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Old 20.05.2021, 17:39
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Email from UPC - change in cancellation conditions - legal?

I received this email today from UPC about cancelling the contract.

Wir vereinfachen und beschleunigen den Kündigungsprozess. Ab dem 1. Mai 2021 (für Bestandeskunden ab 1. Juni 2021) können alle UPC Abos nur noch telefonisch oder per UPC Chat gekündigt werden. Schriftliche Kündigungen per Briefpost, Fax oder E-Mail sind ab diesem Zeitpunkt nicht mehr gültig.

“We are simplifying and speeding up the cancellation process” now you can only cancel by phone or chat. They no longer accept written cancellation by mail, fax or email.

Over the years on EF there have been no end of threads complaining that people have tried to cancel contacts (not specifically with UPC) using a method other than registered letter and have had problems.

A) can UPC legally refuse to accept cancellation by registered mail (not interested in fax, surprised they accepted email)

B) is this the beginning of Swiss consumer contract law, or at least B2C relationships, entering the modern era?
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Old 20.05.2021, 18:05
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Re: Email from UPC - change in cancellation conditions - legal?

It's not exactly new. They merged with Sunrise who had that clause for several years already. I don't think the question of its legality has yet been definitely tested in a court yet. You can be the first to find out! (I'd put my money on sunrise/upc losing here)
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Old 20.05.2021, 18:06
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Re: Email from UPC - change in cancellation conditions - legal?

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A) can UPC legally refuse to accept cancellation by registered mail (not interested in fax, surprised they accepted email)
Yes. Kinda goes against the EF mantra of always send a registered letter!
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Old 20.05.2021, 18:59
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Re: Email from UPC - change in cancellation conditions - legal?

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I received this email today from UPC about cancelling the contract.

Wir vereinfachen und beschleunigen den Kündigungsprozess. Ab dem 1. Mai 2021 (für Bestandeskunden ab 1. Juni 2021) können alle UPC Abos nur noch telefonisch oder per UPC Chat gekündigt werden. Schriftliche Kündigungen per Briefpost, Fax oder E-Mail sind ab diesem Zeitpunkt nicht mehr gültig.

“We are simplifying and speeding up the cancellation process” now you can only cancel by phone or chat. They no longer accept written cancellation by mail, fax or email.

Over the years on EF there have been no end of threads complaining that people have tried to cancel contacts (not specifically with UPC) using a method other than registered letter and have had problems.

A) can UPC legally refuse to accept cancellation by registered mail (not interested in fax, surprised they accepted email)

B) is this the beginning of Swiss consumer contract law, or at least B2C relationships, entering the modern era?
They are clearly not accepting email!
Seems fishy to me. Both phone and chat disappear when over (recording either would be illegal in Switzerland) so how come they explicitly refuse to accept any cancellation the customer could actually prove it was done and when?

Did you check other changes? Seems like they are expecting an exodus and don't want to put up with it.
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Old 20.05.2021, 21:02
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Re: Email from UPC - change in cancellation conditions - legal?

Read a snippet about this in the consumer magazine K-Tipp.



K-Tipp legal team says its not legal what UPC is trying. Their advice, send a registered letter of cancellation, and your notice period starts from the day UPC receives the letter. They further state that UPC confirmation is not necessary for cancellation to be effective.
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Old 20.05.2021, 22:25
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Re: Email from UPC - change in cancellation conditions - legal?

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Read a snippet about this in the consumer magazine K-Tipp.



K-Tipp legal team says its not legal what UPC is trying. Their advice, send a registered letter of cancellation, and your notice period starts from the day UPC receives the letter. They further state that UPC confirmation is not necessary for cancellation to be effective.
Do you have a link to an article?

K-Tipp are reliable, but on the other hand Swiss contract law is pretty open, except for certain protected areas like housing rental and employment I don't think there are any laws around notification format that would override the contract.

Unless the point is that this is a customary method, or maybe that it is one-sided and prejudicial to the consumer. After all, as noted there would be no proof and also actually getting through to a person can be next to impossible.
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Old 20.05.2021, 22:54
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Re: Email from UPC - change in cancellation conditions - legal?

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Read a snippet about this in the consumer magazine K-Tipp.

