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Buyer Beware in Germany - Contracts

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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Buyer Beware in Germany - Contracts

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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Location: United States

After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Buyer Beware in Germany - Contracts

PCS Season is right around the corner. At least 75% of you who are moving back to the States this year will be going through the motions this summer. Hey, I got time, right? Wrong! The Germans look at contracts a whole heck of a lot different than we do in the States. Here are some things you should be thinking about now.

Germany is a land of order, and with that, you must cancel your contracts in writing. Most services and companies require you to do this at least three months out. Check your bills now. See what you are paying automatically, ie what is being taken out of your account every month, every quarter, or in the case of ADAC (the German version of AAA), once a year. See what else is going out every month and make a list of names and phone numbers you'll have to call.

Many of these services have forms you can fill out and fax in or mail in. Find out what they are now by calling or writing them. Call them and say you are moving in five months and for them to send you the forms or ask what you need to do. If you get something and can't read it, stop by your local Army Community Service, as they typically have someone on staff who can read German and can translate for you on the spot.

Here are some of the bills you may have:

  • Electric
  • Heating
  • Water
  • Landline Phone
  • Cell/mobile phone
  • ADAC
  • in country car insurance
  • TV or satellite service
  • Internet
  • Rental contract
Please be sure though you stop by the housing office before you send anything into your landlord. You want to make sure that you are indeed leaving, because if you turn in your termination notice, and then later you don't move, the law will be on your landlord's side, and you maybe be forced to move. Be cautious with that one.

If you know of any other contracts or things you may have to cancel, please post them here.



Blogger Tava said...

Good to hear from you! I was just thinking last night how you haven't posted in awhile and I should send you an email and see how you are doing! I hope all is well! Thinking of you guys! --tjf

March 16, 2009 at 1:19 PM  
Blogger Jerry said...

Glad to see that you are taking the lead in putting this kind of information out there. Germany isn't the States. We can't expect foreign businesses to operate with the same level of understanding about military PCS season, so it's good to be proactive and have some insurance against misunderstandings.

April 17, 2009 at 5:36 PM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

This is a very helpful reminder. We were told we're moving sometime in the next few months and still don't know when. I just sent this to my husband so he can firm up a PCS date and we can start giving notice on this stuff.

April 23, 2009 at 10:16 AM  
Blogger Allison said...

We made the stupid mistake of getting a cell phone contract when we first arrived. It was VERY expensive and they, of course, will not let you out of it no matter what...

SO we were stuck for two years :(

May 27, 2009 at 9:15 AM  

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