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ACM fines telecom company Pretium for violation of telemarketing rules

In October 2011, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) imposed a fine on Pretium Telecom B.V. for failing to comply with telemarketing rules properly in 2007 and 2009. That fine concerned several hundreds of thousands of telemarketing calls conducted by Pretium in three separate periods, which, in total, add up to six months. In those phone calls, Pretium failed to offer actively to consumers to register if they no longer wished to be called by Pretium for marketing purposes. Under the Dutch Telecommunications Act, however, Pretium was required to offer this ‘right to object’ in all sales calls.

Until now, ACM had not been able to publish this fining decision because Pretium had opposed its publication. In January, the District Court of Rotterdam ruled that ACM had correctly established that Pretium had violated telemarketing rules, but it also ruled that the fine should be lower. The fine is now EUR 106,250. ACM is now allowed to publish the fining decision, as revised by the court.

Pretium has filed an appeal against the court’s decision.

Right to object

In every sales call, businesses are required to ask consumers whether they are allowed to call these consumers again. If a consumer indicates he/she no longer wishes to be called by that company, it must comply with that wish. On October 1, 2009, the Do-not-call-me register was created as a supplement to the telemarketing rules. ACM makes sure that businesses that use telemarketing comply with the rules.

More information about the ruling of the District Court of Rotterdam