Prohibition of Telekom StreamOn on the backs of customers

As early as last fall, the European Court of Justice ruled that Vodafone Pass and Telekom StreamOn were incompatible with net neutrality. Now, there may be different opinions regarding the offer, the zero rating of the data in question, and the net neutrality classification. My personal point of view: Data was not privileged on the Internet, it was a price distinction. Actual violations in the past have long since been eliminated. This was to reduce the video streaming signal to SD for many customers.

For me personally, StreamOn is a pricing option that every content provider can participate in – free of charge. Customers had the benefit of the streaming package. Telekom massively upgraded expensive contracts with relatively low data volume. So I largely follow Telekom’s argument that the service does not violate net neutrality. The courts and the Federal Network Agency see things differently. And not only since this week or since last September. In principle, consumer advocates and the courts have fought the service since its inception. This also won milestone victories, such as banning signal reduction.

As a result, the Federal Network Agency’s final ban on Deutsche Telekom may now be anything but unexpected or surprising. To date, Deutsche Telekom markets StreamOn to its new customers. Anyone who hasn’t noticed the ban from the Federal Network Agency has a two-year contract on their hands – Telekom StreamOn is due to shut down at the end of March 2023. A new customer still has 13 months left – without a streaming plan, but with high costs and little data volume.

Telekom: StreamOn is only an additional contract

Telekom does not want to release customers from the contract. Telekom has already made this known to inside digital. In a statement provided to us by Telekom this week, he said verbatim: “The StreamOn add-on option is an additional contract that our customers can order on top of the underlying mobile phone contract and can be terminated at any time by our customers and Telekom. The mobile phone contract is not affected by the termination of the StreamOn add-on. The separate mobile phone contract can be terminated in accordance with the provisions applicable to its termination.

In plain English: Telekom is ultimately leading the litigation with consumer protection groups, regulators and courts that has been simmering for years at the expense of customers. Because instead of offering the affected customers at least a full data plan for the remaining term, for example, they are already positioning themselves against the customers.

And she doesn’t care about well-paid customers. A contract with a video package as part of StreamOn currently costs the modest sum of 49.95 euros per month. Beyond the zero-rate flat rate, a ridiculous 12GB of data is included. At least customers should be prepared to spend $50 for it. Even the release of 5G does not make the cabbage fat. For comparison: the provider High Mobile offers a data volume of 15 GB for 15 euros on the Telekom network.

Telekom promises new measures – but without mentioning StreamOn customers

In its press release, Telekom also stresses that “fair tariffs will continue to allow high data consumption and the best user experience”. Therefore, there are constant measures in which, for example, data volume is given or tariffs are upgraded. “The next steps for other customer groups are already in preparation and affected customers will of course be informed in due course.” Details, particularly with regard to the StreamOn customers now affected, are expressly left open.

With the position that StreamOn is an additional contract to the actual mobile phone contract, Telekom can be legally on the safe side. But morally, the nascent plan not to free customers from far too expensive contracts without StreamOn is reprehensible. No, it’s not just reprehensible – the process would be a real mess – and will likely alienate customers forever.

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