Broadband Internet at home without minimum contracts

34 posts in this topic

Let's discuss here what kind of options are available to people who do not want to sign a 24-month contract for their home Internet connection.

So far I am aware of 2 big providers who offer Broadband Internet connection"ohne Vertragslaufzeit", and a small local one here in Hamburg.

 

O2

They are one of the big 3 German Telcos, and I am inclined to choose them over the next one.

What I don't like about O2 is the money that they charge for the VDSL modem/router (more later).

 

Right now, for the 100/40 Mbps connection, O2 is asking for 19.99 €/mth for the first 6 months and for 39.99 €/mth from the 7th month until forever (or until they change it :P).

You can cancel it any moment with one month's notice.

 

The issue I see is that if you don't get one of their modem/routers they do not offer a free non-WiFi modem, so it's not like you can get that non-WiFi modem and then buy some really good WiFi hotspot from elsewhere. 

Therefore you have to pay 49.99€ upfront (I am absolutely fine with this), and then on a monthly basis 1.99 or 3.99 or 5.99 €, depending on which modem/router you choose, which bring to total cost to above 40€/mth after the 7th month and I am not sure I am fine with this.

I wouldn't like to buy a random modem/router from a random shop (they say that you have this option), but if anybody knows how much it costs to buy one of the officially supported ones from O2 or another store, please comment.

 


1&1

They are one of the biggest Broadband providers in Germany, but a few people have told me that it is considered a cheap provider and I shouldn't have high expectations of them. When I was living in Berlin we had 1&1 16Mbps at my WG, and the Internet speeds were sometimes really bad but, who knows, it could be good if you got the VDSL 50 or 100 Mbps options.

This is the link for the DSL ohne Vertragslaufzeit options (it works now, not sure for how long).

 

For the 100/40 Mbps connection they are charging 19.99 €/mth for the first 12 months and then 34.99 €/mth forever and ever (until it changes;)).

You can cancel it any moment with three months' notice.

Then you can get a non-WiFi modem/router from them for 149.99€ without any additional monthly fee, or like O2, pay 49.99€ upfront and then 2.99 or 4.99 €/mth.

 

 

Willy.tel

Then there is Willy.tel, only in Hamburg apparently. 

Anybody has any experience with them?

 

 

Any other providers that you know, please comment.

I hope this thread might be useful to people moving to Germany now and looking for temporary solutions, and of course to people whose current contract will expire at some point in the future.

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EasyBell

Another option with monthly canceling (only 14 days to the end of a month notice) using the Telekom DSL network (and a few others). Good customer support.

 

Some regional options with short canceling:

PŸUR: cable ISP brand in Eastern Germany.

NetCologne/NetAachen: DSL/FTTB ISP in the Cologne/Aachen region.

M-net: Munich/Bavaria area

 

Notes about 1&1:

- the "ohne Mindestvertragslaufzeit" option has a catch. The notice period is 3 months to the end of a month. So such a customer's contract, cancelled today, would end on November 30th at the earliest.

- as of late they are migrating many Telekom DSL based customers to their own backbone/peering which in some regions seems to be oversubscribed, i.e. it may get slow, esp. in the evenings. I hope they will work it out in the future.

 

Notes about O2:

- if it works it works good, IMHO. Good pricing, good network. If you have a problem the customer support may be difficult to reach and not very helpful.

 

 

 

About routers:

By law every ISP must allow you to use the modem/router of your choice. But most people seem to just buy AVM Fritz!Box models, other brands aren't really doing that well on the German market. Every ISP knows and supports them to some extend. Most sell them in addition to selling their own brands. If you use something else (except other brands coming directly from your ISP) you are pretty much on your own. Just recently there was a thread about someone who couldn't get his new Asus router to work with 1&1 DSL.

If you want to test them there is a possibility to rent them independently of your ISP: https://www.routermiete.de/

Biggest problem for expats: German models usually have German language UI only.

 

 

A few years ago I was pretty happy with O2 VDSL (Telekom based). It would probably my first choice.

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You can check available options for your adress at check24.de. There are more which don´t require long term commitment.

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Congstar

Subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom. Offers monthly canceling for DSL and 4G/LTE with a wifi router (up to 100GB volume) for home use.

 

Vodafone

GigaCube flex is 4G/LTE with a wifi router which you only pay for in the months you actually use it.

 

 

Btw: every ISP must offer at least one 12 months contract. If you are stuck to some regional ISP you can ask for that. They often don't advertise it on their websites.

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Thanks sneaker for the additions and the insights about O2 and 1&1.

 

Congstar we will avoid because of the limited monthly volume.

 

I didn't know that all providers have to offer 12-month contracts. To be honest I am hesitating to ask for it on the phone given my very bad German. 

