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Spotlight on Switzerland: Age discrimination in mobile phone tariffs?

by on September 23, 2016

We generally blog about age (including instances of discrimination) in relation to work rather than services though the two are not unconnected. I think we have pointed out that if, for example, older workers can’t access mortgages to buy new homes then they are likely to have less mobility within the labour market. In other cases, price structures can be skewed in ways that seem to reinforce particular age stereoypes.  So this article in Le News, a website offering local Swiss news in English, link below, caught my eye. It highlights a differential pricing practice by Switzerland’s main mobile operators for mobile phone tariffs based on customer age.

Sunrise offer unlimited surfing and Whatsapp usage at a cost of CHF 60 for those under 30 but those who are older have to pay CHF 100 for a similar package. Salt uses the same age 30 differential and Swisscom increases charges for its customers once they turn 26. It does seem a very blatant example of discrimination; it buys into all manner of age stereoypes around technology use, potentially reinforcing them as well.

Our friends at Lewis Silkin have this handy guide to the position more generally in relation to age discrimination in Switzerland. It looks a rather complex situation with the existence of federal and private law and potentially different rights in relation to employment as opposed to services.

European mobile roaming charges to be axed. Pity the Swiss.

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