Mobile phone firms can't seize funds, court rules

23rd June 2006, Comments 0 comments

23 June 2006, MUNICH - Mobile-phone companies are not allowed to confiscate prepay funds belonging to their inactive customers, a German superior court ruled in Munich on Thursday.

23 June 2006

MUNICH - Mobile-phone companies are not allowed to confiscate prepay funds belonging to their inactive customers, a German superior court ruled in Munich on Thursday.

Phone companies in Europe's biggest market reacted with alarm to the ruling, saying it was common practice in other nations to expire credits if they had not been used up within 365 days of purchase.

Prepay plans allow customers to buy phone service anonymously and make calls until the deposit has been used up.

The state superior court in Munich was rejecting an appeal by O2, the mobile arm of Spain's Telefonica, against a lower-court judgement. Consumer groups brought the case, demanding that phone companies refund credits to customers. O2 said this was too costly.

"This verdict reinforces the rights of millions of people with prepay plans," said consumer activist Brigitte Sievering-Wichers.

DPA

Subject: German news

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