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-   -   Moved canton but cannot cancel phone (https://www.englishforum.ch/tv-internet-telephone/227679-moved-canton-but-cannot-cancel-phone.html)

salie 11.02.2015 21:57

Moved canton but cannot cancel phone
 
I have searched but only found info on mobile phone contracts.

We moved canton at the end of 2014 and returned our Orange modem (which is now VTX) along with the deregistration receipt from the Gemeinde. We'd had the phone/internet service for nearly 6 years.

I'm now informed that moving is not a reason to end a contract early and there will be a 300CHF penalty unless I chose the same provider at my new address. We went with cable this time as it seemed a little cheaper.

Does moving house not even get you out of a contract here?

3Wishes 11.02.2015 22:04

Re: Moved canton but cannot cancel phone
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by salie (Post 2339198)
... We'd had the phone/internet service for nearly 6 years...

What does the language in your original contract say about cancellation? And how long was the contract duration? 6 years sounds pretty long...:msnshock:

Mrs. Doolittle 11.02.2015 22:08

Re: Moved canton but cannot cancel phone
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by salie (Post 2339198)

Does moving house not even get you out of a contract here?

Yes. If the provider does not offer service at the new address, the contract can be broken. There may be still conditions such as sticking to the notice period in the contract.

salie 11.02.2015 22:14

Re: Moved canton but cannot cancel phone
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 3Wishes (Post 2339208)
What does the language in your original contract say about cancellation? And how long was the contract duration? 6 years sounds pretty long...:msnshock:

It does say that the minimum contract is 1 year and after that it will be automatically renewed for another year. Any premature cancellation "may" result in the 300CHF penalty. I must say when I've contacted VTX in the past with a question about their service, their attitude was most obnoxious.

I can understand receiving the penalty if cancelling in the first year but after 6 years and moving house? I'm all ready to cancel 3 Orange mobile contracts out of sheer disgust.

Carlos R 11.02.2015 23:11

Re: Moved canton but cannot cancel phone
 
Write to the CEO of the company. State facts and that having been a customer for 6 years, are very upset and disappointed by this reaction. Explain that you will be canceling all other contracts with them too. Post the letter and see if that resolves it. Failing that, start tweeting on their site (assuming they have one). Keep it clean and free of abuse though.

Guest 11.02.2015 23:15

Re: Moved canton but cannot cancel phone
 
Salie, is the same service available in your new Kanton? If it is, then I don't think you have a case, just because you've decided to change to a cheaper service- if it isn't, as Mrs Doolittle says, you do.

salie 12.02.2015 07:17

Quote:

Salie, is the same service available in your new Kanton? If it is, then I don't think you have a case, just because you've decided to change to a cheaper service- if it isn't, as Mrs Doolittle says, you do.
I'd imagine it probably is available although. I had wrongly assumed that after 6 years you could change your provider if changing address. I don't even mind 3 months notice.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Carlos R (Post 2339252)
Write to the CEO of the company. State facts and that having been a customer for 6 years, are very upset and disappointed by this reaction. Explain that you will be canceling all other contracts with them too. Post the letter and see if that resolves it. Failing that, start tweeting on their site (assuming they have one). Keep it clean and free of abuse though.

Nothing to lose by trying.

k_and_e 12.02.2015 09:15

Re: Moved canton but cannot cancel phone
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by salie (Post 2339328)
I'd imagine it probably is available although. I had wrongly assumed that after 6 years you could change your provider if changing address. I don't even mind 3 months notice.

why should a provider accept a cancellation if the same service is available on your new address?

on the other hand, the notice period for a mobile hone contract with Orange is one month. Obviously not the same for an internet connection.

profetas 12.02.2015 09:24

Re: Moved canton but cannot cancel phone
 
They are right only moving to another country makes it possible to cancel the contract or if they cannot provide the service in your new address otherwise the contract still holds.

dmarkd 12.02.2015 10:14

Re: Moved canton but cannot cancel phone
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by salie (Post 2339198)
I have searched but only found info on mobile phone contracts.

We moved canton at the end of 2014 and returned our Orange modem (which is now VTX) along with the deregistration receipt from the Gemeinde. We'd had the phone/internet service for nearly 6 years.

I'm now informed that moving is not a reason to end a contract early and there will be a 300CHF penalty unless I chose the same provider at my new address. We went with cable this time as it seemed a little cheaper.

Does moving house not even get you out of a contract here?

I has something similar with VTX, except not with moving house. The VTX internet contracts they took over from Orange automatically renew for 12 months - in the same way that Orange Mobile contracts used to. To cancel you need to give notice of, I think, 3 months. Or pay the 300CHF penalty. It's clearly stated in the contract, so if they can still provide the service at your new address then you're stuffed. Either you pay the 300 or give notice now and continue the monthly payments(whichever option is the cheapest I guess)

I can't imagine complaning to Orange and threatening to cancel your mobile contracts will do much good as VTY is a different company anyway. But....worth a try I guess.

Phil_MCR 12.02.2015 10:44

Re: Moved canton but cannot cancel phone
 
i wonder if there is some sort of consumer protection/competition authority in switzerland that should be looking at this.

salie 12.02.2015 11:07

Re: Moved canton but cannot cancel phone
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by k_and_e (Post 2339353)
why should a provider accept a cancellation if the same service is available on your new address?

on the other hand, the notice period for a mobile hone contract with Orange is one month. Obviously not the same for an internet connection.

Because the minimum contract of 1 year had long since passed and there is nothing in the contract to say you must stay with the same provider if you change address.

dmarkd 12.02.2015 11:22

Re: Moved canton but cannot cancel phone
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by salie (Post 2339432)
Because the minimum contract of 1 year had long since passed and there is nothing in the contract to say you must stay with the same provider if you change address.

