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UAE's Stringent Cold Call Regulations: Balancing Consumer Privacy with Business Compliance

The new regulations aim to create a more respectful and consent-based telemarketing environment

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Pavitra Shetty

Published on June 11, 2024, 17:32:19

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cold calling  fine for violators

 

The UAE government has recently implemented stringent regulations on telemarketing via phone calls, enforcing hefty fines of up to Dh150,000 for violators.

These rules, set to take effect in mid-August 2024, are aimed at controlling the rampant issue of cold calls, which are unsolicited calls made to potential customers. This regulatory change marks a significant shift in the telemarketing landscape in the UAE, designed to protect consumer privacy and reduce unwanted disruptions.

What Are Cold Calls?

Cold calls are unsolicited phone calls made by companies or telemarketers to promote products or services to potential customers without prior consent. These calls are often intrusive and can be seen as a nuisance by recipients.

Regulatory Requirements:

  • Prior Approval: Companies must obtain approval from a competent authority before making marketing calls.
  • Licensed Firms: Only licensed telemarketing firms can conduct these calls using registered phone numbers.
  • Calling Hours: Marketing calls are restricted to between 9 am and 6 pm.
  • Do Not Call Registry (DNCR): Companies are prohibited from calling numbers listed on the DNCR.
  • Follow-Up Calls: Banned if the consumer declines the service on the first call.
  • Call Frequency: Only one call per day is allowed if the consumer does not answer or ends the call.

Penalties

  • Warnings and Fines: Violations can result in warnings and fines up to Dh150,000.
  • Severe Violations: These may lead to suspension of telemarketing activities, licence cancellation, and removal from the commercial registry.

Specific Fines

  • Dh75,000 for not obtaining prior approval.
  • Up to Dh150,000 for marketing to DNCR-listed consumers.
  • Fines for using unregistered phone numbers for marketing calls.

Consumer Protection

The new regulations prioritise consumer rights by ensuring transparency and preventing deceptive or aggressive marketing tactics. Consumers can lodge complaints about violations and companies are required to maintain detailed records of all marketing calls. This framework aims to create a more respectful and consent-based telemarketing environment.

Challenges for Telemarketers

  • Compliance Costs: Telemarketing companies will need to invest in compliance mechanisms, increasing operational costs.
  • Operational Changes: Stricter controls may lead to reduced call volumes, affecting telemarketing jobs.

Opportunities

Quality Over Quantity: Emphasis on approved and ethical marketing practices could result in better-targeted marketing efforts and potentially higher conversion rates.

Analytical Perspective

The UAE's new regulations reflect a global trend towards increased scrutiny and regulation of telemarketing practices. By enforcing these rules, the UAE aims to strike a balance between protecting consumer privacy and enabling businesses to operate within a structured, ethical framework.

This shift is expected to lead to more responsible telemarketing practices, enhancing the overall consumer experience while potentially creating a more sustainable business environment for telemarketers who adhere to the new standards.

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.

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