What to do in case of disruptions in Internet and telephone?

Do you speak German? Here you can find information on how to deal with Internet and landline phone problems in German.

Do you speak Polish? Here you can find information on how to deal with Internet and landline phone problems in Polish.

Telephoning and surfing the Internet around the clock: that is what you expect from a contract for the Internet and landline connections. Is the connection consistently slower than agreed? Or even worse: has the disruption been lasting for several weeks? This is annoying and you might want to terminate the contract immediately. But it does not happen that fast. We will explain what you can do in case of disruptions.

Störungen bei Internet und Telefon VZB

If you have problems with your internet connection, first warn your service provider

You cannot terminate your contract immediately in case of a disruption. You have to adhere to your telephone or Internet contract and are bound to the agreed term. Termination without notice before the end of the term is only the last option in the event of a disruption. You have to first inform the service provider about the disruption and ask this provider to solve the problem. 

For example: Have you been waiting for several weeks for an Internet connection and no technician has visited? Or is the transfer speed of the Internet connection consistently below the contractually agreed level? Then you must first give the service provider a chance to fulfil the contract: Ask the provider – preferably in writing – to provide the Internet connection or the agreed speed. 

Important: In your letter, set a reasonable deadline for solving the problem! 

Has the service provider fixed the problem, but you fear further irregularities? You can send the service provider a warning letter and you reserve the right to terminate the contract without notice (also called extraordinary termination) in case of further problems.

Termination without notice in case of disruptions

You can terminate your contract without notice only if you have an important reason. It entirely depends on the individual situation. For example, the disruptions or failures must be permanent and you have to prove them (for example by logging the poor Internet speed). In addition, the failure must be within the risk area of the service provider. For example, if the connection is interrupted due to a storm, then this is not within the risk area of the service provider and you cannot terminate your contract without notice.

Be careful: One-time failures or disruptions are usually not enough to terminate the contract without notice. 

If you are not sure whether you can terminate your contract without notice, we at the Verbraucherzentrale (Consumer Centre) will also help you with personal advice 

You can only give extraordinary notice of termination two weeks after you have told the service provider of the reason for termination. But do not worry about missing the termination notice period because you will first ask the service provider to solve the problem. If the provider does not solve the problem within the set period, you can still terminate up to two weeks after the end of your period. 

Here you will find tips about the best way to terminate the contract.

Compensation for Internet and telephone failure 

Have you been without Internet for a long time or cannot use your landline phone? If you have suffered a concrete loss, you can claim compensation from your service provider. For example, if you have used an Internet stick for mobile surfing. You must prove the damage and specify how much you have paid. The following prerequisite must always be applicable: Your service provider must be responsible for the disruption.

Another option if you cannot prove any damage: If the Internet at your home is down, you can claim back the money you paid for that particular period. This compensation is based on the basic fee of your contract – calculated proportionally for each day of failure.