New law should make it easier to cancel contracts in Germany
Germany’s approach to contracts is notoriously un-customer-friendly. So it should come as welcome news that the Bundestag has passed through a new law that seeks to reduce minimum contract terms and shorten notice periods, to make swapping providers easier.
Germany to make switching providers easier for consumers
Consumers in Germany should be able to terminate contracts with internet providers, mobile phone companies, streaming services or gyms more easily in future. The Bundestag has passed a law limiting minimum contract periods and notice periods, in order to make it easier for customers to switch to another provider.
“Long contract terms and long notice periods restrict consumers’ freedom of choice and prevent them from switching to more attractive and cheaper offers,” said Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht.
One-year contracts should become the norm
In future, contracts will only be allowed to run for a maximum of one year. Companies will be allowed to offer longer contract terms of up to two years, but only if they also offer a one-year contract that is a maximum of 25 percent more expensive.
In general, notice periods will now be shortened from three months to one month. In future, there should also be the possibility to terminate one’s contract via the internet with just a few clicks - to make cancelling a contract as easy as taking one out.
The new law now needs to be approved by the Bundesrat before coming into effect.