Health insurers

Unwanted cold calls – comparis.ch takes action

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Swiss consumers are being swamped with annoying cold calls despite opting out in the phone book.

During the autumn, call centres and telemarketers regularly plague Swiss households with annoying cold calls and underhand tactics, generating thousands of complaints. Health insurers and their brokers are the main culprits. Some callers even shamelessly claim to be calling on behalf of comparis.ch. This is never true. Consumers can submit a complaint to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) against this form of telemarketing. Below you will find four tips on how to protect yourself from annoying sales and marketing calls.

Even a starred listing in the telephone book does not guarantee that your peace will not be disturbed after a hard day's work: Swiss households can expect more calls once again this autumn. Insurance brokers, call centres and even the health insurers themselves are reaching for the phone to solicit more customers. This is in spite of the fact that the law has set clear restrictions on sales and marketing calls and the health insurer associations Santésuisse and Curafutura have issued relevant recommendations for their members.

What cold callers can and cannot do

Since April 2012, the Swiss Federal Act on Unfair Competition has imposed clear restrictions on sales and marketing calls: consumers can record their preference not to be called in the telephone book. Companies that disregard this preference can be held accountable.
Furthermore, the code of conduct of the health insurer association states that only customers, previous customers or interested parties who have given their consent beforehand may be targeted with sales and marketing calls.

Beware of underhand sales tactics: sometimes unsuspecting consumers are convinced by a friendly voice on the phone to take part in a survey or competition. They often don't realize that they are consenting to their information being used for marketing purposes.

Dubious practices of untrustworthy callers

Despite legal restrictions and despite recommendations for health insurers, many consumers still complain of receiving calls from health insurance companies with whom they have never had contact. Sometimes the calls are made from abroad using Swiss phone numbers, and sometimes the phone number is hidden.

comparis.ch never makes cold calls

Some call centres even shamelessly pretend to be calling on behalf of comparis.ch, thereby tarnishing our good name and eroding consumer trust in the company. comparis.ch never makes cold calls. All we do is provide online comparison services to enable consumers to make a more informed decision based on the information provided. Should you receive a sales call purporting to be from comparis.ch, you can be sure that we have not authorized it.

To encourage health insurance companies to refrain from telemarketing, comparis.ch launched the “Ethical customer acquisition” label in 2015.

 

 

Four tips on preventing unwanted calls

 

1. Request a starred listing in the phone book: Use our convenient and free online form to do this. 

2. Install the local.ch app on your mobile phone: The telephone book app from local.ch recognizes thousands of phone numbers that are used by untrustworthy call centres. Calls from these numbers are identified as “telemarketing” and can be ignored or ended. The app is available in the Apple App Store and from Google Play

3. Persistent calls despite a starred listing: Report misuse to us using this online form. comparis.ch will alert the responsible bodies by means of public relations activities and interventions.

4. Official complaint: You can submit a complaint directly to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) (not available in English). SECO can then take action in the name of the government against companies for whom complaints have been received about unlawful sales and marketing calls.