K-Tipp legal team says its not legal what UPC is trying. Their advice, send a registered letter of cancellation, and your notice period starts from the day UPC receives the letter. They further state that UPC confirmation is not necessary for cancellation to be effective.
That sounds correct to me. They can additionally offer ways of cancellation - like chats and phone - but not refuse to accept the legal way.
By the way, confirmation is never necessary. That is why it's done by registered mail. When the post has delivered, it's done.

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Do you have a link to an article?

K-Tipp are reliable, but on the other hand Swiss contract law is pretty open, except for certain protected areas like housing rental and employment I don't think there are any laws around notification format that would override the contract.

Unless the point is that this is a customary method, or maybe that it is one-sided and prejudicial to the consumer. After all, as noted there would be no proof and also actually getting through to a person can be next to impossible.
Swiss contract law is open considering that many details can be agreed on differently to the law. (Abredevertrag).
But even if both signed, if one takes it to court, law (like Obligationenrecht for example) become the rule again.
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Old 20.05.2021, 23:30
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Re: Email from UPC - change in cancellation conditions - legal?

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Swiss contract law is open considering that many details can be agreed on differently to the law. (Abredevertrag).
But even if both signed, if one takes it to court, law (like Obligationenrecht for example) become the rule again.
Yes of course.

My point is that afaik there is nothing in OR which says a written cancellation is either mandatory or must be accepted, except in very specific cases.

A legal argument has to reference either a law or an unassailable right - it entirely possible there's a law, and it's similarly possible this is viewed by the courts as a right, I'm curious which and to have more detail.
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Old 20.05.2021, 23:38
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Re: Email from UPC - change in cancellation conditions - legal?

So I found the article:

https://www.ktipp.ch/artikel/artikel...rhin-moeglich/

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However, these restrictions on the termination options are not legally permissible. Basically, the following applies: A termination becomes legally effective when it is received by the contractual partner. Law professor Vito Roberto from the University of St. Gallen confirms that termination clauses such as the UPC's are "clearly invalid". They are unusual and would unilaterally disadvantage consumers. UPC spokesman Eric Zeller denies this.
Interesting and slightly dubious argument IMO - it's accepted that contracts can state the form of cancellation, typically that it must be in written form. It's hard to see why requiring a different form would not be acceptable, even if it is unusual.

I guess the point about unilaterally disadvantaging customers is valid since UPC control the access to phone and chat, but it's a bit vague and unless you could show that phone and chat were unavailable I'm not sure that would hold. Generally contract parties have to demonstrate a reasonable attempt to follow the contract terms.

Also to be clear I still think it's a crap policy, and it would make sense to update OR to include a right to cancel in writing if it isn't already there to stop this nonsense.
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Old 21.05.2021, 08:43
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Re: Email from UPC - change in cancellation conditions - legal?

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So I found the article:

https://www.ktipp.ch/artikel/artikel...rhin-moeglich/

Interesting and slightly dubious argument IMO - it's accepted that contracts can state the form of cancellation, typically that it must be in written form. It's hard to see why requiring a different form would not be acceptable, even if it is unusual.
In your opinion ? Then you don't give the opinion of Rechtsprofessor Vito Roberto from the Uni St. Gallen much weight in this matter.

What happens if the cancellation conditions are such that the customer must climb a rope ladder up the north face of the Eiger to deposit, in person, a cancellation notices in a special box ?

OK. I'm being on the facetious side to make the point. However, a similar thing happened to me, now many years ago with a trial Microsoft subscription. You had to cancel online and the cancellation link always came back "Try again later". I eventually wrote a letter implying this was a systematic and devious trick and got my money back.
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Old 21.05.2021, 09:36
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Re: Email from UPC - change in cancellation conditions - legal?

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In your opinion ? Then you don't give the opinion of Rechtsprofessor Vito Roberto from the Uni St. Gallen much weight in this matter.

What happens if the cancellation conditions are such that the customer must climb a rope ladder up the north face of the Eiger to deposit, in person, a cancellation notices in a special box ?

OK. I'm being on the facetious side to make the point. However, a similar thing happened to me, now many years ago with a trial Microsoft subscription. You had to cancel online and the cancellation link always came back "Try again later". I eventually wrote a letter implying this was a systematic and devious trick and got my money back.
Yes I know my opinion is of limited value in this case, which is why I flagged it as such.

On the other hand, it's not that hard to find an academic lawyer who will say something to a magazine that they wouldn't say so strongly in court. And bearing in mind that K-Tipp is biased towards consumer rights, they know that just putting this article out there puts pressure on UPC et al (which I'm all for!).

