Who doesn’t experience it, unwanted telemarketing calls from companies that try to sell you something over and over again… Complaints about unwanted telemarketing are literally pouring in these days.

In 2020 this has been tripled compared to 2019 to over more than 3700 reports. Partly due to the fact that people are now working more from home than ever these days, the accessibility to the working people has been increased, telemarketers see their long-awaited opportunity to great annoyance of consumers. But is it allowed to do?

Amended Telecommunications Act

Due to the amended Telecommunications Act per July 1st, companies need to have permission to call consumers to offer their product or service. This law applies to organizations with commercial, idealistic or charitable goals that engage in telemarketing, to natural persons (consumers, sole traders, Limited partnership or a partnership) who are not customers yet.

According to the new legislation, companies or charities may only call under the following conditions:

  • The consumer has given permission;
  • The consumer is a customer of the company, or has been a customer in the past 3 years;
  • The consumer is a donor to the charity, has done voluntary work or attended a meeting;

Furthermore, a strict condition applies to the telemarketers that they must adhere to:

  • A company or charity should not pressure people to give consent;
  • It must be clear to which products or services the permission applies (and for how long);
  • Anonymous calls are no longer allowed. The organization’s phone number must be visible;
  • The use of pre-ticked boxes is not allowed;
  • The consumer must be able to easily withdraw consent;

The Bel-me-niet Register

Due to the amended Telecommunications Act, The Bel-me-niet Register (don’t-call-me register) has been abolished. Consumers tried to protect themselves from unwanted telemarketing calls by adding their phone number to this registry. Without success… the system turned out not to be reliable, whereby consumers were still called.

In the event of non-compliance with the above conditions, the Supervisors of the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) can impose sanctions to make companies comply with this new (and if you ask me improving) legislation!

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