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A headsup about German Provider Policies
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A headsup about German Provider Policies

YmpkerYmpker Member
edited March 27 in General

Since the same threads happen to pop up over and over again, I decided to put this post mainly in regard of Netcup, Hetzner, Contabo, PHP Friends, All-Inkl and other German providers as they are quite popular among this community.

Before you get tempted by their awesome prices read this:

German providers tend to hold you accountable for the contract you signed.

German providers tend to have old-fashioned 30 days cancellation policies and oddly long/complex billing terms (hello Netcup).

German providers will not tolerate abuse (intentional or unintentional) as long as OVH/Online/Kimsufi/SYS might do.
They are certainly not lenient on this kinda stuff and will drop you like a hot potato.

Germany is a non-torrent friendly country. You are probably better off doing this kinda stuff in NL, Spain, Switzerland, Romania @cociu if you expect to get DMCA requests or shutdown notices.

If you - for whatever reason - end up in late payment or forgot to cancel your contract with a German provider and want to use them ever again: Suck it up and pay it (if it is a legit claim that was made regarding you forgetting to cancel or smth similar). Debt collectors also are a thing here.


That being said... Germany providers are still a great choice if you are intending to run a legit operation (I didn't say shady, illegal or semi-legal; I said legit):

German consumer protection laws usually are on point and often rule in favour of the consumers.

German Providers have to take lots of security measures required by law in order to protect their clients. We also love paperwork (not really).

German Providers tend to offer awesome bang for the buck deals (Netcup, Hetzner, Contabo, PHP Friends..)

German Providers tend to be very stable and we like efficency.

German Providers tend to be privacy friendly (legit privacy that is) and are probably a good pick for hosting websites of journalists that would be persecuted elsewhere.

German Providers are in big trouble if they hand out your data without a legit claim. Never forget that.

Enjoy!

Kind regards,
Ympker

Comments

  • BlaZeBlaZe Member, Provider

    Ah, the good'ol days of NetDirekt when German servers were still considered good for DMCA related stuff.

    ExoticVM.com - Find VPS in exotic locations! - Discussion Thread

  • mrTommrTom Member

    German consumer protection laws usually are on point and often rule in favour of the consumers.

    If you buy/sell hosting, consumer protection laws will most likely not apply, hosting is usually a commercial endeavour.

  • deankdeank Member, Troll

    tl;tr

    It's the Germans, period.

    I have not created a single thread. Verify it if you dare.

  • YmpkerYmpker Member

    @mrTom said:

    German consumer protection laws usually are on point and often rule in favour of the consumers.

    If you buy/sell hosting, consumer protection laws will most likely not apply, hosting is usually a commercial endeavour.

    They apply in terms of how your data is allowed to be handled, how contracts can or can not be designed/cancelled etc though.

  • NyrNyr Member

    Pretty accurate list, except for Swiss providers being torrent friendly.

    Thanked by 1Ympker
  • YmpkerYmpker Member

    @Nyr said:
    Pretty accurate list, except for Swiss providers being torrent friendly.

    For downloading afaik. For uploading probably not. But torrentfreak updates this ever so often and I actually dont torrent so not always up to date.

  • WickedWicked Member

    Learned this the hard way after not cancelling my VPS with PHP-Friends a few years ago. Got a letter from a collection agency and ended up paying fees that could have paid for the VPS 2 years ahead of time.

    We get spoiled with providers like DO, OVH etc.

    Thanked by 2Ympker Unixfy
  • hzrhzr Member, Moderator

    Heads up #2: Why the fuck are you signing contracts you don't read?

  • So...all this topic about being pro consumer, not tolerating abuse and not being piracy friendly? Am I missing something?

  • Thank goodness for @seriesn ;)

    Thanked by 2seriesn Ympker

    Long live LowEndInfo.com

  • seriesnseriesn Member, Provider

    @hzr said:
    Heads up #2: Why the fuck are you signing contracts you don't read?

    You should really check the recent hetrixtool thread :lol:

  • PulsedMediaPulsedMedia Member, Provider

    German providers are extremely bureaucratic and strict. That's just how german people in general are. They are also often a little bit "technically backwards".

    They are extremely strict in many areas, even where they do not have legal obligation to be so (DMCA), and very annoying bureaucracy. and they truly keep you accountable. Oh do i have the stories to tell! But that's for another time another place. Overnight due to provider billing system issue we were liable for more than 1 500 000€ instead of 30 000€ or something of the sort because their billing system fscked up.Never. Ever. Again.

