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Special rules apply if you offer a service or product by telephone. Cold calling is banned.
Ban on cold calling
Companies and organisations are not allowed to call natural entities without their consent. Natural entities are consumers, sole proprietors, commercial partnerships or professional partnerships.
Telemarketing is allowed if:
- the natural entity has given their explicit consent (opt in) to your organisation, for a specific purpose and for a limited amount of time;
- you call an existing customer; or
- a customer relationship existed up until at most 3 years ago.
Proving customer relationship or consent (opt in)
If you use telemarketing you need to be able to prove that you are allowed to call. Your organisation has the burden of proof. This means you should be able to prove you are allowed to call. You can no longer consult the Do-not-call-me register for businesses as the Dutch Do-not-call-me Register (Bel-me-niet Register) is discontinued and all data has been deleted.
You are not allowed to call using a private number. Your phone number should always be visible (caller identification) when making a call.
You have to ask new and existing customers if you may call them in the future. You ask this each time you call.
Your customer has the right to object by stating he does not want to be called. According to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) you then need to delete the customer’s data from your call list.
Rules for telephone conversations
- Immediately at the beginning of the conversation, you must give the name of the company or organisation for which you are calling. And you must announce that you are calling for sales purposes.
- You are obliged to provide information during the conversation. You must inform the other party of what you are selling, the length of the reflection period and the costs.
- If you offer a new contract for services, for instance a subscription, customers must confirm a contract in writing (in Dutch) for it to be valid.