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Summary please: Mobile phone shops must provide accurate information

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Düsseldorf (dpa / tmn) – Before setting foot in a mobile phone store, you should consider at home how much data and phone minutes you need each month. Only those who know their own needs can realistically evaluate offers and prices, explains the consumer center (VZ) North Rhine-Westphalia.

The product sheets that businesses have to deliver help when evaluating and comparing different offers. But they should not be missing from online offers on the Internet either. A fare information sheet contains all the important data and costs of a fare, but no discounts or additional options.

Do not sign a contract without a summary

Prior to signing the contract, clients must receive a summary of the contract, either digitally or on paper. This has been regulated by law since December 1, 2021. It not only has to contain the contact details of the mobile phone provider and the essential characteristics of the individual services to be provided.

Any activation fees and the term, as well as the conditions for renewal and termination should also be found there. At this point, you should also carefully check whether the verbal promises of the sales pitch can be found exactly in the summary.

Almost no store gives the summary of the contract.

But this summary is not so easy to get. On World Consumer Day (March 15), the consumer advice center randomly visited 198 mobile phone shops in North Rhine-Westphalia. Sobering result: The contract summary required by law was provided in only 6 merchants. Several telecommunications companies have been warned.

But the summary is not everything. Before agreeing to a contract, interested parties should be able to take note of all the documents that are important to the contract, advise consumer advocates. In addition to the contract summary and contract form, it also included the service description, price list, General Terms and Conditions (GTC) and the aforementioned product information sheet.

Cancellation of mobile store contracts is difficult

The big disadvantage of telecommunications contracts concluded in the store: they usually cannot be revoked later. This is only possible within 14 days for contracts that have been concluded online or over the phone.

However, consumers can challenge a commercial contract, terminate it extraordinarily or claim damages if they have doubts about the legality of the contract. For example, because they have been fraudulently deceived. Even those who find out later that promised services are not being provided should consult their legal options.

New regular according to the minimum duration of mobile phone contracts

But even if they are fundamentally dissatisfied with the conditions of the regular rates, consumers have had better cards since December 2021, that is, better cancellation conditions. New contracts can still be concluded for up to 24 months. However, once the minimum term of the contract has expired, they can be terminated at any time with one month’s notice, explains the consumer service center.

The automatic extension for one more year, as was the usual practice until the end of 2021, is no longer allowed. By the way, this regulation also applies to old contracts, that is, contracts that were concluded before December 1, 2021.

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