    In any case, if you know how the specific german provider operates and can abide by that and bureaucracy, they are good. Well if especially if you are outside EU so they cannot strangle you with their own fsck ups. Otherwise, stay far far far away and never give them your real contact details etc. They are the kind of people who rather spend 100 000€ in lawyer fees than let go of a minor thing, say 100€ relatively.

    I have relatives who have worked in Germany for decades, and have visited myself there many times over. They are sticklers for rules and regulation, and tend to love bureaucracy AND that is coming from Finnish perspective! Finland is one of the most bureaucractic countries, we view Finland as more bureaucractic than Germany is!. It is made even worse for the reason that they also tend to be in general tech wise 5 to 15 years behind, in Finland we do not use paper documentation that much anymore, so what they request simply does not legally exist since the 90s in many cases.

    Finnish bureaucracy is super stickler for bureaucracy but it's nothing compared to German stuff. In comparison, Finnish people are very easy going.

    Thanked by 1miniswift
  • FalzoFalzo Member
    edited March 28

    PulsedMedia said: and never give them your real contact details

    so, to get that straight. you as a european company encourage people to enter contracts with fake details? fraud much?
    makes me question the legality of your company and esp. how you file your taxes based on probably tons of fake data (VAT and MOSS comes to mind). I heavily doubt that Finnish tax authorities are that easy going. good luck with your first audit.

    most recommended Provider: First-Root KVM Power-Edition /w SSD
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  • YmpkerYmpker Member

    @MadRabbit said:
    So...all this topic about being pro consumer, not tolerating abuse and not being piracy friendly? Am I missing something?

    Kinda. Also about contract periods. At least once ever so often someone complains about their Netcup contract being extended or their cancellation not coming through by simply not paying and has to pay late paynents. At least once ever so often someone abuses Contabos services for a Tor Exit node then wonders why it got locked up. At least once ever so often someone wonders why Hetzner shuts down abuse faster than other providers... So the idea was to give ppl some pointers saying that these providers are not the same like OVH speaking of contract handling, abuse handling, late payments etc.

  • @Ympker said:

    @MadRabbit said:
    So...all this topic about being pro consumer, not tolerating abuse and not being piracy friendly? Am I missing something?

    Kinda. Also about contract periods. At least once ever so often someone complains about their Netcup contract being extended or their cancellation not coming through by simply not paying and has to pay late paynents. At least once ever so often someone abuses Contabos services for a Tor Exit node then wonders why it got locked up. At least once ever so often someone wonders why Hetzner shuts down abuse faster than other providers... So the idea was to give ppl some pointers saying that these providers are not the same like OVH speaking of contract handling, abuse handling, late payments etc.

    Oh. Gotcha. Thought maybe you were pissed by one of those things.

    Thanked by 1Ympker
  • pikepike Member

    @PulsedMedia said:
    They are the kind of people who rather spend 100 000€ in lawyer fees than let go of a minor thing, say 100€ relatively.

    Prinzipien sind Prinzipien!

    Thanked by 2PulsedMedia paily
  • PulsedMediaPulsedMedia Member, Provider

    Falzo said: so, to get that straight. you as a european company encourage people to enter contracts with fake details? fraud much?
    makes me question the legality of your company and esp. how you file your taxes based on probably tons of fake data (VAT and MOSS comes to mind). I heavily doubt that Finnish tax authorities are that easy going. good luck with your first audit.

    The first time you get a huge stack of letters and see debt collection for 1 500 000€ because provider borked their billing system and refused to accept payments regularly for more than 6 months, and for years have constantly required constant checkups because their billing would double triple bill you at some times - You would say exactly the same thing as well.

    How did it get to 1 500 000€ with unsaid promise there'd be a few million € more in store from where that came? Each server separately for 1 month in most cases, sometimes 1-2 months, add 330€ instant legal fees for each of these. All for the reason the provider refused to accept payments, and still were actively discouraging paying them. Never ever was it supposed to be billing after delivery, but always upfront and prepaid. They told us many times not to worry, and no need to pay anything for the moment. We kept sending them occasional 5000€ payments regardless, refusing not to pay at least something despite not even receiving invoices!

    At that very moment you are going to curse you ever gave them your contact details and lawyering up. I could not even double check on that because their whole billing was down so i could not see even the original invoices, never mind had we received them!

    What they did, was it illegal? Very much. Was it ethical? Not at all. Did they active refuse to take payments? Yes they did! Did they one sidedly change billing terms? Yes they did. Was it going to be expensive as hell to fight? Hell yes.

