Swiss mobile provider Salt. criticised for roaming charges
The third-largest mobile network in Switzerland, Salt., has been criticised for its high roaming charges in an open letter from the Swiss Alliance of Consumer Organisations. Salt. has been quick to defend itself, but has added that the company will make changes to its roaming policy in light of feedback from its customers.
Mobile roaming more expensive than the whole holiday
According to Salt.’s tariffs, if you are abroad and have not purchased a roaming package, the firm’s standard mobile tariff applies, charging 295 Swiss francs for each 100 MB of data used. The Swiss Alliance of Consumer Organisations alleged that Salt.’s roaming charges could be more expensive than the cost of a trip abroad for the whole family, and branded the company’s roaming policy as a “rip-off” and a “cost trap."
The alliance likened the use of the standard tariff for roaming to “coffee in a restaurant suddenly costing 1.475 Swiss francs instead of five," with the open letter adding that other Swiss phone companies had already abolished roaming fees and that it was now time for Salt. to do the same.
Swiss telecom company criticised for high spending caps
Salt. was also heavily criticised by the alliance for having high spending limits on their customers’ accounts. Many mobile and landline providers use spending caps to help prevent their customers being charged more than they want to, especially in situations such as using data roaming abroad, where costs can quickly stack up for people who enjoy using the internet.
Salt. have set their spending limit to 1.000 Swiss francs per billing period, which means that customers who are abroad over two billing cycles can face up to 2.000 Swiss francs of shock expenses if they were unaware of the roaming charges. Compared with other telecom providers in Switzerland, this spending cap is remarkably high - some of Salt.'s competitors, such as Swisscom, instead use a system where you set the limit yourself before you can begin to roam, helping customers avoid unexpected bills.
Salt. have announced changes to roaming policy
Though Salt. disagreed with the harsh wording used in the open letter from the Swiss Alliance of Consumer Organisations, the company has agreed to make changes to its roaming policy. They denied that the standard package is always applied when customers go abroad, but went on to add that several policy changes are being made, such as a reduction of the roaming spending cap.
The company also stated that customers will be able to purchase roaming packages over WiFi, instead of having to use data to do so, which was the original system. Salt. said the policy changes would be in place by the end of 2021.