Sunday, October 17, 2021

High bills Mobile phone subscription traps: tips against rip-offs

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Several hundred euros on your mobile phone bill for purchases you don’t know about? There can be a subscription trap behind this. Finanztest magazine explains how you can protect yourself and what you should configure on your mobile phone.

Often all it takes is a wrong finger tap on the cell phone and an unwanted subscription is concluded. The amount will be debited from the mobile phone bill at the end of the month.

The Federal Network Agency actually wanted to stop this approach at the beginning of 2020. This is because all mobile phone providers are required to only charge the mobile phone bill for what customers have actually bought or subscribed to using their smartphones.

However, it is still too easy for customers to end up in unwanted subscription contracts. This is the finding of the magazine “Finanztest” in its current issue (11/2021). Usually the victims only notice it when the mobile phone bill flutters into the house. Because in many cases they did not receive a service and often had no idea what they allegedly ordered.

“Finanztest” therefore expressly recommends setting up a third-party block. The best way to do this is to log into the customer account on the provider’s website and set the block with just a few clicks.

You can also have the lock set up by telephone or at the nearest branch of the mobile network provider. In addition, services offered by the mobile phone provider should also be blocked.

If unwanted subscriptions are offered on the phone, it is best to just hang up. If you do not want calls of this kind, you should inform your mobile operator in writing.

If you have already been damaged, the financial testers advise you to immediately complain about the unknown items on the mobile phone bill. In addition, you should not be turned away by the provider with sentences such as “the use of the services complained about could be clearly assigned to your phone number”. That is not proof of an order.

The mobile phone provider should deny in writing that a sales contract has been concluded. A free sample letter is available online. “Since February 2020, after your complaint, the provider has had to credit unlawfully debited money for alleged third-party services in an unbureaucratic manner,” as Finanztest explains.

In addition, injured parties should complain to the Federal Network Agency about unlawful debits (ruf Numbers abuse@bnetza.de). If a single payment to a third party provider exceeds the amount of 50 euros or the monthly sum is higher than 300 euros, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (poststelle@bafin.de) should also be informed.

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