    I believe the real sum owed at that point of time was about 22 000€ -- all they needed to do is accept the friggin' payments. But no, without warning 1 500 000€ demand from debt collectors and some servers shut down. I told them very politely to put the servers back online, remove this debt collection and give me confirmation, or i would spend 1 500 000€ suing them to oblivion rather and making absolutely certain they will never see a dime.

    Their explanation was that the debt collections were for german individuals on their consumer side of things not for resellers.... Then they did it again.

    This is not all german providers ofc, only one. But i have found German businesses to be quite bureaucratic and ever since that we came to conclusion that less they know that much safer it is.

    As for your fraud allegations: I believe i can get some kind of certificate from our tax authority to certify all taxes are paid and up to date. Further, this month direct to tax agency taxes to be paid is about 5800€, that is excluding other forms of taxes paid (VAT, legally mandatory insurances such as unemployment, retirement etc. customs duties etc).

    We check most orders for VAT validity and are very swift to correct if VAT should be collected from the customer, we also perform regular spot check audits on customers to see those who are responsible for VAT are paying their VAT as obligated.

    Last audit was actually sometime last summer, limited scope but we had to send them A LOT of documentation. Last time around 2016 we had i believe 3 different tax audits - turns out yes indeed we made a mistake, tax agency was owing us a few thousand euros :)

    All our tax filings are up to date, next due date is the 12th and accounting firm already has everything they need. Expecting to get about net 1 000€ tax return for that month.

    You can check up company information at ytj.fi for specific info and you will notice we've been something like 11 years in business, and EU VIES VAT just to check on the VAT ID FI22551954.

  • YmpkerYmpker Member
    edited March 28

    @PulsedMedia said:

    Falzo said: so, to get that straight. you as a european company encourage people to enter contracts with fake details? fraud much?
    makes me question the legality of your company and esp. how you file your taxes based on probably tons of fake data (VAT and MOSS comes to mind). I heavily doubt that Finnish tax authorities are that easy going. good luck with your first audit.

    The first time you get a huge stack of letters and see debt collection for 1 500 000€ because provider borked their billing system and refused to accept payments regularly for more than 6 months, and for years have constantly required constant checkups because their billing would double triple bill you at some times - You would say exactly the same thing as well.

    How did it get to 1 500 000€ with unsaid promise there'd be a few million € more in store from where that came? Each server separately for 1 month in most cases, sometimes 1-2 months, add 330€ instant legal fees for each of these. All for the reason the provider refused to accept payments, and still were actively discouraging paying them. Never ever was it supposed to be billing after delivery, but always upfront and prepaid. They told us many times not to worry, and no need to pay anything for the moment. We kept sending them occasional 5000€ payments regardless, refusing not to pay at least something despite not even receiving invoices!

    At that very moment you are going to curse you ever gave them your contact details and lawyering up. I could not even double check on that because their whole billing was down so i could not see even the original invoices, never mind had we received them!

    What they did, was it illegal? Very much. Was it ethical? Not at all. Did they active refuse to take payments? Yes they did! Did they one sidedly change billing terms? Yes they did. Was it going to be expensive as hell to fight? Hell yes.

    I believe the real sum owed at that point of time was about 22 000€ -- all they needed to do is accept the friggin' payments. But no, without warning 1 500 000€ demand from debt collectors and some servers shut down. I told them very politely to put the servers back online, remove this debt collection and give me confirmation, or i would spend 1 500 000€ suing them to oblivion rather and making absolutely certain they will never see a dime.

    Their explanation was that the debt collections were for german individuals on their consumer side of things not for resellers.... Then they did it again.

    This is not all german providers ofc, only one. But i have found German businesses to be quite bureaucratic and ever since that we came to conclusion that less they know that much safer it is.

    As for your fraud allegations: I believe i can get some kind of certificate from our tax authority to certify all taxes are paid and up to date. Further, this month direct to tax agency taxes to be paid is about 5800€, that is excluding other forms of taxes paid (VAT, legally mandatory insurances such as unemployment, retirement etc. customs duties etc).

    We check most orders for VAT validity and are very swift to correct if VAT should be collected from the customer, we also perform regular spot check audits on customers to see those who are responsible for VAT are paying their VAT as obligated.

    Last audit was actually sometime last summer, limited scope but we had to send them A LOT of documentation. Last time around 2016 we had i believe 3 different tax audits - turns out yes indeed we made a mistake, tax agency was owing us a few thousand euros :)

    All our tax filings are up to date, next due date is the 12th and accounting firm already has everything they need. Expecting to get about net 1 000€ tax return for that month.

