- Daily & Weekly newsletters
- Buy & download The Bulletin
- Comment on our articles
Government extends register to stop cold calls
Federal minister for consumer affairs Kris Peeters has announced that companies who do not use the country’s central register against cold calls will now face fines and possible prosecution.
The digital register for people who don’t want to receive cold calls at home, “Ne m’appelez plus” (Don’t call me), already exists but, starting this summer, companies and direct marketing firms will be required to check it before making a call.
Ne m’appelez plus aims to protect consumers who don’t want to be called by telephone marketing companies, Peeters said in a statement. The site will cover companies trying to sell a product or service, to drum up new customers or to inform people about their products. It also bans calls from organisations looking for support.
Belgian consumers have been able to block such cold calls since 2012, but customers had to re-register if they changed telephone operator, and there were no sanctions for companies that broke the rules. “Now there are,” Peeters said.
Companies will now have to check the central register before they call a number to ensure that it is not listed. Companies that fail to do so can face prosecution. Peeters has charged the Economic Inspectorate with the task of sanctioning companies that don’t respect the law.
Approximately 483,000 Belgian consumers currently make use of the site.