Significantly more complaints about unauthorized advertising calls

The annoyance of annoying telephone advertising has increased significantly this year. The authority noticed negatively about the mobile operator Mobilcom-Debitel.

Ob Energy contracts or financial products: The annoyance about unauthorized telephone advertising is significantly greater than before. The number of complaints about unauthorized advertising calls in the first four months of this year was around 30,000 and thus 12,000 higher than in the same period of the previous year, as the Federal Network Agency announced on Wednesday in Bonn.

Advertising calls are only allowed if the person called has given their prior consent. A federal law on fair consumer contracts, which is still in the works, could alleviate the problem: This stipulates that electricity and gas contracts concluded by telephone must be confirmed in writing. In addition, the companies should be obliged to document the consent of consumers in telephone advertising.

According to the Federal Network Agency, officials issued a total of 17 fines against companies last year, which were often based on more than 1,000 consumer complaints. The total amount of the fines set amounts to around 1.35 million euros.

The authority also complains about the manner in which the interview is conducted. Consumers would inadvertently be foisted on contracts on the phone or afterwards. Some calls “systematically obscured the identity of their clients or acted as representatives of the authorities in order to gain the trust of those called”.

In its annual report, the authority particularly highlights the proceedings against the mobile operator Mobilcom-Debitel: The company was fined EUR 145,000 for calls without – according to the authority – effective advertising consent. But not only that: “In addition, following the unwanted advertising call, many people called were placed under a contract for a third-party subscription,” the report says, and further: “The sanctioned company used a pre-formulated advertising consent in the small print of its mobile phone contracts, which did not It was sufficiently clear that in addition to advertising for the company concerned, customers also had to expect advertising for a large number of third-party providers and their wide range of products. Many of those affected also reported that the callers called them repeatedly, even though they had expressly forbidden further contact. ”

The authority has also imposed a fine of 145,000 euros on one of the call centers involved. Both procedures are not yet final.