How to Cancel A Mobile Phone Contract in Germany

Living in Germany

A mobile contract is something very typical for Germany, at least I haven’t seen it anywhere else. It’s an easy and budget way to get a SIM card together with the latest smartphone, even if you don’t have a budget for this.

A normal termination, which is also known as ordinary termination, can be completed at the end of the 24 months (the typical length of the contract). If it was extended to another 12 months cancelation will be possible at the end of this period.

You need to be aware that many mobile phone contracts are automatically extended by twelve months if you don’t cancel 3 months in advance. You can also cancel earlier as a precaution.

Cancelation of Mobile Contracts in Germany

In Germany, there is strong competitive pressure between the individual telecommunication providers. Mobile providers are always creating new tariff offers to keep existing customers or to encourage customers of other companies to switch.

Some of them offer even easier cancellation conditions than others, if you pay attention to them, you can cancel your mobile contract, change and possibly save money. When starting the process of terminating a mobile phone contract in Germany, it is important to know the conditions of your contract. 

In most cases, mobile contracts in Germany have a length of 24 months and will be automatically extended by another 12 months after that.

If you are still in the first two years of your mobile phone contract, the termination will take effect at the end of the first 24 months. If your mobile phone contract already has been automatically renewed once or several times, termination is possible at the end of the renewal year.

Cancelation can be done in 3 different ways:

  • online
  • per mail
  • in the provider’s shop

Although, most of the providers offer an online termination for its customers. However, some of them will request you to call a shop/office to confirm a cancelation if you did it online.

If you don’t want to cancel, make sure you ask for a new contract after 24 months. The company may change something in their plans, and you can get a better offer! Additionally, you can get a new smartphone.

The new contract will last again for 2 years and cancellation will be only possible at the end of this period. However, this only applies if you have been clearly informed that you are entering into a new contract. If such a reference did not take place, only the 12-month extension applies.

If you want to change your provider, we commend checking out the second largest telecommunication provider in Germany O2. They have simple and affordable prepaid SIM cards such as Prepaid S for just 9,99 EUR or Free M if you want to have more data.

Which Deadlines Should You Keep in Mind?

The following rules apply to most mobile contracts:

  • Minimum contract duration: 24 months
  • Notice period: 3 months
  • Extension in case of failure of the deadline: 12 months

Your mobile phone contract may differ. You might also find a more flexible tariff that you can cancel every month. The most important factors are the terms and conditions written in your contract, so pay attention to them.

How to Cancel a Mobile Contact Correctly?

In order to cancel your mobile phone contract correctly the letter of termination should be sent enough time before the cancellation date (3 months).

How German network providers manage their contracts?

The network operators like Vodafone and Telekom offer online forms to cancel. At Telefónica you can reserve a cancellation in the online customer area. However, you have to confirm this again on the phone.

If you want to be sure that your termination really take place, it is best to send a letter by registered mail. Make sure that your letter contains the following points:

  1. The phrase ” I cancel my contract …“
  2. The number of the contract to be terminated
  3. Your customer number
  4. The date on which you cancel or the indication “as soon as possible“
  5. Name, address, date of birth
  6. If you want to switch safely, object to the use of your data for advertising purposes. Then you will not get any further offers from your provider
  7. Signature and date

If you want to cancel your mobile contract with Telekom, Vodafone, or O2, send your letter to the following addresses (as of October 29, 2020):

Telekom Deutschland GmbH
Kundenservice
53171 Bonn

Vodafone GmbH
Kundenbetreuung
40875 Ratingen

Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG
Kundenbetreuung
90345 Nürnberg

Mobilcom-Debitel GmbH
Kundenservice
99076 Erfurt

Drillisch Online GmbH
Wilhelm-Röntgen-Straße 1-5
63477 Maintal

Find forms on these websites:

Cancellation Per Email

The termination of a mobile phone contract in Germany by e-mail or even by SMS is actually legally possible and the company must accept it. However, this applies only for contracts concluded online after 01.10.2016.

