Tuesday July 23rd, 2024
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Telemarketers Will Now Face Heavy Fines

Under new regulations, companies violating rules set by the Ministry of Economy and the Telecommunications Authority face fines up to AED 150,000 (USD 40,838) and risk losing their operating licenses.

Scene Now UAE

Telemarketers Will Now Face Heavy Fines

The UAE has announced stringent measures to tackle the issue of persistent cold callers. Under new regulations introduced by the Ministry of Economy and the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority, companies found violating these rules could face fines up to AED 150,000 (USD 40,838) and risk the termination of their operating licenses.

These regulations aim to protect the public from rogue telemarketers and apply to all licensed companies in the Emirates, including those in free zones, that promote products via landlines and mobile phones. Starting in August, telemarketing calls will be restricted to between 9am and 6pm Additionally, if a consumer rejects a service or product, companies are prohibited from making call-backs or same-day follow-up calls.

Companies must now obtain prior approval from authorities before conducting telemarketing activities. All marketing calls must originate from numbers registered to licensed companies, not individuals. Customers are encouraged to file complaints if they encounter violations. The penalties for non-compliance are severe and include warnings, fines up to AED 150,000, partial or total suspension of activities, license cancellation, and disconnection of telecommunication services for up to one year.

These measures are part of ongoing efforts to safeguard consumer rights and ensure compliance. In January 2022, the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority launched the Kashif service to show the origin of calls and reduce anonymous calls. By the end of 2022, all private companies were required to register their phone numbers with the Kashif service.

Furthermore, the Do Not Call Registry (DNCR), which has been in place since September 2022, helps prevent unwanted calls. Telemarketers must obtain individuals' consent before making promotional calls and must avoid calling numbers listed in the DNCR without prior approval. Companies failing to obtain this approval can be fined AED 75,000 for the first offense, AED100,000 for the second, and AED 150,000 for the third. Fines up to AED 150,000 can also be imposed for calling individuals registered in the DNCR.

Financial penalties ranging from AED 25,000 to AED 75,000 may be levied for misleading or deceiving customers during sales calls. Companies that violate these rules could face suspension of telemarketing activities for seven to 90 days, license cancellation, removal from the commercial register, and disconnection of telecommunication services.