From May 28, 2018, Sunrise customers will no longer be able to give written notice to terminate their mobile plans. That means customers will not be able to give notice via mail, email or fax. Switzerland’s second largest telecom service provider informed customers that notice of termination for all Sunrise plans must be given over the telephone or using its online chat service. Sunrise has changed its terms and conditions to include these limitations.
In its communication to customers, Sunrise argues that the new terms and conditions are beneficial to customers, claiming that they help prevent misuse because customers must identify themselves to Sunrise employees directly. It also argues that direct communication allows customers to arrange the exact data of termination or migration to another plan. It also says that in this way, customers terminating their plans ahead of schedule can be informed about possible penalty fees before giving notice.
Written notices will only be accepted in exceptional cases
Sunrise is not entirely consistent in the implementation of its embargo on written notices: It continues to accept written notices from customers who want to keep their existing phone numbers after terminating their plans. However, it only accepts these if the new service provider forwards the notices of termination to Sunrise electronically.
In an interview with moneyland.ch, Sunrise justified the new limitations by stating that they simplify the process and help to prevent misunderstandings. Sunrise says that because the number of customers and the range of products used by customers is steadily increasing, it often has to deal with misunderstandings caused by unclear written notices. These misunderstandings can be better clarified when terminations are handled over the phone or via chat.
Assessment by moneyland.ch telecom expert Ralf Beyeler
In principal, giving customers the option of giving notice over the phone or via chat is a good thing. “Refusing to accept written notices of termination from customers, on the other hand, is a cheeky move on the part of Sunrise,” says Ralf Beyeler. Forbidding customers from terminating contracts by giving written notice is not the norm.
The motive behind the new limitations is obvious: Customers who want to terminate their Sunrise contracts must talk with Sunrise representatives first. Sunrise will use the call or chat to try to sell departing customers on new offers in order to avoid losing them. Many customers find it difficult to stick with their plans to give notice during a call or chat with a sales professional.
When moneyland.ch experts tried to give notice on a Sunrise contract via chat, the Sunrise representative informed them about various offers, but did not provide clear information about these offers. It was difficult to determine exactly what services were being offered at what price, and the exact terms and conditions attached to the offers.
For example, the Sunrise representative did not state that the new offers were only available as a binding 24-month contract. Sunrise is well known for advertising the fact that it offers fair contracts without minimum terms.
Another disadvantage is that customers can only give notice from Monday to Friday from 8:00AM to 7:00PM. “Sunrise should continue to accept notices of termination by registered mail,” demands Ralf Beyeler.
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