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Did your Vodafone bill go up illegally in Germany?

James Jackson
James Jackson - [email protected]
Did your Vodafone bill go up illegally in Germany?
Archive photo shows the logo of British mobile phone giant Vodafone at their retail shop in central London. (Photo by BEN STANSALL / AFP)

If your internet contract is with Vodafone, you might have had a steep increase in your bill. In fact, the phone network is now subject to a class-action lawsuit by the German consumer protection organisation the VZBV.

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What is a class-action lawsuit? Well normally a lawsuit is just one plaintiff taking the case to court, but a class-action lawsuit is when a large number of plaintiffs complain together, giving their case more weight and more easily allowing compensation.

In the spring, Vodafone began raising the prices for all of its landline tariffs for cable and DSL by 5 per month. For gigabit cable customers, for example, the monthly price went up from 40 to 45. In total, around ten million customers were affected.

Vodafone did allow its customers to terminate their contract, but consumer protection specialists don’t think that’s enough. From their perspective, the Düsseldorf-based internet company should not have increased the prices without renegotiating with customers.

“The VZBV (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband) considers Vodafone’s price increases to be legally ineffective,” says association boss Ramona Pop. The class action lawsuit is aimed at ensuring that millions of Vodafone customers can get their money back directly.

"An additional cost of 5 per month is a lot of money for many people."

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So what should you do if you are a Vodafone customer? In a few weeks you will be able to sign up to join the other plaintants on the so-called “lawsuit register”, which Pop says will make it easier for customers to defend themselves.

Read more: What happens if you don't pay a bill in Germany?

The VZBZ hope that this will also send a signal to other companies that are considering raising prices.

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Vodafone has blamed the price increases on inflation and higher electricity costs.

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Comments (2)

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Paul Krantz 2024/05/07 11:19
Hi Judy, Just found your comment here as I was looking into an update on this. For your information, we just posted an article on 'Who can join [this] class action lawsuit against Vodafone in Germany?' We've got a link there to a portal where you can confirm your eligibility and (I think) also register with the lawsuit.
Judy 2023/11/16 09:16
Any link to that lawsuit register?

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