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Justice minister moots tougher telemarketing law

The Local · 2 Aug 2010, 11:43

Published: 02 Aug 2010 11:43 GMT+02:00

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Communications watchdog the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) has already logged tens of thousands of breaches of the law and imposed fines totalling nearly €700,000.

In two glaring cases, they’ve fined companies a combined total of nearly €200,000.

Under the law introduced a year ago on Wednesday, companies need express permission to cold-call residents. But the BNetzA says firms have been gathering insufficient forms of approval via means such as getting people to click on standardised consent statements online.

Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger told daily Die Welt she was considering toughening the law, which came into effect last August under the former “grand coalition” government. If a review showed the law was currently “toothless,” recommendations to beef it up would have to be reviewed, she said.

Under the existing law anyone who has not expressly given their consent to receive telemarketing calls may not be called. Furthermore, telemarketers are not allowed to conceal their numbers on caller ID.

But it appears many companies are still flouting the law. Between August 2009 and April 2010 alone, the Bonn-based BNetzA registered more than 57,000 problems because of unwanted sales calls. The watchdog has so far fined companies nearly €700,000 in total for 11 breaches of the law.

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“Whoever makes telemarketing calls without getting the necessary, express and effective consent of the consumer faces steep fines,” said BNetzA president Matthias Kurth.

He also vowed to step up penalties against companies that broke the law, regardless of whether the laws were toughened.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:25 August 2, 2010 by Bushdiver
Good. They should ban telemarketing altogether, They're a pain in the butt..
13:00 August 2, 2010 by Prufrock2010
When is The Local going to stop using the stupid term "moots" in its headlines?
13:35 August 2, 2010 by cobalisk
In this case the word 'moots' is used incorrectly.

A proper headline would be 'Justice Minister mulls tougher telemarketing law'

moot means either calling a meeting or becoming obsolete. But in the article neither occurred, rather the judge is considering or 'mulling' toughening the law.

from Merriam-Webster:

Main Entry: 1moot

Pronunciation: \ˈmüt\

Function: noun

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English mōt, gemōt; akin to Middle High German muoze meeting

Date: before 12th century

1 : a deliberative assembly primarily for the administration of justice; especially : one held by the freemen of an Anglo-Saxon community

2 obsolete : argument, discussion
18:09 August 2, 2010 by michael4096
From Encyclopedia Britanica dictionary..

Main Entry:2moot

Function:transitive verb

Date:before 12th century

1archaic: to discuss from a legal standpoint : argue

2 a: to bring up for discussion : broachb: debate

If you are going to nick another's language, please don't complain when you get it wrong!
18:12 August 2, 2010 by NYsteve
One of the most amazingly GOOD laws passed here in the US....the "Federal Do Not Call" law.....you call a special number and register your phone number.....within a week....ALL COLD CALLING STOPS.......LIke Yakov Smirnoff said...."America...What a country!"....LOL.....it really is a great law!
19:31 August 2, 2010 by MonkeyMania
Any telemarketing should be stopped. I got called a couple of times from ID withheld numbers (once at 8 AM) and when I picked up, a computer voice told me I was a winner with Glückspiel Deutschland and won a car and that I should call back an expensive 0800 or 0900 number to claim my prize. Yeah, pull the other one I said to myself. But seriously, these people should stopped. It is not just annoying, it is in fact fraud.
19:58 August 2, 2010 by Prufrock2010
It's nevertheless a stupid term in this context, not to mention arcane. Why not put it in plain English; i.e., "suggests?" Or is this a moot point?
20:44 August 2, 2010 by MonkeyMania
Call them up and ask them.
23:59 August 2, 2010 by Prufrock2010
I don't have to. I raised the issue here. I imagine they monitor these threads from time to time.
12:37 August 3, 2010 by michael4096
It's only a 'stupid term' if you haven't been brought up with this term used in this context. Like any term in any language.


Some Moot 'moot's Moot

Following an episode yesterday where another 'moot' was abused while performing its duty on the front page of The Local, questions have been raised about the right the humble 'moot' has to life.

"It is scandalous that that the 'moot' is being hunted to extiction", complained one senior member of the 'Save The 'Moot' Today! ' campaign. "When did the 'moot' ever harm anyone? Well it is true that the english used a 'moot' to lure the scotish chieftains to debate before massacaring them, but that was a long time ago. And, inviting someone to debate in only four letters is very efficient."

When asked whether some english users should have power of life and death over beloved constructs like the 'moot', a spokesman for the "Kill a 'moot', Win a Hummer" campaign replied "We may be a minority, but we have all the helicopters."

Meanwhile, questions are being asked about a leaked military budget request for more helicopters to hunt 'moot's. The request highlights the use of 'moot's by terrorists to murder innocents in scotland. "Obviously, there is no such thing as a good 'moot' and they should all be hunted down," it claims.
14:39 August 3, 2010 by Prufrock2010
The only good moot is a dead moot.
16:20 August 3, 2010 by LancashireLad
My solution to cold callers is to make them work for it. I speak English - the usual reaction is that the phone goes down. I have to give it one lady from Telekom though, who battled through in her rusty school English - didn't clinch the deal though.

I think I'm on some internal database regarding this because if I get cold callers now, they blurt something out about who they represent and then ask in German if they are talking to "Herr .....", thinking that I am stupid enough to reply in the positive and therefore confirm I have understood them.

I always thought a moot was a small black water bird with a white beak and funny feet.
23:30 August 3, 2010 by claudegaveau
If cold called, simply ask for their number and tell them you will have to call them back when you have time. They will never give you a number. End of call. Tschüß
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