Data flatrate throttling not legal
With a judgement of January 2016, the Potsdam Regional Court gave many internet surfers a joy: The Federation of German Consumer Organisations had filed a suit against the provider E-Plus.
Background story: E-Plus sold a “Flatrate” with its product “Allnet Flat Base all-in” with unlimited data volume. At the same time, a “brake” was hidden in the clause: after 500 MB in fast transmission, the transmission speed was reduced from 21.6 megabits to 56 kilobits per second.
This can be annoying for the customer if he intends to use streaming services or transfer video and music files.
This deceleration of the transmission speed puts the customer at an unreasonable disadvantage, the LG Potsdam has now decided. The consequence: The clause and thus the data throttling are invalid.
If the terms and conditions state “unlimited data volume”, this gives the customer the impression that, unlike other products, there is no limit to the use of the Internet. Such a strong reduction in transmission speed (500 times slower than the initial speed) would amount to “a reduction in performance to zero”.
Clear words for unclear clauses. Consumers will be pleased. For customers who have already been annoyed about the reduction of the transmission speeds of their flat rates, it is worth taking a closer look at the contracts/terms of business – with the help of a contract law lawyer in Lüneburg in case of uncertainties.