In Switzerland, most homes have a connection to the cable network. Subscribers to digital cable services use a digital modem to receive HD TV, Internet, and landline telephone via cable. Without this modem, you can use cable to watch a limited selection of channels in outdated quality (no HD). In past decades, this connection was standard and made sense.
Today, many homes remain connected to the cable network, regardless whether the residents subscribe to digital cable services or not. Many people receive their TV, telecom and Internet through the TV and telecom provider's landline connection, and do not need a connection to the cable network.
- People who are not cable customers are probably still paying for a cable connection.
- Cable customers end up paying two bills - the "hidden cost" of the cable connection AND the regular monthly subscription fee for digital services (HD TV, Internet, and landline phone).
Why are there hidden costs?
The hidden cost arises because cable customers are not directly billed for the cable connection fee. The cable company actually bills the connection to your building owner or property management company, who pass the charge onto the residents – to you. The cable connection charge is included in your utility bill, normally incorporated into the "additional costs" part of your monthly rental payment.
Unfair price comparisons
These hidden costs mean that cost comparisons between cable and telecoms providers for digital TV, telecom, and Internet packages are not transparent - the monthly subscription prices quoted by cable providers do not include the connection fee.
What this means for you
Because the cable connection is practically a standard building utility for which all residents are billed each month, this means that you may be getting billed even if you are not a cable customer and are not using any cable services.
Uncovering the true cost of cable services
Most of the time, cable customers are not aware that on top of their monthly bill they pay an additional charge for the cable connection (through their monthly rental bills via the on-top payment for additional costs).
On average, the cable connection supplied by cable providers costs you about CHF 400 every year!
By way of example, each month customers of upc Cablecom are billed CHF 33.95 for their cable connection. For digital cable customers, this significantly changes the true monthly cost you are paying.
Do you really need a cable connection?
Customers who subscribe to digital TV services through telecoms providers such as Swisscom or Sunrise do not need a cable connection.
Hello Switzerland tip: You can save around CHF 400 per year simply by asking your landlord to have the cable connection disconnected!
Sunrise Home for perfect digital TV, Internet and landline telephone
As a Swisscom client you can cancel your cable connection. Swisscom guarantees that you only pay the monthly fee - there are no additional costs for the connection.
Via the Swisscom landline connection, you can get your Internet, landline and digital TV as a package.
Get rid of the cable connection in two easy steps:
- Switch to Swisscom – contact Hello Switzerland's Relocation Helpline to get connected, guided by the free support of one of Hello Switzerland's experienced English-speaking customer advisers. There are further options on the Swisscom website.
- Cancel your cable connection using one of the standard cable cancellation forms below
Here are the various cancellation letters, depending on how you pay for the fee. Simply download and complete the appropriate form and send it to the specified address. Where can I find the fee?
A) Do you have an Internet/TV subscription with a cable provider?
- Approach your cable provider directly (e.g. upc Cablecom) to cancel your subscriptions. Form
- Approach your landlord to cancel the cable connection. Form
Be sure to take the notice periods for all relevant products into account. The notice period for cancellation of your cable connection depends on the notice period for the products you are getting from your cable provider.
B) Do you have a cable connection but no Internet/TV subscription with a cable provider?
- If you are billed for your cable connection as part of your utility bill or all-inclusive rent payment, then go directly to your landlord to cancel the connection. Form
C) Do you rent, but receive a bill directly from your cable provider? Form
I OWN MY HOME
Here is the cancellation letter to be sent to your cable provider (e.g. upc Cablecom) for the cable connection and, if applicable, for your Internet/TV subscription(s). Form
For other great ways to save money, visit Hello Switzerland's Deals & Offers page and refer to the article How to potentially reduce your rent in Switzerland.