Beware of expensive scams: this is how you avoid overpriced emergency services on public holidays

Despite all the precautionary measures, the emergency service is sometimes unavoidable. The consumer center advises the following to avoid possible scams:

Be careful seriously

Do extensive research to find a reputable provider in your location. Pay particular attention that the emergency service also offers its services outside opening hours at transparent prices.

Experience reports and ratings from other customers can also provide information about the reliability of a service provider.

Clarify total costs in advance over the phone

The location of the emergency service can be decisive when it comes to the question of price. A local provider has shorter travel times than a national company.

If you reach an emergency service under the local area code, you only pay for arrival and departure within the city limits. However, if a longer journey is billed, you can withdraw any additional amount from the bill.

Therefore, it is best to clarify these additional costs in advance by telephone. The best solution is usually a binding flat rate for all services, which also includes travel costs and any surcharges.

Pay only the agreed price

Check the individual items on the invoice before signing and cross out any provisions that have not been agreed. For example, the service provider may only demand cash payment if this has been contractually agreed in advance.

Don’t be in a hurry

If the service provider threatens you, you can call the police. Because: coercion is a crime, if the situation threatens to degenerate, you can also ask a neighbor for help or ask the installer to leave your home. Failure to do so may result in criminal penalties.

More information on how to handle such incidents can be found in the Baden-Württemberg Consumer Advice Center’s “Emergency Company” podcast.
In addition, the advice centers of the Consumer Advice Center throughout Germany are available as contacts for those affected who can register your complaint and help you in the event of problems.

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