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Roam-Like-At-Home: O2 loses in the roaming dispute before the European Court of Justice

The consumer center (VZBV) has filed a lawsuit with European Court of Justice wonwhich was about the fact that certain Telefónica customers did not automatically receive free EU roaming. Users of roaming tariffs who had already contractually agreed an alternative data package, for example for other EU countries, were affected.

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Since June 15, 2017, no additional charges may be charged for calls from other EU countries. The conversion of tariffs to the new Roam-Like-At-Home regulation (RLAH) must take place automatically according to the regulation, the European Court of Justice has now determined.

The Munich Regional Court I had submitted a so-called question to the European Court of Justice. In 2017, Telefónica informed that O2 customers could only use the new roaming regulations if they actively switched to the new roaming tariff via SMS. Consumers who did not, according to the consumer advocates, were faced with higher costs in some cases. The decision as to whether Telefónica also acted misleading with its information on roaming will be made by the Munich I Regional Court. The procedure will continue after the EU decision.

VZBV: Customers should get their money back

Jana Brockfeld, consultant at VZBV, said: “We are already expecting Telefónica to provide immediate and unbureaucratic reimbursement for telephone costs that have been paid a lot.”

In its judgment, the Court of Justice stated that from June 15, 2017, roaming providers were obliged to apply the rule automatically to all customers. This applied regardless of whether the customers had previously chosen a regulated roaming tariff or another tariff. Something different only applies if it was expressly stated before the cut-off date that it wanted to use a tariff other than the RLAH tariff, explained the judges.

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