 

I am very unluckywith PŸUR. We are at number 13 of street X in Hamburg, and checking their website I see that they offer their services to numbers 1, 3, 5, and 7 of my street. All other numbers of the street get cable from Vodafone (to those 4 numbers Vodafone markets xDSL). I guess numbers 1,3, 5 and 7 are managed by a company that has a contract with PŸUR, while everybody else is on the ex Kabel Deutschland network.

 

It looks like we will go with O2 for now, and if it does not work fine we will look into other options and cancel it. :D

I will pass by an O2 store and I will try to figure out if they would sell me their VDSL modem/router and for how much if I do not order DSL from that store.

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Interestingly check24 is showing me for easyBell a much better offer than what I can find in their website. 

29.95€/mth for the 100/40 Mbps option with unlimited calls to all German networks. In their website it says 24.95€/mth for the basic 16Mbps DSL and free calls only to German landlines, and then an additional 15 €/mth for an upgrade to 100/40 Mbps.

Should I trust check24? :mellow:

 

PS. I like that easyBell has an English page! :wub:

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On 8/18/2018, 9:36:21, lewton said:

Therefore you have to pay 49.99€ upfront (I am absolutely fine with this), and then on a monthly basis 1.99 or 3.99 or 5.99 €, depending on which modem/router you choose, which bring to total cost to above 40€/mth after the 7th month and I am not sure I am fine with this.

I wouldn't like to buy a random modem/router from a random shop (they say that you have this option), but if anybody knows how much it costs to buy one of the officially supported ones from O2 or another store, please comment.

I'm using o2 at the moment. I have checked the price for the models, they were pretty high end as I recall - 7490 Fritzbox is about 170. Since I'm not using XL, I went with this suggestion. You could just look up their models on Saturn or something, I suppose.

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4 hours ago, lewton said:

I will pass by an O2 store and I will try to figure out if they would sell me their VDSL modem/router and for how much if I do not order DSL from that store.

 

Some points to ponder before entering a provider branded store or store-in-store facility.

 

Excepting some legacy (former Stadtwerke) local gas and electricity suppliers stores, all brick and mortar stores which sell on behalf of network providers in Germany are operated by franchisees.

 

The terms under which the franchisees' staff (from part-time salesfolk through unit managers and up to director level) are recompensed is primarily commission and accumulated sales bonus based.

 

Because they rely so heavily on closing new contracts to earn a living, most franchisees' personell are notoriously willing to say yes to any customer requested conditions prior to having them sign a new contract.

 

Whether a customer is interested in a service or a product does not alter the fact that there will be a new contract involved. Product sales are usually also subject to monthly payment contract terms. Albeit cash sales are possible those may not be economically attractive.

 

The providers do not pay those commisions out until they have received two monthly payments on a new service contract account. It reportedly (and logically) takes around 14 - 18 months for providers to recoup comissions and bonuses paid to franchisees.

 

Neither the provider's own staff nor any member of their franchisees' staff are authorized to make any changes to the providers standard T&Cs. Because of the delayed recoup of commission factor the providers never accept any appeals to cancel or revise their terms of service based on arguments that the customer 'was told' they would by store personell. 

 

EU laws on distance selling (including mail order, telephone sales, internet based website sales) offer consumer protection features (such as the incontestable 14 day right to withdraw from contract) which do not apply to sales conducted in-store or at the sellers place of business or, if the seller is invited to attend there by the consumer, in the consumers home, workplace or place of business.

 

In other words, apart from the cost of return shipping, internet consumers have less risk than they may have when visiting a provider-branded store.

 

4 hours ago, lewton said:

Interestingly check24 is showing me for easyBell a much better offer than what I can find in their website. Should I trust check24?

 

Naturally, check24 like all comparison websites are in business to make money.

 

Superficially offering a no-cost service, because they do not directly charge their B2C customers, in practise they do collect substantial amounts from their B2B clientele for billable advertising, promotion of featured businesses and in commissions on every new contract closed via a link from their website. They also collect a substantial amount of mass statistical data from their B2C clientel which they can resell to multiple B2B clients.

 

IIRC check24 are among those comparison websites which have agreed with the central representatives for the German consumer protection organizations (BundesVerbraucherzentrale)

to host a parmeter selection tool designed by them whch allows consumers to set preselections which are often much better wrt their economic interests than the conditions tied into the superficially lowest price headlined offers.

 

Look for the Verbraucherzentrale selection button on the side panels or at the foot of the comparison website. Read the notes on each of the selective options to find out whether and how those individual choices may be advantageous wrt your own situation.

 

According to which of those parameters you then set, check24 or whichever comparison site you're using will then include them in their algorhythmic calculations as you navigate their step-by-step review process.

 

By use of that tool the site may reveal offers you would otherwise not be shown.

 

2B

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I think it's simply an error on the check24 website. It doesn't really matter much as they don't seem to offer handling the order for easybell like they do for other ISPs.

