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Report unauthorised telephone advertising


The term telephone advertising, also known as cold calling, refers to calls that are made with the purpose of selling you goods or offering you services without your prior consent to the call. Subscriptions or contracts are often advertised. The aim is often to persuade the caller to conclude a contract during the telephone call. Calls claiming to be exclusively for market or opinion research can turn into advertising calls if the caller continues to highlight certain products/goods or services of certain companies in the course of the call. Advertising calls also remain unauthorised if the caller prevents his or her number from being displayed in your device (so-called number suppression) or causes a number not assigned to him or her to be displayed in your device (so-called setting up of numbers).

If you receive unauthorised advertising calls, you can file a complaint with the Federal Network Agency. The authority can prosecute the calls as administrative offences and impose fines or issue warnings.

What is not unauthorised telephone advertising?

  • "Phishing calls": do not count as solicitation calls, even if company names or products are mentioned. "Phishing calls" involve tricksters trying to obtain sensitive personal information, such as your passwords or banking details. The calls are not intended to promote or sell products, but to obtain information about you. Because such calls are often related to criminal offences, you should file a criminal complaint with the police if you receive such calls.
  • Calls made solely for the purpose of market research or opinion polling are not considered to be telephone canvassing.

Process flow

You can file your complaint online or by mail.

If you want to file the complaint online:

  • Go to the Internet page of the Federal Network Agency and follow the instructions.
  • You should be able to provide the following information on the unauthorised advertising call:
    • Your personal data, date and time of the call, if possible the number shown on the display of your telephone.
    • Name of the caller or the company and the products and/or services that were advertised over the phone
    • Information about whether you gave your consent to be solicited by telephone prior to the call.
    • Information on whether you later revoked your consent and were nevertheless called.
    • A description of the content and course of the call which is as precise as possible.
  • The Federal Network Agency will examine the facts underlying your complaint.
  • If necessary, you may be considered as a witness in the further course of the fine proceedings.
  • You will receive an acknowledgement of receipt of your complaint.
  • As a rule, you will not receive separate notification of the outcome of the fine proceedings.
  • The Federal Network Agency publishes a list of measures on the Internet from which, among other things, the fines set by it can be seen.

If you wish to submit the complaint by post

  • Download the form online and print it out.
  • Fill out the form.
  • Send the completed form to the Federal Network Agency by post, fax or e-mail.
  • You can also submit the complaint informally by e-mail or in writing by letter or fax.
  • The Federal Network Agency will examine the facts underlying your complaint.
  • As a rule, you will not receive any separate notification of the outcome of the fine proceedings.
  • The Federal Network Agency publishes a list of measures on the Internet from which, among other things, the fines it sets can be found.

Requirements

  • You are a consumer, i.e. a person who is neither a commercial nor a self-employed professional.
  • There is unauthorised telephone advertising, i.e. goods (products) or services are advertised in a telephone call made to you and you have not given the advertising company consent for the call or have given such consent but had already revoked it before the advertising call.

Which documents are required?

none

What are the fees?

none

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

none

Processing duration

The Federal Network Agency is usually notified promptly of a complaint it has received.

Applications / forms

  • Forms: Report of receipt of unauthorized telephone solicitation.
  • Online procedure possible: yes
  • Written form required: no
  • Personal appearance required: no (but see below)

What else should I know?

The complainants may be considered as witnesses in the event of any fine proceedings following the complaint and may be summoned in person for an oral hearing.

Technically approved by

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

Professionally released on

14.08.2018

Author

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Data protection information


Landesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz Niedersachsen
Address: Prinzenstraße 5, 30159 Hannover
Timetable
Telephone: +49 511 12045-00
Fax: +49 511 12045-99

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)