New law puts cold calling on hold

Those pesky telemarketers may have interrupted your dinner for the last time thanks to a change in German law that takes effect Tuesday.

New law puts cold calling on hold
Photo: DPA

The country’s federal telecommunications regulators (Bundesnetzagentur) can now impose a €50,000 fine on telemarketers who call homes without having permission to do so, allowing consumers to hang up on unwanted callers for the last time.

“Unsolicited telephone advertisements is for most citizens simply a nuisance. No one wants to be hassled in our precious freetime when we have no interest in the offers being made,” Bundesnetzagentur president Matthias Kurth said in a statement.

The change means that consumers must express permission for telemarketers to call that number. It also states that caller ID must be truthfully displayed, allowing the receiver to screen calls. If they do not comply, the telemarketing company faces a €10,000 fine.

Kurth is also encouraging consumers to report offending telemarketers with the aim of strengthening the law. The Bundesnetzagentur website has put up a page allowing people to report unwanted landline, mobile phone and fax spam.

When making a complaint, the call receiver should note the date, time, name of the caller as well as the name of the company on whose behalf the call was made on or the offer being made. If possible, the telephone number should be recorded as well.

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