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Pricing and consumer protection
What rules govern retail pricing for telecoms services?
The market for end-customer prices is, in general, not subject to ex ante price regulation. As an exemption, the Federal Ordinance on Telecommunications Services contains ceiling prices for certain services forming part of the universal service and for value-added services.
What rules govern consumer service contracts?
Agreements with end users are not subject to specific telecommunications regulation. However, agreements and the conclusion of such agreements must adhere to mandatory Swiss law. The starting point for any query with regard to the conclusion and dissolution of a contract, as well as faults of performances, is the Swiss Code of Obligations. Especially relevant in a consumer protection context are:
- Article 8 of the Federal Law Against Unfair Competition, which prohibits the use of abusive general terms and conditions; and
- Articles 40a and following of the Swiss Code of Obligations and the Federal Consumer Credit Act, which govern the consumer’s right to withdraw from a contract within 14 days.
Are telecoms service providers bound by any consumer disclosure requirements?
The manner in which prices for telecommunications services and, in particular, value-added services are announced in writing and in advertising for such services in the telecommunications sector are set out in the Ordinance on the Disclosure of Prices. No other provisions apply with respect to consumer disclosure requirements.
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