Unsolicited commercial telephone calls down by over 80 percent

Complaints about unwanted advertising calls have decreased by over 80 percent in the past seven years. Consumer Protection attributes this development mainly to the use of advertising call filters and to stricter laws.

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Since 2015, the number of complaints fell from 27,908 to 2714 in the first half of the current year - extrapolated to around 5500 for the whole year, according to an evaluation by the Alliance of Consumer Protection Organizations, according to its statement on Monday.

Since 2012, advertising calls have been punishable despite star ratings. Calls are permitted if someone agrees to them or if there is a business relationship. However, according to Konsumentenschutz, enforcing this provision has proved difficult in practice.

Although the revised Telecommunications Ordinance has required all telecommunications providers to offer their customers protection against illegal advertising calls since July 1 of last year, this is not automatic. While Salt and Quickline have switched on the advertising call filter for all customers, at Swisscom and Sunrise the customers have to take action.

Standard filter requirement

"Many customers of Swisscom and especially Sunrise do not yet know that they have to switch on the advertising call filter," consumer protection president Nadine Masshardt is quoted as saying in the statement. From the consumer's point of view, she believes it would be desirable if these filters were activated by default, as they are the best means of combating illegal advertising calls and also telephone fraud.

In the Alliance of Consumer Protection Organizations, Swiss consumer protection organizations from three language regions coordinate their work: in addition to Konsumentenschutz, FRC (Fédération romande des consommateurs) and ACSI (Associazione consumatrici e consumatori della Svizzera italiana).

According to its own information, Konsumentenschutz is a private foundation based in Bern and founded in 1964. 87 percent of its income comes from patronage contributions and the sale of advice, 13 percent from a federal contribution. (SDA

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