Unwanted telemarketing calls.

Feeling annoyed? We understand.

Put an end to annoying calls:

Avoid unwanted advertising calls

Unwanted advertising calls can be extremely annoying. More often than not, these calls are made in the evenings as this is the time that telemarketers believe they have the best chance of reaching people at home.

You can opt out of advertising from third parties by acquiring a starred listing.

>> Find out how you can protect yourself.

What can I do?

Automatic identification of unwanted advertising calls

The local.ch Android app automatically identifies incoming calls and searches for them in the telephone book. Callers making an unusually high number of calls that are not registered in the telephone book can be identified and, optionally, muted.

The local.ch iOS app can add the numbers of the most active telemarketers to your address book. That way you can identify advertising calls directly in the call screen.

Blocking a number directly with your provider

Sie haben auch die Möglichkeit, einzelne Verbindungen direkt bei Ihrem Telekommunikations-Anbieter zu sperren:

Starred listing (*)

At local.ch you can easily add an advertising star (*) to your listed telephone number, free of charge. This will serve as a clear indication to others that you do not wish to receive advertising calls.

How it works: Find your entry on local.ch and click on "Change listing" to edit it. The star also provides a basis for a complaint to the Swiss State Secretary for Economic Affairs (SECO).

File a complaint (with SECO)

If you still receive unwanted advertising calls despite having a starred listing, you can file a complaint with the Swiss State Secretary for Economic Affairs (SECO). You will find the relevant form here:

How to protect yourself

In answering the following questions, you provide your consent for us to forward your enquiry to SECO (Swiss State Secretary for Economic Affairs)to combat telemarketing:

1. Does the number called have a starred listing in the telephone book?

You need to have a starred listing (*) in order to make this complaint.
Register a free starred entry (*) here.

Step 1 of 5

2. Did you accept the call from the number ?

Step 2 of 5

3. Are you a customer of the caller?

If you are a customer of the caller or their employer, as a general rule they are permitted to contact you.

Step 3 of 5

4. What exactly was the problem?

Step 4 of 5

5. Further details: How did the conversation go?

Please give us the following information so that we can forward your complaint to SECO.


Step 5 of 5

Put an end to annoying calls (continued)

What are advertising calls?

The question of what constitutes unwanted advertising calls and what doesn't is not a simple one. For example, a customer who is informed about new products by a company or someone who receives enquiries about an outstanding order cannot rely on consumer protection for the calls they receive. In practice, however, advertising calls are frequently made to non-customers by health insurers, insurance brokers and professional advertising companies. Most advertising calls are made in the evenings. The purpose of such calls is to either gather information or carry out direct telemarketing with a view to selling products or concluding contracts.

Nationwide phenomenon

Third party advertising calls are not isolated instances. In 2013 alone, the Swiss State Secretary for Economic Affairs (SECO) recorded a 20% increase in the number of complaints compared to the previous year. These figures are even more astounding given the fact that legal barriers have long been in place and a code of conduct has also been adopted by the umbrella organisation of health insurers, Santésuisse.

Laws against unwanted advertising calls

There have been guidelines in place regarding advertising calls since April 2012. Article 3, para 1(u) of the Swiss Federal Act against Unfair Competition (UWG) states that anyone who ignores the entry in the phone book expressing a customer's wish not to receive advertising from third parties or have his/her personal details relayed for direct marketing purposes shall be in breach of the law. In concrete terms, this means that a starred listing in the telephone directory is all that is required to put an end to such calls. At least this is the theory.

How does a starred listing work?

A starred listing works in much the same way as the popular "No advertising" stickers on letterboxes. You can ask to have an appropriate annotation included in the telephone book which signals to advertising companies that you do not wish to receive any calls as a non-customer. Call centres that are members of the trade organisation CallNet.ch have complied with the starred listing guidelines for several years. People whose numbers are not going to be listed in the phone book can alternatively request an entry in the Robinson List for the SDV (Swiss Dialogue Marketing Association) and thus protect themselves against advertising calls.

How is the law evaded?

Unfortunately, it is a fact that black sheep in the industry continue to evade the law. One of the tricks they use is to extend a seemingly harmless invitation to participate in a survey or competition which then authorises them to make further advertising calls. In this age of globalisation, callers also use telephone connections abroad or use false numbers (spoofing) to continue their irritating activities.

Possible action against advertising calls

If the starred listing proves ineffective, you can contact a consumer protection organisation at any time. If your complaint concerns a telephone number that is being used to make frequent calls to numerous people, joint action can often be taken. The same applies to complaints lodged with the Swiss State Secretary for Economic Affairs (SECO). In such cases, the federal government will take legal action against the company responsible for making the calls.