Request Cancellation Confirmation

After you have canceled a mobile contract, you should for sure request a cancellation confirmation. You should definitely keep the confirmation of termination well because it will save you in case of doubt or proof that the termination was actually sent.

Some mobile operators ask their customers to confirm the cancellation again by phone. However, this is unnecessary, providers rather want to make you change your mind.

Don’t Want to Cancel a Contract Yourself?

In Germany, you don’t, necessarily, have to cancel your mobile contact yourself. Special online termination services can do that for you. For example, a provider Aboalarm do this job perfectly without hustle from your side.

This platform will allow you to use some their services for free or delegate the entire process for a fee.

To create a termination letter on Aboalarm, firstly enter the name of your mobile provider, then type in your address and phone number. You can download, print, sign, and send the cancellation letter to your provider free of charge. However, you must register with your e-mail address.

Alternatively, Aboalarm sends the cancellation instead of you for a fee. You will receive the confirmation as a PDF file and can see if the termination has been delivered.

Example of Cancelation Letter for Your Mobile Contract

Usually, you will find a template for all sorts of letters in Germany including cancelation letters. Because Germany is so bureaucratic and strict on rules, you need to keep standards by following the structure.

Also, keep in mind, that letter must be in the German language because most probably your contract is in English too and these companies operate in the local language. Here is the template, feel free to use it!

Sender:

Name

Street, House number

Index, City

To:

Name of the mobile provider

Street, House number

Index, City

Your Customer Number

Your Contract Number

Subject line: Kündigung meines Mobilfunkvertrags zum Laufzeitende

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

hiermit kündige ich fristgerecht zum nächstmöglichen Zeitpunkt den zwischen Ihnen und mir bestehenden Vertrag mit der oben genannten Vertragsnummer.

Bitte bestätigen Sie mir die Kündigung und das genaue Beendigungsdatum schriftlich.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Name

Place, Date

How to Cancel a Mobile Contract Outside the Notice Period?

A contract can always be terminated before the end of the contract (usually 24 months) if you experience disruptions or problems with your phone/connection.

In this case, a customer can declare a special termination, which is referred to by lawyers as an exceptional termination. Such an extraordinary termination has the advantage that you can terminate the contract whenever the problem arises and you don’t wait for so many months.

Set a deadline

If you opt for exceptional termination, you must set a deadline for provider, so you give them time to fix the problem.

Only when this period has expired, you can officially cancel the contract. Actually, a customer can set a deadline, and terminate the contract in a single letter.

To do so, describe the problem you are experiencing and request the mobile provider to fix it within the set by your time limit. Write in the same letter that you declare the extraordinary termination should the problem still exist after the deadline.

How long should the deadline be?

The deadline must give your mobile provider one last chance to eliminate the existing problem. The deadline must be realistic, it must be enough to resolve this problem. A too short period might not be accepted. However, you don’t have to accept a too long deadline.

Many lawyers suggest a deadline of two weeks or ten working days, the longest period is 3 weeks. This gives your mobile provider an opportunity to eliminate the existing problems or to comply with your wishes.

Are there cases where I don’t have to set a deadline?

Sometimes a customer doesn’t have to set a deadline for the mobile provider in order to cancel the contract. This applies for extraordinary termination with an immediate validity. In such cases, the deadline is not necessary, if, for example, the problem can no longer be solved, or a deadline would be pointless.

Such situations exist if your provider has already made it clear that he can’t or doesn’t want to solve the existing problem, or if you no longer have confidence in further cooperation.

In the examples down below, you can see when a customer has the right on extraordinary termination with and without immediate validity. Therefore, for some of them, you need to set a deadline anyway.

What is the legal background of an extraordinary termination?

In legal terms, a mobile phone contract is a “two-sided” contract, as it was concluded by two parties, you and the mobile provider. Both parties have accepted rights and obligations through the contractual relationship.

