What to be aware of in Germany

As soon as one moves to a new apartment in Germany, it is time to decide which Internet provider and electricity/gas supplier one is going to use. If you choose to use the same service companies that the previous tenant used, you might save yourself from the troubles. However, if you decide to go to for a new provider/supplier, be aware of some possible difficulties.

After we moved in to a new apartment, we chose a new electricity supplier. We did not know that the temporarily contract that our landlord signed with the city Stadtwerke was not cancelled automatically after all the electrical repairs were finished. One day we got a mail from the city Stadtwerke (keep in mind, that snail mail plays a significant part in German bureaucracy) saying that in case we do not want their service anymore, we must contact the electricity supplier within 14 days. Otherwise, we may not cancel the contract. We had no idea that the contract our landlord signed was renewed automatically. That happened despite the fact we were not using their electricity, and were paying to another company. So, be aware of the fact, that the old electricity contract for the apartment you move in is not necessarily cancelled automatically once you switch to a new supplier. You might end up in a situation when you are asked to pay double for the electricity.
After we moved in, we also contacted many Internet providers, because we could not get our Internet to work. TV cables in our apartment were too old to get the internet. We also were said there were no available DSL ports for the area we move in. In the beginning of July, one of the internet companies (I won’t mention its name. Let me just call them Company A here) sent us an e-mail saying that they can get a DSL port for us in the middle of August. We decided not to use their service for two reasons. First, we did not want to wait for such a long period of time. Second, we did not enjoy their customer service. They misspelled our names on the contract they prepared and never replied our e-mail about the mistake back. We contacted another company and we prepared to sign a contract with them. To our surprise, in the middle of July we got another e-mail from the Company A saying they already started the contract the day we got their first email in the beginning of July. Despite the fact that they were not able to provide us with the internet before the middle of August. We only had 14 days to cancel the contract, otherwise we had to pay money to Company A. They wanted us to pay them for their service in July, even though there was no service! We were not aware of the fact they started the contract with us without providing us with the internet connection! Is not it ridiculous? Lol Why do we have to pay money for the service we don’t get?!
We were lucky enough to cancel all the contracts we did not ask for. One of our friend was not so lucky. He asked a company to check if he could get a cable internet. Like us, he was told that the TV cables in his apartment were too old. Nevertheless, he did not realize the TV company started a contract with him without providing any service. Eventually, he got a mail saying he shall pay for the internet/TV. 14 days passed since the contract started and he had a hard time to cancel the contract. Even though it seems to be obvious that he should not have paid for the internet/TV they could not provide for him. They asked him to pay for nothing. Imagine, a waiter asks you to pay for the dish you did not get. Hehe that is how we felt.


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