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03322 5078053

Router compulsion with Internet provider = illegal

The Regional Court of Koblenz has ruled that an Internet provider may no longer give the impression that one of the routers offered is required for the selected rate when ordering DSL rates on the Internet. The statement is misleading and violates the Telecommunications Act

1 & 1 offers the conclusion of DSL rates for Internet and telephone on its website. When a consumer selects a rate and starts the ordering process, the subsequent page states, “You will need one of the following DSL routers for the DSL rate you have selected.” Customers must then select one of three devices shown – from the free “1 & 1 DSL Modem” to the “1 & 1 HomeServer Speed+” for EUR 4.99 per month. Without router selection, they will not be able to continue their order.

The court agreed with the vzbv (Federation of German Consumer Organizations) that this design of the ordering process was misleading. The company gives the impression that the routers offered are mandatory for the DSL rate selected. This impression is reinforced by the fact that the order cannot be continued without selecting the device. In fact, consumers can also use other commercially available DSL routers. The free choice of router is even expressly prescribed in the Telecommunications Act.

The company had defended itself in vain by saying that it would inform elsewhere that other routers are also suitable. Customers could, for example, call the telephone hotline or click on the “Rate details” section to obtain more detailed information about the hardware options. The judges were not convinced. After the company’s clear statement that one of the routers shown was required for the selected rate, customers had no reason to ask.

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel is a lawyer and entrepreneur specializing in copyright law, competition law and IT/IP law, with a focus on games, esports, media and blockchain.

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