For example, you as a customer have the obligation to pay regular monthly invoices, on time and in full amount. Your mobile services company is obligated to provide you with the guaranteed service written in the contract.

If your provider no longer complies with this, you have the right to terminate this two-sided contract by sending an extraordinary termination. You aren’t obliged to continue this disrupted relationship until the end of the contract. The German civil code (BGB) gives you the right to terminate your contract early.

How do I declare an extraordinary termination?

An extraordinary termination must be written – this is the most important thing as well as it must be actually received by the mobile provider. For this, the best solution will a registered letter with a return receipt. So through the return receipt, you can prove when exactly your letter of termination has been received.

Additionally, you should send the cancellation in PDF via e-mail to your provider. By using these two methods simultaneously you can be sure that they receive the cancellation.

There are some common practices when a customer can terminate the mobile contract immediately, e.g, if the mobile operator changes the contract terms without telling the customer, if they increase prices significantly or important contract components are missing.

Another reason for termination is the permanent failure of the mobile/internet connection, the customer may complain and set a deadline of 2 weeks to fix it.

Example of Extraordinary Cancelation Letter

As you know you need to write in German and keep particular standards. Feel free to use the template provided below!

Sender:

Name

Street, House number

Index, City

To:

Name of the mobile provider

Street, House number

Index, City

Your Customer Number

Your Contract Number

Subject: Außerordentliche Kündigung meines Mobilfunkvertrags mit Fristsetzung

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

im Rahmen des bei Ihnen geführten Mobilfunkvertrags treten die folgenden Probleme auf:

(An dieser Stelle schildern Sie das bestehende Problem so ausführlich wie möglich. Beschreiben Sie zum einen, was das Problem ist, seit wann es besteht, und zum anderen, wie es Ihrer Ansicht nach vom Anbieter gelöst werden sollte. Wichtig ist dabei, dass Ihr Mobilfunkanbieter anhand der Schilderung genau nachvollziehen kann, was Sie beanstanden, und welche Lösung des Problems Sie sich wünschen.)

Ich bitte Sie, innerhalb von zwei Wochen ab Zugang dieses Einschreibens das oben beschriebene Problem zu beheben. Sollte Ihnen das innerhalb dieser Frist nicht möglich sein, so erkläre ich Ihnen hiermit vorsorglich bereits jetzt die außerordentliche Kündigung.

Sollte die außerordentliche Kündigung wirksam werden, so besteht ab diesem Zeitpunkt zwischen Ihnen und mir keine vertragliche Grundlage mehr, auf deren Grundlage Sie berechtigt wären, weitere Forderungen an mich zu stellen. Rein vorsorglich widerspreche ich daher bereits jetzt allen weiteren Forderungen, die Sie aus dem dann nicht mehr bestehenden Vertragsverhältnis evtl. noch ableiten werden.

Sollte die Frist ablaufen und die Kündigung eintreten, so widerrufe ich bereits jetzt die Ihnen erteilte Bankeinzugsermächtigung. Bitte buchen Sie ab dem Zeitpunkt der Kündigung keine Beträge mehr von meinem Konto ab. Eine Weitergabe meiner Daten wird vollständig widersprochen.

Über eine kundenfreundliche und schnelle Lösung würde ich mich sehr freuen.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Name

Place, Date

Reasons for an Extraordinary Termination

The extraordinary termination in Germany can be only made if there is a particular reason for this. So if you just want to cancel a mobile contact because you find another option, it won’t work and you need to wait until the contract period expires.

However, you can do it before the enddate if one of following reasons applies to your situation.

Number porting wasn’t done

The new mobile provider must carry out the number transfer as quickly as possible. If you have requested a mobile service provider to transfer your previous phone number, and they haven’t done it, you can declare the extraordinary termination.

Set a time limit within which the number porting must necessarily be carried out. If they don’t succeed again, the provider must accept the immediate termination.

Mobile reception is insufficient

In Germany its not uncommon when some providers give your better reception and some worse. However, if you constantly experience problems in your home or office it can be reason for a cancellation.

