Phone Suddenly too Expensive? What to do About it?

The liberalization of the telecommunications market led to numerous providers. Some bill by themselves, some bill via the pink giant Deutsche Telekom. In this scenario it is easy to lose track on the accruing costs. Settlement mistakes can be quickly overlooked. Such happens even among the big providers. This article will show you typical "mistakes" and tell you what you can do about it.



Each and every provider must offer you a list of calls and charges and under the Telecommunication Act they may not charge you for this. Do not only order them but also regularly download and browse through them. Check them on the random if the billed costs really correspond with the plan you booked.

Whenever your provider changes the plan to your disadvantage, you cannot be forced to accept the change - unless such price change has been contractually agreed. Otherwise, you have an extraordinary right to cancel the contract - with out any consequences. Actually, the companies are required to announce such changes in advance but unfortunately this does not always this happen.

Faulty Invoice

So your phone bill does have a mistake. The first thing to do is to communicate this to your provider in a manner so that you can prove you contacted them. Best and least expensive way to do this is via fax or contact form on the provider's website, when you receive a confirmation eMail with the posted complaint form you.

But do go ahead pay the correct part of your invoices!! When you do not comply with this strategy, the provider will quickly believe that in the end, you do not want to pay at all. Your complaint will not be taken seriously, internal collection proceedings (reminders) will start. When you complain and pay the uncontested amount then and only then the provider will be put on the spot and will have to react to your complaint. However, do not be so sure that with just one customer complaint, they will move mountains to find the fault and apologize a thousand times. Not necessarily, they will react like a broken record: "It's your fault!" But... "It's your fault!" But... "It's your fault!"...

Complication is the name of the game, when a provider does not send their own invoice but uses the collection services of the Deutsche Telekom. The company to complain to is on who's behalf the collection is being realized - not the Deutsche Telekom as previously was the case. When you want to be 200% on the safe side, complain to both the other provider and the pink giant.

A Call Will Take Care of it - Sometimes

In evident cases, often giving your provider a call will help to clarify a misunderstanding. Such will be the case, for double billing falsely allocated invoices, not applying special tariffs. You will only then have the chance for such simple clarification when you can show this on your list of charges. However, when you deduct a certain amount from the bill, always inform your provider in writing of this and your motives!

The Most Common Mistakes in Invoices

  • Plan changes can easily been overseen. Whenever you change the contract be sure to do this in writing or have this be confirmed in writing and change the next following invoice if the new condition has been correctly invoiced.
  • Federal Holidays (Bundeseinheitliche Feiertage), that are on a weekday will sometimes not be considered. This can give the billed amount a real jump in charges. Putative cheap calls can easily turn out to be expensive. Check the holiday fee or other discount has really been granted.
  • Extra Services are often wrongly computed. An example: A T-net-box is in some ISDN plans free of cost. Nevertheless, it some times happens that a monthly basic is charged.
  • International Freecall-Numbers with the code "00800" are free of cost! Some providers still bill them - and even as a call abroad. This is illegal under the German Telecommunications Act. You have the right to be reimbursed.
  • • Some providers try to bill calls where no one answered. Contest such invoice!
  • • Some Call-by-Call-Providers can be used without registration - and are settled via T... - as well as with registration - and through their own settlement. Double check that these calls are not double invoiced on the Telekom bill and the other provider's bill.
  • • When you have the hunch that some call durations are wrong then randomly make notes on how calls really take place. Maybe your telecommunication technique will be taking a log on all outgoing calls.


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