New Laws: Better Protection Against Telephone Advertising

So far, this was not possible in particular for magazines and lottery contracts. The ministries also plan fines for illegal telemarketing calls and a better protection from an unwanted change of telephone provider. The planned changes are but according to the Federation of consumer organizations (vzbv) not sufficient.

Consumer Must Be Active By Itself
Due to the new 14-day rule consumers are not bound anymore after a written revocation within the time limit on contracts, which were concluded on the phone. The necessary changes in the law could come into force this year. The vzbv is critical of the regime: the consumer must be still active if he has concluded a contract on the phone against his will, said vzbv legal expert Heike Heidemann-Peuser told the AFP news agency. Contracts should generally not valid for illicit advertising calls.

Fine For Violation
Unsolicited phone advertising shall be punished in the future up to 50,000 euro according to the plans of the Federal Government with fines. The vzbv criticized the amount of the proposed fines. We doubt that fines of 50,000 euros to deter companies without calling consent among consumers, said Heidemann-Peuser.

The Federal Government wants to protect consumers in the future even better against planted contracts with telecommunications companies. A change of the telephone company should be possible thus only with written consent of the customer. The same applies to the circuit by cheap primaries, so-called Preselections. Telecommunications provider would have to prove in the future in writing that a customer has actually announced an old contract and moves to a new provider.

Vzbz: Insufficient Regulations
The vzbv sees here a loophole. Not only the change to another provider must be made in writing, but also all amendments to the contract your own telephone company. Telecommunications companies could also call to accept changes their customers for existing contracts if the changes become effective immediately after the phone call. Here a right of withdrawal is necessary, also according to Heidemann-Peuser. Cases where telecommunications company advised its customers on the phone to inappropriate amendments have accumulated at the vzbv

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