Fixed telephone, internet TV & mobile phone contracts
Generally, the contract term is about two years. If you do not cancel it within the deadlines (max. deadline allowed by law: 3 months), it will be renewed for another year.
Update: May 2018
You have the option to cancel the contract at the end of the contract term. Please be aware of the period of notice. You can find this deadline in the terms and conditions (max. 3 months). You should cancel the contract in writing by registered mail and ask for a written confirmation.
If you have already left Germany, you can cancel the contract before the end of the contract term if the provider does not provide his services at your new residence. This is mostly the case with fixed telephone and internet services. The period of notice in this case is about three months, however, the beginning of this notice period is disputed. A court ruled that it starts when you leave your residence, not when you send your cancellation (OLG München, decision from 18/01/2018, decision of OLG Düsseldorf). That means that you have to pay the monthly fees even though you cannot use the services. Most operators require proof of leaving the country such as written confirmation about your de-registration issued by the local authorities.
In order to cancel the contract, you should send a written cancellation by registered mail and ask for a written confirmation. Afterwards, you have to return the devices such as the router and the modem. Note that the return of devices such as the router and the modem in a store of the provider normally does not signify the cancellation of the contract.
Mobile phone contracts
If the mobile phone operator can provide his services to the conditions stated in the contract at your new residence, you cannot cancel the contract before the end of the contract term. This might be the case if you move into another EU country (please read our article about roaming fees). Instead, you should cancel the contract by the end of the contract term. Please be aware of the notice period stated in the terms and conditions.
Sometimes customers receive a new mobile phone device when they sign a mobile phone contract. The prices of these mobile phones are normally cheaper than the prices of the mobile phones in a shop. If you cancel the contract before the end of the contract term, the operator might claim the compensation payment from you.
TV access included in the rental contract
It is possible that your landlord entered into the contract with the television provider. In this case you will not be able to cancel the contract yourself. Therefore, you should inform your landlord as soon as you know the date of your departure.