Telemarketers to Face New AED 150K Fine

The Ministry of Economy has made drastic changes to regulations around cold callers.

It’s midday, and you’re eagerly anticipating your lunch delivery. Your phone buzzes, and you quickly reach for it, thinking your food has arrived. Instead, to your frustration, it’s a telemarketer offering a new credit card. Few things are more irritating, especially when hunger is turning into ‘hanger’.

If these phone calls drive you bananas, you’ll be pleased to hear that the UAE is set to introduce strict new telemarketing regulations aimed at safeguarding consumer privacy.

On June 9th, the Ministry of Economy and the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) announced new “controls and procedures for regulating telemarketing,” set to take effect in mid-August 2024.

Non-compliance with the new regulations could result in fines of up to AED 150,000, partial or complete suspension of activities, licence revocation, and denial of telecommunication services within the UAE for up to a year.

The regulations require marketing companies to obtain prior approval from authorities to conduct telemarketing. Once approved, marketing calls must be made from phone numbers registered under the licensed company, not from numbers registered under individual names with UAE telecommunications providers.

Moreover, telemarketing calls will be restricted to the hours between 9am and 6pm, with any calls outside this window being strictly prohibited.

The rules stipulate that if a consumer declines the service or product during the initial call, the telemarketer must not call back. Similarly, if the consumer ends the call or rejects the offer, the telemarketer is prohibited from calling again on the same day.

Telemarketers will also be required to ask for the consumer’s consent to continue the conversation before starting their sales pitch.

Consumers can file complaints with the relevant authorities if telemarketers violate these regulations.

These rules apply to all licensed companies in the UAE, including those in free zones, and extend to marketing text messages and social media marketing messages.

Get further details here.

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