New law should make it easier to cancel contracts in Germany

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 providersmobile 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. 



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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MariaAskert2 02:24 | 26 June 2021

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ThomasBeauvais2 12:46 | 3 July 2021

This is absolutely insane. The German telecoms are stealing! This law is not enough to protect consumers. 1 year is still too much! The auto-renewal is a scam! At the store they will lie to you saying that you can "cancel at any time" which is false. Currently, I am not even able to cancel with a fee! So, 40€ per month for 1 year would be nearly 500 €! I don't see how in Germany, which alleges to be consumer-friendly, this would be allowed.