If this was actually in court, neither my opinion or the professor's would be of any great interest to the judge, they want to see the text of a law or some other significant evidence justifying the position.
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Old 21.05.2021, 10:08
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Re: Email from UPC - change in cancellation conditions - legal?

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Both phone and chat disappear when over (recording either would be illegal in Switzerland)

You can get a transcript of the chat once it's over.


Overall, this approach let's them negotiate the cancellation, but apart from that, I don't expect them deny your cancellation request. I appreciate this approach of being able to cancel a product from my laptop instead of using paper.
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Old 21.05.2021, 10:48
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Re: Email from UPC - change in cancellation conditions - legal?

Salt did the same years ago, and for me this is a reason to never go back to them. And no, it is not more convenient that a letter, for which you need 3 minutes to write, and than you drop it in the letter box. All in all I spent few hours to cancel, first trying to reach them for days, and than discussing for almost half an hour.
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Old 21.05.2021, 11:19
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Re: Email from UPC - change in cancellation conditions - legal?

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Yes I know my opinion is of limited value in this case, which is why I flagged it as such.

On the other hand, it's not that hard to find an academic lawyer who will say something to a magazine that they wouldn't say so strongly in court. And bearing in mind that K-Tipp is biased towards consumer rights, they know that just putting this article out there puts pressure on UPC et al (which I'm all for!).

If this was actually in court, neither my opinion or the professor's would be of any great interest to the judge, they want to see the text of a law or some other significant evidence justifying the position.
It's not the professor's opinion. It is simply Swiss law - you can offer additional, easier ways to cancel but not over-rule the Swiss law, which yes the judge would apply.

Anybody wanting to be on the safe side could always do it both ways.
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Old 21.05.2021, 11:24
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Re: Email from UPC - change in cancellation conditions - legal?

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It's not the professor's opinion. It is simply Swiss law - you can offer additional, easier ways to cancel but not over-rule the Swiss law, which yes the judge would apply.

Anybody wanting to be on the safe side could always do it both ways.
As I said multiple times - WHICH SWISS LAW?
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Old 21.05.2021, 11:34
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Re: Email from UPC - change in cancellation conditions - legal?

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It's not the professor's opinion. It is simply Swiss law - you can offer additional, easier ways to cancel but not over-rule the Swiss law, which yes the judge would apply.

Anybody wanting to be on the safe side could always do it both ways.
Which Swiss law states a contract termination by letter must be accepted?
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Old 21.05.2021, 11:34
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Re: Email from UPC - change in cancellation conditions - legal?

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It's not the professor's opinion. It is simply Swiss law
The thing is there's no law that explicitly says this! And there's on the other hand freedom of contract allowing companies to put arbitrary bullshit into contracts. Legal case against UPC/Sunrise would have to be based on more indirect laws of this being an unusual clause or abuse of consumer rights / AGB or some such, and there's a risk that a court would not interpret those actual existing laws the same way as you or this professor does.
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Old 21.05.2021, 11:47
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Re: Email from UPC - change in cancellation conditions - legal?

Telekoms/Media company makes cancellation process easier, people get themselves all tangled up, demanding that registered letters be the only way to do so.

There's a fella who goes through our village on Saturdays with his horses and carriage. Shall I ask him to deliver your registered letters?

I have recently canceled contracts and ordered new telekoms/media products where Swisscom, Sunrise and UPC have been involved. I didn't have to send any letters with the horsey man. Somehow everything could be done over the phone.
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Old 21.05.2021, 13:06
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Re: Email from UPC - change in cancellation conditions - legal?

I've done several things online with web chat and it's been fantastic, possibly because you get through to chat-centres where people are eager to please and get good feedback.

Having said that, the question of the thread is is it allowed to disallow cancellation by post regardless of which method is more convenient. The problem with things like this is if you remove the only method available to the customer. In this case for example if the customers don't have e-mail or access to the internet, but then I guess they wouldn't have received the email informing them of the change.
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Old 21.05.2021, 13:23
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Re: Email from UPC - change in cancellation conditions - legal?

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Somehow everything could be done over the phone.
For me the phone calls are the worst way to do any business. Of course I don't mind if they are an option, but pls, not the only one. I prefer email to mail, but somehow is rarely an option. No horses in my story. Except if I would eat a horse steak while writing a letter.
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