Invitation to conclude a contract during the sales call is inadmissible

The judgment of the Regional Court (LG) Munich I of April 22, 2024, Ref. 4 HK O 11626/23, is directed against a practice of Vodafone. However, this decision is also likely to be of significance for other telecommunications providers.

Sales call and conclusion of contract

The Bavarian Consumer Association filed a lawsuit against Vodafone, alleging that the company had violated Section 53 (3) of the German Telecommunications Act (TKG) and Section 3 of the Unfair Competition Act (UWG). These provisions stipulate that the provider must provide the consumer with a clear and easy-to-read contract summary before the consumer submits a contract declaration.

The court found that Vodafone sent an e-mail with a link to the contract confirmation to the customer during a sales call and asked him to click on this link during the call.

Court decision of the LG Munich I

The Munich I Regional Court deemed this practice to be a violation of Section 53 (3) TKG. The wording of the standards does not require a temporal separation between advertising and the conclusion of the contract. However, it follows from the meaning and purpose of the standard that the consumer cannot be asked to make a contractual declaration before the telephone call has even ended. The standard is intended to ensure that consumers have sufficient time to check the terms of the contract, compare individual offers with those of other providers and finally make their decision in full knowledge of the facts. The immediate request for confirmation during the ongoing telephone call contradicts this idea of protection.

Relevance for the telecommunications industry

The judgment is not legally binding. Vodafone has already lodged an appeal (OLG Munich, Ref.: 6 U 1815/24e). The telecommunications industry is likely to follow the further course of events with interest. According to information from consumers, this practice is also popular with other telecommunications providers. Until then, they should ensure that they give their customers enough time to make informed decisions.