The black list
Here are some typical contracts you may have signed that renew automatically for another year if you don’t pro-actively cancel them at a certain stipulated time.
- Insurance contracts
- Bahn Card
- Memberships of clubs / societies
- Landline / internet / cable TV
- Mobile phones
For unsuspecting newbie expats in Germany, it’s a perfectly understandable and common mistake to make. If you’ve already signed one or more of these contracts, then hopefully it’s not too late to send them a cancellation notice. Do it now, before you forget!
If you’re presented with a contract to sign and you’re unsure, then follow these next couple of tips, and don’t be afraid to be assertive. Germans are generally quite direct. Don't worry, they won’t think you’re being rude (here's looking at YOU, Brits and Canadians!!)
Don’t sign anything that you don’t understand. If a salesperson is pushing you to sign something, then it’s probably a bad deal. Good deals generally sell themselves.
Get any contract you’re not comfortable with translated or looked at by a friend
Or, use services such as Fiverr
to get a cheap, basic translation. For a more comprehensive legal translation of a contract, you can get quick, professional online service via our partners at LingoKing
Tip: Save yourself some money and just get the clause entitled Kündigung (termination) or Vertragsdauer (contract duration) translated. If it’s only around 100 words, this should cost you a lot less. You don’t necessarily need a certified translator – just a competent German speaker.