The logic is, that if you provide a service to consumers (as much as I hate that term), you are required to provide a minimum level of service. Financially discounting that service (even a 100% discount) doesn't change that situation. It's done to prevent abuse of the little guy. If there was an exception for free services, businesses would use all sorts of means to exploit that loophole (e.g. in a broadband + TV package, we say you're paying for the TV only, the broadband is a 'free extra' so you get a shitty broadband service with no customer support, you can't complain as it's 'free', and by the way we're the only provider in your area... see the potential problem?). I would also take issue with your definition of free - by using Google services you're providing to Google a payment in kind by displaying their adverts on your computer screen and viewing them. If it makes you happier, imagine that Google pays Germans 0.01 Euro for each advert imprint, and then demands that in payment for the internet service provided.