If you have bad reception with your phone, this alone doesn’t give you a right to cancel. Your provider can’t make sure that you have good reception everywhere.

Connection disruptions

If your phone has permanent connection disruptions, for example, repeatedly interrupted calls, or the internet connection, you have the right to extraordinary termination.

Here again, you will set the provider a deadline. Describe the connection faults in as much detail and detail as possible, and indicate when they occur and where. If your mobile operator is unable to eliminate the problem, you can declare the cancellation.

Disruptions with LTE reception

LTE is German 4G, in the last years, almost all companies offer this option. However, if you suddenly lose the LTE reception after a tariff change or signing a new contract, and the provider can’t make sure you get it again after setting a deadline, cancellation applies.

Blocking connection

If your provider has blocked the connection without informing a customer, you can set a deadline to unblock it. If this doesn’t happen, he must accept an extraordinary termination.

You receive bills of third-party services

Generally, only the services of your mobile provider may be billed to you. If you see third-party bills or unknown amounts, this may be a reason for extraordinary termination.

In such a situation, you must send a provider the bill in writing and inform them that you have not entered into a contract with the billed third-party companies, and haven’t received any services from them. Either they explain it or you quit.

Mistakes in mobile phone bill

If your mobile phone bill is faulty, inform your provider by writing them and request an invoice correction. Describe the error as detailed and accurate as possible.

If your mobile operator does not comply with this request for invoice correction, although your justification is understandable, you have the right to terminate the mobile contract with immediate effect.

Moving abroad

If you decide to move to a non-European country and want to terminate your mobile phone contract, this alone isn’t considered as a reason for termination.

You can’t blame the mobile provider that you are moving abroad. Theoretically, you could use your German number and mobile phone via roaming even in non-EU countries.

Fortunately, most mobile providers in Germany respond with goodwill and accept special termination when moving to non-European countries.

You only require to provide proof that you are actually moving abroad. Moreover, a customer might be able to cancel when moving within Europe. But it’s only possible if one can’t use a previous contract in the new country at the conditions applicable in Germany.

Your mobile provider increases the price

If your mobile operator increases prices during the contract period, you have a special termination right. In this case, ask your mobile operator to maintain the previous price. If he does not comply with this, request an immediate termination of your mobile phone contract.

Phone has a defect

Some mobile phone contracts in Germany include a mobile phone as a purchase or on a rental basis. If you have such a contract and the mobile phone purchased accordingly the contract is defective, an extraordinary termination can be declared.

Firstly, you should send the defective phone to the mobile provider or to the corresponding repair shop. The company must repair or replace it in the time period you have set (4 weeks).

If this does not happen, or if a provider refuses to repair, you can cancel the entire mobile contract. Note that this reason for termination only applies if the mobile operator doesn’t carry out the repair of the smartphone, refuses, and doesn’t provide any replacement or compensation for the mobile phone.

What Happens After You Have Submitted an Extraordinary Termination?

After your mobile provider has received the registered letter with the termination, they must try to resolve the issue within the time limit. If the company fails to do so, the extraordinary termination will take effect automatically.

You don’t have to contact your provider again in writing, the termination will become legally effective on its own.

From this point on, you are not obliged to make any further payments, even if you still receive some invoices after the termination date.

Take Your Number with You

In Germany, your phone number belongs to you, and not the telecommunication company! Therefore, you can always take your existing phone number to another mobile provider.

However, you should request the release of the number for transfer to the new provider. Your old provider may charge a maximum of 6,82 EUR for taking the number. This is the maximum amount set by the regulatory authority. Usually, your new provider will reimburse this expense.

As soon as you have a new mobile contract (check out this provider), state directly that you want to keep your old number. In order for the new mobile provider to transfer your number, often a confirmation of termination from your previous provider is required. A portage of number can be carried out up to 90 days after the end of the contract.

Recommended products and services in Germany:

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