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Old 27.02.2015, 14:15
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Billag Contribution and Online Questionaire...

We just got a letter from Billag today requesting that we make a contribution to them, and that we need to either fill out an online-form or call them.

Is this mandatory? They have given us a personal Login and password, so they must know if we don't do it.
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Old 27.02.2015, 14:20
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Re: Billag Contribution and Online Questionaire...

http://www.englishforum.ch/search2.php?q=Billag
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Old 27.02.2015, 14:26
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Re: Billag Contribution and Online Questionaire...

This is not an invoice. This is a request for a contribution, and I cannot find anything on the EF except about invoices.
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Old 27.02.2015, 14:31
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Re: Billag Contribution and Online Questionaire...

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This is not an invoice. This is a request for a contribution, and I cannot find anything on the EF except about invoices.
At present do you pay for Billag? Do you own a TV? Radio? Car-radio? Have an internet connection?
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Old 27.02.2015, 14:33
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Re: Billag Contribution and Online Questionaire...

The Billag is included in our rent, so we have never seen an invoice.
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Old 27.02.2015, 14:35
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Re: Billag Contribution and Online Questionaire...

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The Billag is included in our rent, so we have never seen an invoice.
I think you're mixing up Billag with the basic cable costs bill, which is indeed sometimes included in rent charges.
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Old 27.02.2015, 14:37
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Re: Billag Contribution and Online Questionaire...

This is not an invoice.

This letter is a request for a contribution of no specified amount. They say (and I loosely translate) "With your personal contribution you help to preserve the "public service" in all language areas and a range of exciting and informative programs."
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Old 27.02.2015, 14:43
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Re: Billag Contribution and Online Questionaire...

But it is definitely a mandatory item to pay (and not included in the rent)
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Old 27.02.2015, 14:44
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Re: Billag Contribution and Online Questionaire...

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This is not an invoice.

This letter is a request for a contribution of no specified amount. They say (and I loosely translate) "With your personal contribution you help to preserve the "public service" in all language areas and a range of exciting and informative programs."
It means they are requesting you kindly to sign up with them, so they can start invoicing you (and therefore for you to contribute to the public radio & tv services).
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Old 27.02.2015, 14:45
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Re: Billag Contribution and Online Questionaire...

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This is not an invoice.

This letter is a request for a contribution of no specified amount. They say (and I loosely translate) "With your personal contribution you help to preserve the "public service" in all language areas and a range of exciting and informative programs."
It's not an invoice...yet. For now they're politely reminding you that Billag is compulsory (think of it as a tax). If you ignore this, the next step will be a bit less pleasant, possibly bringing a no-payment fee and inspectors coming to your place.
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Old 27.02.2015, 14:46
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Re: Billag Contribution and Online Questionaire...

Short answer.

If it wasn't delivered to you personally or it wasn't a regsitered letter, from a legal perspecitive you might as well never have recieved it. Billag are known for questionable and underhand sales methods and bullshitting people with false statments. One of these is pretending to be doing an independent market survey only to twist it round and make you pay.
They were once fined for beating up a pensioner who refused to cooperate.
So they're a thoroughly pleasant lot.

They are also easy to face down and are afraid of being called out, meaning they prefer to retreat and try again later rather than stand their ground.

They also don't like being tape recorded or filmed. They know that what they say might be used against them in court so the moment you ask them if they consent to being recorded they decide to go away.

But do you need to pay, legally that is?
If you fulfil the criteria, unfortuantely yes.

It is very unlikely Billag is included in your rent. I've never heard of that being the case.

If you object and want them to stop you might consider supporting or making a donation to Nobillag.
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Old 27.02.2015, 14:53
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Re: Billag Contribution and Online Questionaire...

The ETH are our landlords, and they specifically told us that internet, television and radio are included in our rent. The ETH pays our subscription. In our 6 months here we have never gotten an invoice from Billag.

Therefore, I assume this is one of those questionable letters that amogles mentions.

My original question stands. Do you think that going online to fill out their questionnaire and make a contribution is mandatory?
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Old 27.02.2015, 15:04
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Re: Billag Contribution and Online Questionaire...

