Consumer advice center: Vodafone service providers should sign contracts

The consumer center in Hamburg successfully took action against Vodafone that customers had not ordered. This was announced by consumer advocates on May 18, 2020. The cable network operator works here with partner companies, which obviously do not always abide by the rules.

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  1. Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences, Stuttgart
  2. Interhyp Group, Munich

Vodafone spokesman Volker Petendorf said “If sales partners violate the clear Vodafone guidelines and in individual cases submit contracts and trigger product orders that customers do not want, we take rigorous action against these partners – from warnings to the end of the cooperation.” A contract should only be concluded with each customer if the customer is aware of this product and wants to use it. Misunderstandings and inconsistencies in contracts and ordering processes can be resolved in direct dialogue with customer service.

In mid-February 2019, when a representative from Vodafone Kabel Deutschland rang the doorbell of a Hamburg flat share because he wanted to measure their cable socket without having made an appointment, the residents dismissed the supposed service technician and did not let him into their apartment. Five minutes later, one of the flat’s residents received an email from Vodafone Kabel Deutschland notifying him that his order had arrived. A short time later, a written order confirmation followed for the products Vodafone TV Connect and Vodafone GigaTV including HD Premium Cable at a price of 29.99 euros per month plus a one-time provision fee of 49.99 euros.

Consumer center: Vodafone technician supposedly wants to measure the can

According to the consumer advice center, Mr. K. had to terminate his DSL contract with Vodafone due to a move. Because he thought there were still questions to be resolved regarding his resignation, he supposedly called Kabel Deutschland back after a missed call. In the telephone conversation, however, the employee advertised selected products and did not respond to K.’s dismissal. Although K. made it clear during the call that he was no longer interested in Vodafone Kabel Deutschland products, he received an email shortly after the call with the subject line “We got your order”. The following day the message followed that a new device was on the way. Later, invoices for the Kabel Digital and Video Select products were delivered and the corresponding charges were debited from Mr. K.’s account.

On the basis of K.’s description, the consumer advice center warned Vodafone Kabel Deutschland and, after the required cease and desist letter failed to appear, lodged a complaint with the Munich I regional court. The court ordered Vodafone Kabel Deutschland to cease and desist on August 9, 2018 (file number 17 HK O 301/18). If the company violates the judgment of the regional court, a fine of up to EUR 250,000 may be payable.

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