The consumer advice centers are pushing for better protection against door-to-door sales such as fiber optic connections or energy offers. From January to October, they said they recorded a total of over 5,400 complaints - an increase of more than 20 percent compared to the same period last year.
The head of the federal association, Ramona Pop, told the German Press Agency that consumers were being taken by surprise in their own four walls. "Sometimes contracts are foisted on them that they would hardly have concluded under other circumstances."
Pop emphasized: "We need better protection against such harassment and contract traps." It is important that doorstep visits are only permitted with the prior consent of the consumer - as is the case with telephone advertising. The cancellation period for door-to-door contracts must also be extended from 14 to 30 days.
According to the data, from January to October, 35 percent of complaints to consumer advice centers about door-to-door sales related to landline offers for telephony and Internet. This was followed by electricity at 13 percent and mobile phone offerings at 6 percent. The greatest increase in complaints occurred with mobile communications - followed by renewable energy and landline offerings.