Foreign online retailers are no longer allowed to discriminate against Swiss customers since this year. But not everyone adheres to the new law.

Foreign shops are no longer allowed to treat customers from Switzerland differently.

 These online shops continue to disadvantage Swiss people despite the ban

Swiss people must not be discriminated against in terms of prices or means of payment.

 These online shops continue to discriminate against Swiss people despite the ban

Redirecting to another website or blocking access is no longer allowed.

That's what it's all about

  • A new law prohibits foreign online retailers from forwarding or blocking customers from Switzerland to other websites.

  • This should make it possible to buy cheaper products on foreign websites.

  • But some providers do not adhere to it.

Since January 1st, foreign online shops have allowed customers from Switzerland no longer forward to another website or block access without consent. In addition, customers from Switzerland must not be discriminated against in terms of prices or payment methods.

Anyone who wants to order a cheaper product on a foreign website should be able to do so without restriction. But not all providers adhere to the new rule, as the “Sunday newspaper” writes. The travel provider TUI, for example, redirects users directly to the Swiss website.

The German homepage of the furniture retailer Kare cannot be accessed by people from Switzerland: It is said that access was denied because of a possible hacker attack. Both websites recognize the location of the Swiss users and restrict the country-specific content. This is called geoblocking.

Technical error

The diversion to the Swiss side is a technical oversight, TUI told the Sunday newspaper. The company adheres to legal requirements and has no interest in geoblocking. Kare did not comment.

Nespresso leads customers from Switzerland directly to the Swiss site. However, under the country setting you can switch to the German online shop. When visiting the online shop, the German hardware store Hornbach points out that it only delivers to Germany. Swiss customers are encouraged to visit the Swiss site.

Shopping on the German homepage is worthwhile

The Migros brand Café Royal allows Swiss customers to visit the German online shop without any problems. It only becomes difficult during the ordering process: Only Germany is listed as the delivery country. Foreign online retailers are not obliged to deliver goods to Switzerland.

But the shops have to deliver products to Swiss customers to an address in the respective country. So ordering abroad can be worthwhile. Around ten Nespresso capsules cost CHF 5.50 in this country and the equivalent of CHF 4.47 in the German shop.

Hornbach sells 12.5 liters of white paint for CHF 78 in its Swiss shop. On the German online portal, the same offer costs the equivalent of 67.44 francs. Ordering from the German online shop saves almost 14 percent.

Consumer protection monitors shops

The Foundation for Consumer Protection wants to monitor compliance with the new rules, as the “Sonntagszeitung” continues to write. If necessary, legal steps will be taken against fallible providers. The focus is on travel, clothing as well as furniture and furnishings. Consumer protection also encourages the population to report when shops do not adhere to the new rule. The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs Seco also accepts reports.

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By Teresa Tapmleton

Teresa Tampleton has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Nizh TEkegram, Teresa Tampleton worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7341

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