upc- switzerland-new-internet-tv-plans-existing-customers
Telecom News

UPC: New Internet and TV Plans for Existing Customers

August 15, 2019 - Ralf Beyeler

UPC is automatically upgrading the plans of many of its existing customers. In this report, telecom expert Ralf Beyeler informs UPC customers on their best course of action as per his analysis of the new plans.

The larger Swiss telecom service providers have gotten into the bad habit of automatically “upgrading” customers to more expensive plans. UPC, Swisscom and Sunrise regularly make use of this strategy. This time, it is Switzerland’s largest cable network operator UPC that is moving its existing customers to new plans.

Customers are automatically being moved to different plans

UPC customers are currently receiving mail informing them that a better plan is on its way. In its communication, UPC is informing customers that their existing plan is expiring soon. The mail also informs customers that they will receive one of the new entertainment bundles. Customers who do not object before the date stated in the communication will automatically be enrolled in a new plan.

UPC customers receive personalized offers with three possible bundles. The three new package deals are: Entertainment UPC TV 100; Entertainment UPC TV 300; Entertainment UPC TV 600. All of these bundles include an Internet plan, a UPC TV set top box and a landline telephone plan, but plans vary between bundles.

Some customers receive special promotional offers – like 6 months of access to Premium Plus or MySports Pro at no extra cost. Unfortunately, UPC is not willing to share details about these promotional offers.

As a UPC customer, you have four options: You can do nothing and simply wait to be transferred to the plan which you are automatically assigned by UPC; you can select one of the offers proposed to you by UPC; you can move to a completely different UPC plan of your choice; you can terminate your existing contract without having to wait until the end of the contract term. It is not possible to keep your existing UPC plan.  

Different names, same terms and conditions

Information about the new Entertainment UPC TV bundles is not available on UPC’s website. However, UPC explained to moneyland.ch that the features, functions and costs included in the Entertainment UPC TV bundles are identical to the Happy Home bundles which it offers new customers.

Which customers are affected?

UPC has not clearly stated how many customers are affected by the change and which customers are affected. What is clear based on UPC’s actions is that it is sending personalized offers to many of its longstanding customers. Currently, customers who have a plan with a TV set top box (like the Horizon box or its predecessors) are receiving offers. UPC’s goal is to move as much of its customer base as possible to its new UPC TV Box set top box.

What are the disadvantages?

The change on such short-notice will likely be upsetting for many existing UPC customers. TV shows recorded on your current UPC set top box will be lost when you move to the new set top box. Another disadvantage is that many TV channels can no longer be viewed directly on your TV with a DigiCard. Only a few channels can still be viewed this way, with most – including popular channels like RTL, HD, Sat1 and ProSieben HD only being available via a set top box.

If you use multiple Horizon set top boxes (or other older UPC set top boxes), be aware that UPC only automatically exchanges your primary set top box. You have to specifically request that UPC exchange all your set top boxes.

How high are the costs?

UPC stresses that 99 percent of affected customers will not experience price changes. This is difficult to verify because customers receive personalized offers. In any case, the statement only applies to the base fee.

It is important to note that while the basic monthly fee may remain unchanged, customers may be billed for phone calls individually or have to pay extra for TV channels which were previously included after moving to the new plans. It is possible that the actual cost of receiving the same service which you receive from your existing plan may be higher.

Verdict by moneyland.ch telecom expert Ralf Beyeler

Unfortunately, telecom service providers have become accustomed to automatically migrating their customers to their new products. UPC’s current move does not give the impression of being well thought out, and is not customer friendly.

Customers will likely pay more than they did previously in many cases because UPC’s current products for many user groups are more expensive than they were in the past. The loss of DigiCard compatibility and previously-recorded TV shows will be hard for many UPC customers to take. Being able to access cable TV without a set top box using the DigiCard was a major advantage for UPC customers – until now. From a customer perspective, it is difficult to understand why UPC would phase out this feature.

Consumers who are not interesting in these new offers must contact UPC and request more affordable offers. Depending on what UPC services you need and want, contacting UPC and negotiating a better deal can pay off. In many cases, telecom service providers will offer you a better deal as long as they understand that you will terminate your contract if you do not receive a better offer.

Tip for telecom users: Take a moment to consider which services you actually use and find offers to match. The moneyland.ch telecom comparisons are a good place to start.

UPC is typically one of the most expensive Swiss telecom service providers. However, UPC has the advantage of offering high-speed Internet across large portions of Switzerland. That sets it apart from Swisscom and many other telecom service providers which only provide low-speed Internet connections in many locations.  

If you have received a personalized offer from UPC, please feel free to contact our “telecom guru” Ralf Beyeler with any questions you may have about it.

Compare Swiss telecom plans now:
Interactive TV plan comparison
Interactive broadband Internet plan comparison
Interactive landline telephone plan comparison

Free information

Swiss home Internet plans

Internet plan

iWay optical fiber countrywide

  • Optional TV plan

  • Cheap price plan

  • Discounts

Internet Plan

Quickline Internet

  • Internet, TV & landline

  • Cheap price plan

  • Discounts

Internet Plan

Init7 Easy7

  • Internet connection

  • Via optical fiber

  • Direct online application

Compare home Internet plans

Find the best Internet plan now

Compare now
Expert Ralf Beyeler
Ralf Beyeler is the telecom expert at moneyland.ch and also covers other areas of personal finance.