Complaints that had been received by the consumer centers in recent months were evaluated. As an example, the authors cite a reduction right contained in the amended Telecommunications Act (TKG): if a consumer gets a worse Internet than contractually guaranteed, he is entitled to a price reduction – provided that he can prove this via the broadband measurement tool of the Federal Network Agency.
Price reduction often remains opaque
It is a thorn in the side of the vzbv that the Internet providers offer affected customers a price reduction, but do not explain their calculation. The consumer can then not understand how the offered reduction amount comes about, complains consumer protection Kathrin Steinbach. Her vzbv colleague Susanne Blohm calls for binding guidelines for the calculations of Internet providers.
According to its own statements, the Federal Network Agency is holding talks with the telecommunications industry in order to achieve “simplified compensation models”. The talks were still ongoing, a spokesman for the authorities said. It will be ensured that “customer rights are implemented in accordance with the amendment to the Telecommunications Act”.
In addition, since the amendment to the TKG, telecommunications providers have to provide the consumer with a short summary of the contract before a contract can be concluded. This applies to both calls from telephone hotlines and consultations in shops.
Despite the new rights, the anger of citizens continues to be great. The vzbv deduced this from the number of complaints about contracts that were postponed by phone and received by the consumer centers. While there were still 266 such complaints in the first quarter of 2020, this number rose to 328 a year later. In the first quarter of 2022, there were even 387 such complaints. The number of complaints about deferred contracts in shops was also relatively high.