Service contracts in Germany: It’s not just the fir trees that are evergreen…
The major difference between signing up for a contract in most English-speaking nations versus signing up for some or other service in Germany (and Austria and Switzerland too) is that contracts here are typically evergreen i.e. they don’t automatically expire or terminate.
In plain English that means service providers have us expats by the short-and-curlies. They determine when and under what circumstances you’re allowed to terminate your service contracts in Germany, NOT you.
Whereas in English-speaking countries, typically, when you sign up for something, it’s for a fixed period of time and with a definitive end date. If you wish to renew under the same conditions, that’s up to you, but typically YOU would need to initiate that discussion.
Fine, you say, it’s OK. It’s a minor inconvenience that I have to tell my service provider that I wish to cancel a contract.
No big deal.
I would agree, if it were so simple.
But it’s not.
The black list
- Insurance contracts
- Bahn Card
- Memberships of clubs / societies
- Landline / internet / cable TV
- Mobile phones