If the internet is too slow, consumers are entitled to a reduction in their fee. But the conclusion after one year of the reduction right is mixed.
Exactly one year ago, the reduction right came into force. Since then, consumers have been able to apply for a discount from their internet provider if they get less fast internet than contractually agreed.
But although the measurements of the landline bandwidth very often result in a claim for a reduction, the consumer advocates are not satisfied with the price reductions granted, like the Spiegel reported.
Right of reduction: Too few measurements are completed
According to the Federal Network Agency, consumers completed around 28,000 measurements between mid-December 2021 and the end of October 2022. However, the Federal Network Agency counted around 15,000 of them by the end of February.
The Federal Network Agency provides a tool for measuring the speed of the internet. Users can call this up via Broadbandmeasuring.de and use it either in the browser or via a desktop app.
Since December 13, 2021, the desktop app has been downloaded around 100,000 times. However, the measurements would take a lot of time, which is why consumers did not complete them.
This could also be due to the fact that 30 tests have to be carried out over three days. Only then does the broadband meter create a log.
Measurements almost always result in a reduction claim
According to Bundesnetzagentur President Klaus Müller, the measurement tool has “established itself well after a year”. “We help thousands of consumers to prove their provider is underperforming.”
However, consumer advocates see things differently. Because the measurements are too complex and not user-friendly.
After the measurement, there is also no precise indication of how high the reduction claim for users is. You would first have to clarify this with your provider.
However, they rejected the reduction “usually or do not react, although the necessary documents were submitted,” criticized the Federal Association of Consumer Advice Centers. For consumers, it is sometimes “not explained in a comprehensible way, even on request, how the reduction amount comes about”.
Slow Internet and reduction rights: That’s what the providers say
However, ISPs see the low number of measurements as a sign of their improved performance. “In our opinion, the overall very low number of complaints clearly shows that the vast majority of users feel well taken care of with their Internet connections,” he quotes Spiegel Jürgen Grützner from the association of providers of telecommunications and value-added services.
The providers are trying to solve “the concerns in customer service” and “without the formal procedure via the Federal Network Agency”.
According to Vodafone, “only very few fixed-line customers have so far applied for a reduction”. These were “of course granted in justified cases”.
“The number of complaints is at a low level in the low three-digit number per week,” said a spokesman for Telekom. The group takes care of “every case” and is “always looking for accommodating solutions”.