Decision against Deutsche Bahn
VKI: Undue clause in terms & conditions
Austrian consumers who travel with the German rail company Deutsche Bahn (DB) might face some difficulties when ordering a ticket. In order to pay by means of a debit entry, the company request that the consumer has a bank account in Germany. On behalf of the Social Ministry, the Austrian consumer protection agency Verein für Konsumenteninformation (VKI) went to court against this clause in the terms & conditions of DB. And the VKI won the case.
According to the so called SEPA regulation, a company situated in an EU Member State cannot confront its customers with such demands. By doing so, DB excluded all consumers not living in Germany from paying for train tickets via direct debit. The Commercial Court of Vienna (Handelsgericht Wien) decided that such restrictions are not permissible.
The judgment is not yet final. More information in German language is provided by the legal department of VKI: verbraucherrecht.at