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hhvgoetz, Rechtsanwalt, LL.M.
Category: German Law
Satisfied Customers: 2899
Experience:  LL.M. in International Trade Law (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
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Hello, A simple question. Do all contracts in Germany have

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A simple question. Do all contracts in Germany have to be written in order to be legally binding? Can offer of a contract made over the telephone be valid if it is not supported with documentation?



in Germany there is no parole evidence rule or similar thing.

However, there may be a problem if a contract was concluded orally if there is no witness.



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

This relates to a telephone offer made by '', for a one month 'trial'. The assistant demanded bank details for the payment of 99c for the delivery of a sim karte. When I received it, I became suspicious and returned the card without activating it because no written contract was included. Kundenservice has not answered my emails or letters but they are demanding 350 euros for a service they have never provided. I would like to know what rights the customer has in these circumstances and what further action I can take. Is there anyone I can contact for advice? Thanks

Yes, a contract can be concluded by phone.


If they demand 350 Euros I suspect the contract is for 24 months.


However, will have to prove the content of the actual contract.


You should tell them in written form that you were never informed that the contract was only about a 1 month trial for 99 cents and consider the contract as terminated.


Be aware that these trial offers usually are converted into 24 months contracts if you don't cancel them quickly.

However, yourfone will have to prove before court that you were informed about that fact.



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I cancelled immediately but Youfone did not respond. I have been sending letters and emails for 6 months but they have only responded with mahnungs. So, my final question is: does the company have a duty to respond to customer queries and complaints? If they fail to do this, what action can the customer take?

Thank you for your help


Yes, they have to respond, but YOU have to proof that they received your letter. Thus, E-Mails are absolutely inappropriate.


Use a Fax machine with a copy of the first page of the fax on the receipt! This is not absolutely safe but by far better than an E-Mail or a certified letter. In the latter case they may state, they just received a blank paper... So when sending a letter you may need a witness for the content of the actually sent letter.


Make sure you can prove that the received your query and then you'll have to wait until they sue you.



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