In 2008, Deutsche Post launched the so-called “#Handyporto”, which has since become known as the mobile stamp. In the GTC, there is a clause indicating that these mobile stamps are only valid for 14 days. However, a limitation of the validity has now been prohibited by a court.
Mobile stamp must be valid for more than 14 days
In 2020, the mobile stamp emerged from the former cell phone postage service of Deutsche Post. The postage for letters via SMS became a stamp via app. With the adjustment of postage costs, old Mobile stamps lost their validity on January 01, 2022, because it could not be combined with the additional supplementary stamps.
At that time, a limitation of the validity to a period of 14 days was also introduced. “You will directly receive your code, which is valid for 14 days,” it says on the part of Deutsche Post.
However, this restriction is invalid, as now decided by the Regional Court of Cologne in a lawsuit filed by the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzbv) .
A time limit on the validity of the Mobile Briefmarke service and the accompanying clause in the company’s general terms and conditions was invalid, the ruling said. According to the law, claims arising from a sales contract would become time-barred after three years.
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The Post’s clause deviates from this “in an unacceptable manner”. After 14 days, the Post simply retains the money for postage codes that have already been paid for but not yet used, without providing anything in return,” says Jana Brockfeld, legal officer of the vzbv.
“This extreme shortening of the statutory limitation period of three years is unlawful,” Brockfeld continued. Deutsche Post apparently stated that the limited validity of the mobile stamp was necessary due to the limited number of characters and to prevent abuse, which the judges said was not comprehensible.
The main problem, however, is (was) rather that purchased Mobile Stamps could not be returned. Be that as it may. So Deutsche Post will now have to amend the clause in its terms and conditions unless it decides to appeal the ruling to the Cologne Regional Court. Until then, the ruling is not yet legally binding.