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Price watchdog Health and transport costs trigger flood of complaints

Stefan Meierhans at news conference

Meierhans says his office made about 200 recommendations and help reached more than ten accords to reduce prices last year.

(© Keystone/Alessandro Della Valle)

Switzerland’s official price watchdog has recorded a 29% increase in the number of consumer complaints last year, notably about costs in the health and public transport sectors.

Stefan Meierhans says his office received more than 1,900 notifications by citizens in 2018.

His office is mandated to keep a constant eye on the development of consumer prices in a bid to prevent abuse by public and private monopolies.

The watchdog body has welcomed government plans to reduce costs for the products and services covered by basic health insurance. But it says more needs to be done to ensure a sustainable policy change.

An above-average increase in the number of complaints also focused on telecom prices, post office services and the financial sector.

The price supervisor announced that he was able to reach mutual agreements in 11 cases. He also issued some 200 recommendations, mainly about prices and tariffs in the health sector as well as in water supply and sewage services.

Meierhans told a news conference on Monday that his office has also launched an official twitter serviceexternal link in an effort to boost information for consumers in Switzerland. Until now, Meierhans used a private account to address the public.

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