Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone & O2: Consumer advocates withdraw allegations

Consumer advocates had raised serious allegations against Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone & O2 when concluding contracts with customers. But now consumer advocates are rowing back.

Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefónica/ O2 can breathe a sigh of relief: the North Rhine-Westphalia consumer advice center has withdrawn its allegations and warnings against the three mobile phone companies. This is reported by the editorial network Germany and confirmed by the North Rhine-Westphalia consumer center to PC-WELT.

That’s what the allegations were about

At the beginning of 2022, consumer advocates checked in the shops of Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and O2 whether the sellers were handing out the legally required written contract summary to the customers. You can read more about this obligation, which has been in force since December 1st, 2021, here: From December 1st – this now applies to internet, telephony, changing providers, new and old contracts. In short, it’s about this: Before you sign a new contract for a landline connection, Internet access or mobile phone connection, the provider must give you a contract summary in text form (PDF, on paper). It must contain:

  • Vendor contact information

  • essential characteristics of the services to be provided

  • Activation Fees

  • Term and Conditions for Renewal and Termination.

At the time, consumer advocates came to the conclusion that this was not the case, or that there were deficiencies. The consumer advice center wrote at the time: “A random sample by the consumer advice center NRW, which was carried out in January 2022 in 198 telephone shops across the state, came to the sobering conclusions: Only six out of 198 mobile phone shops handed out a contract summary. 12 providers refused to put the offer in writing, even when explicitly asked .”

The nearly 200 shops checked were spread across North Rhine-Westphalia.

Companies deny allegations

In March 2022, the consumer advocates then warned the three mobile phone companies for poor advice and violations of information obligations and demanded a cease-and-desist declaration from the companies. However, they rejected the allegations and refused to sign the cease-and-desist declaration, whereupon the consumer advice center wanted to go to court.

New review comes to a different conclusion

In order to be able to present sufficient evidence for the court proceedings, testers again moved into the shops of the three mobile phone companies. However, the number of shops now checked was significantly smaller and their spatial distribution was also completely different: This time, the consumer advocates checked exactly one shop each from Telekom, Vodafone and O2 in Düsseldorf. Instead of



verified shops it was only this time


stores in


. But the follow-up test was more intensive and was carried out until the contract was signed.

However, this re-examination showed that the customers were now obviously given the legally required written brief summary of the contracts to a sufficient extent. The consumer advice center found that the procedure in the shops had improved. That is why the consumer advocates are withdrawing their allegations and forgoing the court proceedings.

Overview: All consumer improvements over the last few months

Terminate the Internet contract after 1 month: This is possible under these conditions

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