    You can check up company information at ytj.fi for specific info and you will notice we've been something like 11 years in business, and EU VIES VAT just to check on the VAT ID FI22551954.

    Seems like some things went horribly wrong with the provider you are talking about, however none of what you are saying doesn't justify generally using fake data when you sign up for a contract. Let alone encourage others to do so in your position as a provider.

  • PulsedMediaPulsedMedia Member, Provider

    Ympker said: Seems like some things went horribly wrong with the provider you are talking about, however none of what you are saying doesn't justify generally using fake data when you sign up for a contract. Let alone encourage others to do so in your position as a provider.

    You don't have to use fake data, i did not say give fake information, albeit i do understand it sounds like that. Just don't give anything you don't have to. Name + Country is sufficient for most places, if they do not ask for more why give them a chance to send debt collectors to you when they happen to decide overnight that magically you owe them millions?

    You should also notice that we are in a very privacy centric niche, and are personal privacy advocates.

  • FalzoFalzo Member

    @PulsedMedia said:

    set aside your blabla rant about a specific provider, that you don't even mention, you missed the point.

    you recommended using fake data, while you yourself do the opposite (because you are required to by law and tax, which is exactly what I pointed out earlier) and even now you tell that you "spot check" on your customers, esp. for VAT ... aha.

    how would it be valid advise to use fake data in any case (to avoid debt collectors), when this leads to either get in trouble during a "spot check" or not be able to file taxes (if the client is a company itself)?

    to get to the point:

    -> what happens if you find out some of your clients used fake data to avoid VAT?

    are you cancelling him (unless he provides real data) or let him be and risk to have false data on your next audit?

    most recommended Provider: First-Root KVM Power-Edition /w SSD
    UltraVPS.eu KVM in US/UK/NL/DE: 15% off first 6 month | Netcup VPS/rootDS - 5€ off: 36nc15279180197 (ref)

  • PulsedMediaPulsedMedia Member, Provider

    Falzo said: set aside your blabla rant about a specific provider, that you don't even mention, you missed the point.

    you recommended using fake data, while you yourself do the opposite (because you are required to by law and tax, which is exactly what I pointed out earlier) and even now you tell that you "spot check" on your customers, esp. for VAT ... aha.

    how would it be valid advise to use fake data in any case (to avoid debt collectors), when this leads to either get in trouble during a "spot check" or not be able to file taxes (if the client is a company itself)?

    to get to the point:

    -> what happens if you find out some of your clients used fake data to avoid VAT?

    are you cancelling him (unless he provides real data) or let him be and risk to have false data on your next audit?

    This is what i said: "Otherwise, stay far far far away and never give them your real contact details etc."

    To which i replied in context: https://www.lowendtalk.com/discussion/comment/3090518/#Comment_3090518

    We do not allow tax fraud ever. Please stop saying we do allow that, or making other things up.

  • @deank said:
    tl;tr

    It's the Germans, period.

    “You know the Germans make good stuff”

    • best infomercial host ever
  • FalzoFalzo Member

    PulsedMedia said: Please stop saying we do allow that, or making other things up.

    I did not say you do. Nor made I anything up. If my sentences end with a "?" that most likely means I ask questions. which you seem to wiggle around by ranting much... however, you are the one representing a business that wants to sell here, I'll rest my case.

    Thanked by 1Ympker

    most recommended Provider: First-Root KVM Power-Edition /w SSD
    UltraVPS.eu KVM in US/UK/NL/DE: 15% off first 6 month | Netcup VPS/rootDS - 5€ off: 36nc15279180197 (ref)

  • YmpkerYmpker Member

    @Falzo said:

    PulsedMedia said: Please stop saying we do allow that, or making other things up.

    I did not say you do. Nor made I anything up. If my sentences end with a "?" that most likely means I ask questions. which you seem to wiggle around by ranting much... however, you are the one representing a business that wants to sell here, I'll rest my case.

    Prost🍻

  • PulsedMediaPulsedMedia Member, Provider

    Falzo said: I did not say you do. Nor made I anything up. If my sentences end with a "?" that most likely means I ask questions. which you seem to wiggle around by ranting much... however, you are the one representing a business that wants to sell here, I'll rest my case.

    answers to your questions were provided.
    It does not negate the fact that your "questions" were "loaded" with presumptions and accusations.