But it's not a minimum contract of 1 year. It automatically renews each year for another year. This sucks, especially since Orange doesn't do this anymore(now 1 month), but VTX still does it for a year.

doropfiz 12.02.2015 11:30

Re: Moved canton but cannot cancel phone
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Phil_MCR (Post 2339412)
i wonder if there is some sort of consumer protection/competition authority in switzerland that should be looking at this.

Here's the consumer protection:
https://www.konsumentenschutz.ch/beratung/
For non-members, phone advice costs (Fr. 2.90/Min from a landline).
For members, it is free.


Becoming a member costs Fr. 60 per annum.
https://www.konsumentenschutz.ch/warenkorb/

salie 12.02.2015 13:59

In all my experience of VTX has been fairly dismal.

They took over from Orange in 2013. My connection was just 10MB but looking at their website I saw that they offered 20MB for less than I was paying. I asked if I could change and was told it was possible if I gave 3 months notice before next July and then pay an activation fee again. In other words, they'll welcome you with a better deal as a new customer only.

Another time, the internet simply stopped working. I tried a spare modem/router but nothing. Their tech support refused to help because I was using my own modem, which had been working fine for years. My only option was to rent their modem - an ugly thing with a terrible user interface. On receiving their modem, I discovered the reason it didn't work was because the line had changed from ADSL to VDSL. Nice of them to let me know. I wonder how many other people were tricked into accepting the rented modem because of this.

In contrast, in other countries I've had no problems ending home internet & phone agreements when moving or changing plans.

It's clear they've designed the contract to make it inconvenient to change provider, so as to protect their own interests. Such protectionist practices are being stamped out in many other countries and even mobile operators here are slowly improving. I don't really understand how it benefits their long term business as once a customer is tripped up by such a contract, they will most likely never return or recommend them to any one else.

The modem was returned in the original packing using the prepaid postage label which came with it. This was the Orange address but I figured it would end up in the correct place as I had no details of any other address for it's return. It was scanned at the post office and I had nothing to pay.

VTX say they did receive the modem so I am liable for the cost of this too.

Thieving b*****s

Phil_MCR 13.02.2015 14:45

Re: Moved canton but cannot cancel phone
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by salie (Post 2340179)
The modem was returned in the original packing using the prepaid postage label which came with it. This was the Orange address but I figured it would end up in the correct place as I had no details of any other address for it's return. It was scanned at the post office and I had nothing to pay.

VTX say they did receive the modem so I am liable for the cost of this too.

Thieving b*****s

you should have the receipt.

salie 13.02.2015 14:59

Re: Moved canton but cannot cancel phone
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Phil_MCR (Post 2340207)
you should have the receipt.

Should. Trying to find it.

salie 22.02.2015 11:28

Re: Moved canton but cannot cancel phone
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Phil_MCR (Post 2340207)
you should have the receipt.

In this case, the postal receipt was of little use.

Orange customer care (by phone) say it's nothing to do with them and I must speak to VTX. A registered letter to Orange demanding that the modem be forwarded to VTX was ignored. Proof of posting the modem to the original Orange address, using the provided prepaid label is of zero interest to VTX.ch who simply state I returned it to the wrong address.

A registered letter to the CEO of VTX.ch went unanswered.

The final costs: 3 months extra line rental because request for ending the DSL when I moved house was sent with the modem - 240CHF
Cost of modem which had been rented for about 4 years - 150CHF
Admin fee charged by vtx.ch 300CHF

I have subsequently cancelled all 3 of my Orange mobile contracts, on their renewal date of course, for the part that Orange played in this. They still make yearly, auto renewing contracts to restrict competition, so I'm best with another provider.

Lesson learned.

Jern 22.02.2015 12:16

Re: Moved canton but cannot cancel phone
 
I guess there's no requirement to pay the CHF300 unless this exact admin charge was explicitly mentioned in the contract you signed (if it's only in their terms and conditions, this probably doesn't count).

It is unfortunately the case that Swiss law permits automatically renewing contracts with this kind of one-sided conditions. And companies make a huge of money out of them - not primarily through cancellation charges, but mainly because of their trapping effect on customers. They also place a huge hurdle in the way of market entrants, because they make it much more difficult for an aspiring entrant to acquire customers. This is why the established players in a particular market tacitly conspire to continue with the status quo instead of, as Orange and Aldi have done, to start rocking the boat.

Although anti-competitive practices have been outlawed since 1986, and cartels since 1995, there is still a huge inertia in the customer-facing practices of Swiss businesses. The worst culprits are insurance, gyms and phone/internet providers. But the situation will not change unless the barriers are dismantled which effectively discourage foreign firms from competing in CH.

It is surprising, but most Swiss people just seem to accept that this is the way business works. It's only foreigners and other fly-by-nights who are affected by one-sided cancellation conditions, so what's the problem? Why should you want to move to a different canton, anyway? It just creates hassle for everyone, including your internet provider, and it's unnecessary. You should be content to live out your days in your allotted Gemeinde, using the same internet provider year after year. It's the recipe for a safe and stable society.

salie 22.02.2015 13:01

Re: Moved canton but cannot cancel phone
 
Yes, in the contract it explicitly says Orange "may charge 300CHF" if cancelling before the minimum 12 month contract period. I naively assumed that this minimum contract period had passed after the first 12 months.

I can totally understand firms protecting themselves against people cancelling after very short periods, as the administration costs of setting up a service or contract, then becomes significant.

For our mobiles, we switching to Mobile One, which looks like a very reasonable alternative.


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