Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cell Phones in Germany

Many Americans move overseas hoping for the same or similar cell phone service they had in America. That's what we were hoping for too. After 2 months of researching for a cell phone plan we decided to go with T-Mobile because they have free mobile to mobile. That was a BIG mistake. First of all, if you're only planning on living in Germany a few years, don't waste your time with a contract. Just buy a prepaid cell phone plan. We have had so many problems with our bills. Customer service is horrible here. For example, in order to straighten out a cell phone bill one has to go to a T-Mobile store (in our case since we have a contract with T-Mobile), wait in line, then the sales representative will hand write your complaint to T-Mobile and fax it along with a copy of your cell phone bill. Many times you have to make several trips to the store and this process goes and on and on. My advice, stick with prepaid plans.

Here are a few differences in cell phone plans in America and Germany with T-Mobile and many, but not all cell phone companies in Germany and the U.S.

U.S. - free nights and weekends
Germany - unlimited calls to land lines, free incoming calls, free mobile to mobile with certain plans

U.S. - you get a certain amount of minutes per month to use plus free mobile to mobile
Germany - only with the more expensive plans do you get minutes, otherwise you pay to call cell phones outside of your phone plan, most cost 0.29 EUR cent per minute. But unlimited minutes to landlines and mobile to mobile with T-Mobile

U.S. - can call the 800 number when there's a problem with a phone bill and most of the time the phone rep can take care of the problem
Germany - have to make a trip to the store and the sales rep hand writes your problem and faxes it to corporate

U.S. - lots of cheap cell phone plans
Germany - expensive cell phone plans

U.S. - can sign up for a one year contract
Germany - the minimum contract is for 2 years

U.S. - you can leave your cell phone contract after your contract ends
Germany - your contract will renew for another year if you do not send a hand written letter at least 3 months before your contract ends telling them you want to end your contract

What are cell phone plans like in your country? If you have had a good experience with a cell phone company, please share it with us.

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