ago, yesterday said:

I as a general rule never sign up for thing over the phone, because you never get a copy of the transcript of the call, I know its boring but if you sign up to for stuff in the shop, you at least get a copy of the contract you signed.

But no 14 days Widerrufsrecht.

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2 hours ago, LeonG said:

Legal insurance will not help you with an existing problem though.

Yes, this is more for the future.

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New plan. Sign up for Telekom and take them up on their offer to manage my termination with Vodafone. If they approach me I will explain the fraudulent behaviour of Vodafone. They might decide to help me with the hope of gaining me as a customer. I was already approached by a third party company who said Telekom is trying to get in as many customers from Vodafone. Usually they will "buy out" the remaining subscription if it is less than 13 months left. Maybe they will make an exception in my case even. Worth a try.

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