  • BertieBertie Member

    Ympker said: German Providers tend to be privacy friendly (legit privacy that is) and are probably a good pick for hosting websites of journalists that would be persecuted elsewhere.

    While German providers are required to adhere to a minimum-necessary data retention policy, German security authorities are quite aggressive in terms of subpoena and customs capacity, and will do so at a whim with no due process.

  • YmpkerYmpker Member

    @Bertie said:

    Ympker said: German Providers tend to be privacy friendly (legit privacy that is) and are probably a good pick for hosting websites of journalists that would be persecuted elsewhere.

    While German providers are required to adhere to a minimum-necessary data retention policy, German security authorities are quite aggressive in terms of subpoena and customs capacity, and will do so at a whim with no due process.

    Well, automated Abmahnungen are quite common indeed but usually only take place if your IP appears while torrenting or smth.

  • NyrNyr Member

    Ympker said: Well, automated Abmahnungen are quite common indeed but usually only take place if your IP appears while torrenting or smth.

    He's probably referring to the fact that German authorities often raid servers and grab the hard drives with ease compared to other European countries.

    Thanked by 2Ympker Bertie
  • YmpkerYmpker Member
    edited March 29

    @Nyr said:

    Ympker said: Well, automated Abmahnungen are quite common indeed but usually only take place if your IP appears while torrenting or smth.

    He's probably referring to the fact that German authorities often raid servers and grab the hard drives with ease compared to other European countries.

    That is true although if there is justification that is something that is necessary.
    If you are indeed accused by someone just for the sake of bringing harm to you but haven't done anything wrong we still have the "falsche Verdächtigung" (164 StGB) and "üble Nachrede" (186 StGB) which allows you to prosecute people bringing such harm on you. Like I said though, if there is a raid, usually there is also a legit reason or at least one server in the DC hosting child pron. Furthermore if it's a non legit claim and the raid is in vain the person sueing you would have to pay the fees in most cases (court fee if involved too).

  • HostSlickHostSlick Member, Provider
    edited March 29

    Im German Provider but our Servers are in Netherlands. For many reasons, one is that Power in NL costs only half then in Germany. Germany has the most expensive power in EU.

    We mostly don't enforce so much bullcrap such as contract and old fashioned cancelation policies of 30 days on most services.

    However some bigger customers who pay hundreds of euros per month or even more we have setup contracts etc.

    Doing the German way let's you better plan and do your business and keeps bad customers away. Nice

    Have been drinking coffee before with German Police multiple times because of some customers have been doing bad things like terror. They are not really a pain to deal with though.

    Thanked by 1Ympker
  • YmpkerYmpker Member

    @HostSlick said:
    Im German Provider but our Servers are in Netherlands. For many reasons, one is that Power in NL costs only half then in Germany. Germany has the most expensive power in EU.

    We mostly don't enforce so much bullcrap such as contract and old fashioned cancelation policies of 30 days on most services.

    However some bigger customers who pay hundreds of euros per month or even more we have setup contracts etc.

    Doing the German way let's you better plan and do your business and keeps bad customers away. Nice

    Have been drinking coffee before with German Police multiple times because of some customers have been doing bad things like terror. They are not really a pain to deal with though.

    Nicely said. I also love the flexibility Vultr/Lunanode offers but I also like my german providers for reasons. In which in NL DC are u btw? :)

  • HostSlickHostSlick Member, Provider
    edited March 29

    @Ympker said:

    @HostSlick said:
    Im German Provider but our Servers are in Netherlands. For many reasons, one is that Power in NL costs only half then in Germany. Germany has the most expensive power in EU.

    We mostly don't enforce so much bullcrap such as contract and old fashioned cancelation policies of 30 days on most services.

    However some bigger customers who pay hundreds of euros per month or even more we have setup contracts etc.

    Doing the German way let's you better plan and do your business and keeps bad customers away. Nice

    Have been drinking coffee before with German Police multiple times because of some customers have been doing bad things like terror. They are not really a pain to deal with though.

    Nicely said. I also love the flexibility Vultr/Lunanode offers but I also like my german providers for reasons. In which in NL DC are u btw? :)

    We are in the Lelystad Datacenter. With our own Equipment connected by our own Juniper Networking equipment.

    https://cellnextelecom.nl/en/about-cellnex/locations/datacenter-lelystad/

    The Servers are very high in the Sky. Cloud :wink:

    Dedicated servers, VPS, Webhosting offered from there. On request we can do Colocation also

    Thanked by 1Ympker
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