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The ETH are our landlords, and they specifically told us that internet, television and radio are included in our rent. The ETH pays our subscription. In our 6 months here we have never gotten an invoice from Billag.

Therefore, I assume this is one of those questionable letters that amogles mentions.

My original question stands. Do you think that going online to fill out their questionnaire and make a contribution is mandatory?
ETH is paying for your connection - it is highly unlikely they are paying for Billag. The fact Billag have contacted you suggests you are not.

If you are using TV/Radio/Internet and/or have the means to receive TV/Radio will mean that you are liable for Billag.

(And on and on it goes)
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Old 27.02.2015, 15:10
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Re: Billag Contribution and Online Questionaire...

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My original question stands. Do you think that going online to fill out their questionnaire and make a contribution is mandatory?
It has been answered. Yes, and yes.

Here the actual law (in English):
http://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifie...index.html#a68
and ordinance (in English):
http://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifie...index.html#a57

Exemptions:
http://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifie...index.html#a63

The fines:
http://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifie...ndex.html#a101

And as said, those fees are mostly never ever included in the rent. Ask your Landlord/ETH if Billag was paid for your apartment or not.
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Old 27.02.2015, 15:10
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Re: Billag Contribution and Online Questionaire...

You ask for advice - you question the advice offered.
I suggest that you either 100% ascertain that ETH are paying Billag for you (unlikely), or do nothing and wait for something more official and expensive to land in your lap.

Oh, .... one more alternative - you could actually communicate with Billag and ask what they expect you to do.
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Old 27.02.2015, 15:14
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Re: Billag Contribution and Online Questionaire...

I know for a fact at British Universities, that you have to pay the TV licence yourself for your individual room…. even though the uni provides the TV/Internet connection.
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Old 27.02.2015, 15:20
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Re: Billag Contribution and Online Questionaire...

Let's not be too tough on the OP.

Being told that TV is included can indeed be misunderstood to imply that Billag is included. However, if this is the case, the landlord should should be able to confirm this and provide evidence of this being the case.

I would talk to the landlord before talking to Billag.

In fact i would try to minimize interaction with Bilag. Especially seeing the Op is here on a temporary contract and will have even more hassle trying to cancel Billag when she leaves (we have had posts here from people who failed to cancel on leaving and ended up having to pay huge amounts to Billag).

I shouldn't really be saying this or advocating dishonesty. So everybody please look the other way. But seeing you're here for only 6 months, you can probably wriggle by without paying. If the letter wasn't registered, you didn't get it. If they phone, you don't understand. If you keep playing for time you'll be gone before they can nail you. Swiss TV won't go broke for missing your contribution. Donate the money you save to charity instead.
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Old 27.02.2015, 15:29
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Re: Billag Contribution and Online Questionaire...

BILLAG is kind of like an annual fee in case one operates equipments that receive radio waves (car radio, cellphone, wifi equipment) and receives TV signals (Television).

BILLAG has 2 components. Most people who own a TV and a (WIFI router, cellphone, car radio, radio) need to pay both components.

a) RADIO (cheaper ca. 180 CHF pa IIRC)

b) TV (expensive ca. 450CHF pa)

My understanding of BILLAG is the following:

If you do not own a TV or use a TV as a computer monitor and not watch anything supplied through the cable or airwaves, you most likely are not liable for the TV BILLAG.

Unless you live in the sticks, without cellphone and a car radio, you are liable for paying part a).
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Old 27.02.2015, 15:34
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Re: Billag Contribution and Online Questionaire...

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This is not an invoice. This is a request for a contribution, and I cannot find anything on the EF except about invoices.
It would be highly unusual for Billag to *ask* for a contribution.

Suggestion: Scan, or take a photo of, the letter. Anonymize for privacy. Upload.

People will then be able to tell more from the legalese on the letter.
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Old 27.02.2015, 15:39
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Re: Billag Contribution and Online Questionaire...

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My understanding of BILLAG is the following
Please get your understanding adjusted at https://www.billag.ch/private/faq/



The magic word is "Internet".

Assuming that you did post from home, you have just proven yourself worthy of paying for TV, too
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