Never forget to cancel your contract!
I have previously written about all the wonders and things I like of living in Germany. Naturally, there are also few things I don’t like. Today, I will write about one of them. The importance of unsubscribing not only to memberships or subscriptions, but also to all kind of contracts.
Trade regulations work quite different here than in my country. In my hometown, any service provider has the task to convince its customers to renovate their contracts when the contracts have come to an end. Following this logic, a service can be extended only with a written approval from the client. In Germany it seems to be the opposite way, it is the customer who has to resign the contract, independently of its length, not to get it automatically extended. At least, that’s what my friends and I have experienced on different occasions.
Some weeks after my arrival in Germany I got subscribed in a GYM or Fitness Studio and signed a one-year contract. Few weeks before the expiration of the contract, I was having an informal conversation with the staff of the GYM and I told them I was not going to train there anymore as I got an Internship in another city. I was so shocked when they told me I had to present a formal resignation letter explaining the reasons why I was canceling my membership and this letter should be attached by a proof certificating that I was moving to another city, which in this case was a copy of the contract from my Internship. In the end, I provided everything they required as I was afraid they would continue charging me for yet another year. But, to be honest, I felt very pissed off, since from my point of view, it was absurd, bureaucratic and an abuse to ask me as their client for all of this, mainly considering that my contract was limited for only one year.
Another case is what happened to my friend who after finishing his studies, decided to pay for the upgraded profile of a professional networking service on Internet to seek for a job. He required and pay for the service for tree months, but because he didn’t formally quit the service two weeks in advance before the ending of the tree months, he had to keep his upgraded profile and pay for tree more months.
It is also important to pay attention while hiring telephone and internet services, most of them offered two, or at least one-year contracts. I know the case of one student who didn’t read carefully her internet contract and had to pay for one extra year of service even after getting back to her hometown.
Remember, not because a contract has come to an end in Germany doesn’t mean you don’t have to cancel it in advance. If you are not fluent in German, ask a friend skilled in the language who can help you reviewing the documents before you sign them.
Consider and ask always about the length of a contract and the process unsubscribe or cancel the service.
To acknowledge these facts can prevent you from future unpleasant surprises, frustration, and most importantly, useless and unexpected expenses.
“…und nicht zu vergessen, immer zu Kündigen!”