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12 hours ago, lewton said:

Congstar we will avoid because of the limited monthly volume.

Note that the volume limit is only for the 4G/LTE contracts, not the DSL ones. The sentence I used was ambiguous.

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On 8/20/2018, 5:31:18, 2B_orNot2B said:

 

Some points to ponder before entering a provider branded store or store-in-store facility.

...

 

Naturally, check24 like all comparison websites are in business to make money.

...

 

2B

 

Great posts, thanks. 

 

 

On 8/20/2018, 12:46:11, sneaker said:

I think it's simply an error on the check24 website. It doesn't really matter much as they don't seem to offer handling the order for easybell like they do for other ISPs.

True that, the offer is not even appearing sometimes when I check today and other times it appears but with the button to "contact them" unlike for example offers from 1&1 that show "weiter".

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At the end we went with 1&1 100/40 Mbps, fingers crossed.

Their whole offer represented more value for money, including the fact that we could apply to port our current landline number from Vodafone-Kabel to them, get the router for only 50 euros one-off and 3 euros/mth, and reduce our bill initially to 20+3 euros/mth for the first 12 months and after that to 35+3 euros/mth, therefore less than what we are paying today to Vodafone for 200/12 Mbps and hopefully with a better Internet experience.

 

I will of course keep everyone posted as I know you are dying to know how it went. 

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Today I received confirmation from 1&1 and from Vodafone-Kabel that on Jan 10 2019 the phone number will be transferred to the former and the contract with the latter will be terminated.

Freedom is close! :P

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So... After several months, today the switch from Vodafone Kabel to 1&1 DSL happened as planned and we are now enjoying the freedom of not being tied to any long-term contract with out provider. :D

 

Vodafone has sent me once again a very confusing bill, one more reason to never recommend their services to anyone.

The Internet was mostly OK (browsing could feel slow sometimes despite the theoretical 200 Mbps), we had 2 downtimes that took them almost a week to fix, and the bill never made any sense to me.

 

Now... regarding 1&1, I haven't received any regular bill yet but I received the bill for sending us the Fritz router, as expected when I signed up (when you don't sign for a 2-year contract the router costs more but this is the price of freedom).

The Internet feels much faster than Vodafone's cable.

However the line has synchronized at just 14 Mbps, which is a far shot from the 100 Mbps we signed up for. Intereristignly speed tests show me rates of 12-13 Mbps, which means that the service is fully utilizing the low sync rate. Anybody knows if I should give them a few days to sort this out or complain right away?

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Make screenshots of the "DSL-Informationen" tabs in the Fritz GUI. If the spectrum only goes to 2.2 MHz the connection fell back on a special, non-vectored profile. Often it's faulty in-house wiring (like parallel circuit) and can be sorted out with a little bit of technical understanding. Otherwise you need report the fault to 1&1. Unlikely to fix itself by waiting.

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9 hours ago, sneaker said:

Make screenshots of the "DSL-Informationen" tabs in the Fritz GUI. If the spectrum only goes to 2.2 MHz the connection fell back on a special, non-vectored profile. Often it's faulty in-house wiring (like parallel circuit) and can be sorted out with a little bit of technical understanding. Otherwise you need report the fault to 1&1. Unlikely to fix itself by waiting.

Can I just report it to 1&1 right away?

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Before you report it.. go and take a look at what telekom offer at your address

 

https://www.telekom.de/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/WFS/EKI-PK-Site/de_DE/-/EUR/ViewDSLQuickCheck-Start?popup=false

 

1&1 usually re-sell what Telekom have on offer, but with their own T+Cs and own branded router. 

 

12-13 Mbps sounds like a fair speed to me... but then again, at the moment I have only 8mbps on average... ( That changes next week when I switch to MyQuix. de)

 

 

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1 hour ago, lewton said:

Can I just report it to 1&1 right away?

Feel free to report it right away if you don't feel you are up to the task. But fixing yourself is often faster and if the error is your fault they may charge you for the visit of the technician.

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11 hours ago, sneaker said:

Make screenshots of the "DSL-Informationen" tabs in the Fritz GUI. If the spectrum only goes to 2.2 MHz the connection fell back on a special, non-vectored profile. Often it's faulty in-house wiring (like parallel circuit) and can be sorted out with a little bit of technical understanding. Otherwise you need report the fault to 1&1. Unlikely to fix itself by waiting.

Please explain...

 

What is a parallel circuit ? how would a parallel circuit affect a DSL connection...   

 

Please bear in mind that I have been installing Phones, DSL and Home networks for over 25years ( only 12.14yrs for dsl...)

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Telekom offers 100Mbps at my address, I would have never ordered from 1&1 something that Telekom does not offer me. 

 

These are the screnshots.

 

 

fritz stats.png

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