In Germany, internet service providers pay you! (for loss of service)

Ever lost your internet connection? Do the loathsome words "executive customer service" resonate with you? They shouldn't if you live in Deutschland -- at least, not after today. While that course of customer service whinging can occasionally yield some form of restitution stateside (we're being generous), for Germans it's now almost unnecessary. In a ruling issued today, a federal court in Karlsruhe has determined interruption of internet service to be grounds for compensation, as it can be categorized as an "essential material item," Reuters reports. The decision, which allows impacted users to file compensatory claims, stems from a 2008 - 2009 incident in which a private German citizen incurred a loss of phone, fax and internet service over a two month period. Apparently, the man had already been partially reimbursed for having to rely on mobile phone service, but decided to take things a little further. In other news, Americans can just threaten to switch to FiOS. Worked for us.