Swiss government set to change mobile phone roaming laws

Swiss government set to change mobile phone roaming laws
Photo: Depositphotos
A loophole which allows mobile phone companies to charge up to the nearest minute costs Swiss roaming customers up to CHF120 million per year.

The Swiss government plans on changing the law, according to a report in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung from Sunday. 

Currently, when Swiss mobile customers use their phones abroad, phone companies bill to the nearest minute – meaning that a call which takes one minute and three seconds will be billed for two minutes. 

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While this may not seem significant, given the already high costs of overseas roaming, the costs add up – and they’re getting higher and higher. 

Swiss communications minister Simonetta Sommaruga said that customers should not have to “pay for minutes and volumes of data they haven't consumed”. 

The proposal is to force companies to bill per second, bringing costs in line with the amount actually called. 

Figures from 2018 show that Swiss mobile customers were charged 69 million francs more than they should have been according to their call time – almost a third more than what they should have paid. 

The costs were even higher in 2019, approximately CHF120 million. 

As reported in the NZZ telecommunications companies are against the proposed changes. 

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