Actually, the idea is as simple as it is ingenious: If there is no post office nearby, you can simply buy a stamp using the app. But there is disagreement about implementation.

In the trial about the validity of so-called mobile stamps, Deutsche Post suffered a defeat. A clause in the general terms and conditions, according to which this type of franking is only valid for 14 days after purchase, is invalid according to a judgment by the Cologne district court, as the Federal Association of Consumer Organizations (VZBV) announced today.

For two years, customers have been able to use the “Post

Consumer advocates consider the procedure to be illegal

But the fact that the franking is only valid for two weeks annoys consumer advocates. After the expiry, “the post office simply keeps the money for postage codes that have already been paid for but not yet used, without providing anything in return,” said VZBV legal expert Jana Brockfeld. “This extreme shortening of the statutory limitation period of three years is illegal.”

Swiss Post sees it differently. “We have a different legal opinion here and have therefore appealed,” said a company spokesman.

The Cologne district court confirmed the verdict. The chamber is of the opinion that sales law applies and that a statute of limitations is only legal after three years, said a spokeswoman. Swiss Post, on the other hand, sees the mobile stamp business as a freight contract, which could mean that it could become invalid after just two weeks.

For consumers, everything will remain the same for the time being: Since the judgment is not yet final, the clause in the General Terms and Conditions will continue to apply with the 14-day period. However, most users who bought the code in the app shouldn’t wait that long to send the letter with the combination of numbers and letters anyway.