Expat

Know your consumer rights

By

Rahel Kunkel

7.10.2021

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Even in 2021, it still happens: the doorbell rings and an electricity provider is randomly standing in front of the door. It seems like a short meter reading and before the employee leaves, he quickly asks for a signature. But the signature is not a confirmation of the meter reading, instead it is you, signing a new supply contract, often for two years. What a washout. Many customers are shocked , but do not know what steps they can take next. We give you a small guide, how you can defend yourselves as consumers against such cases and similar ones. Because in exactly this and some other cases, the German law protects the consumer.

14-Day Right of Cancellation

Within a 2-week period, the consumer can make use of the so-called right of withdrawal. For this purpose, only the provider of the contract must be contacted. Preferably in written form. If there is a case of hardship, it can then be proven that the revocation is actually legal. The content of the letter can be as follows:


Subject
: Contract termination

Hello (supplier) team,

I hereby revoke my contract with you and ask for a brief confirmation.
Contract number:
Name:
Delivery point:
Address, postal code, city:
Meter number:

Best regards.

Legal Cancellation Period

If it is noticed too late what exactly is going on and the 14 days have already passed, often only the statutory notice period will help. Unfortunately, energy contracts with conventional energy suppliers in particular cannot be terminated on a monthly basis. Often, you are "trapped" in contract structures that may run for several years.
In order not to miss the next notice period, you can simply sign up directly with a new supplier who will cancel your old contract. We at Ostrom also take care of the cancellation from the old supplier and supply you with energy as soon as this is possible.

Special Termination Rights

If your electricity provider/supplier announces a price increase, the special termination right applies. The same applies in the event of a move on your part. In the event of an increase in the electricity price, you have special termination rights and are eligable to cancel the contract at the time of the increase. This right of termination is independent of the reason behind the increase, it comes with every raise of prices (learn more about price adjustments here).
If you are not informed of this right in the information about the price increase, it is legally invalid.


Subject: 
Cancellation after electricity price increase

Termination of the electricity supply contract

Customer number:
Name:
Meter number:

Dear Sir or Madam,

You have announced that you will increase the electricity prices as of dd.MM.yyyy. For this reason, I am exercising my statutory right of special termination and will cancel my electricity contract with you before the price increase takes effect.Please send me a written confirmation as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely


We hope to have helped you a little bit, in case one of these scenarios has happened to you. If you have any further questions, you are always welcome to send an email to our team (hallo@ostrom.de) or drop by our live chat. Our staff will be happy to help you. We give our best to be as transparent as possible and have a monthly cancellation period to avoid trapping customers in long term contracts, where they have to inform themselves about how to get out with special termination rights et cetera.


Image Source Unsplash by Scott Graham