KNOWLEDGE BASE Telephone Marketing Laws
Telephone Marketing Laws in the Netherlands
What laws and regulations apply to telephone Marketing?
Telephone marketing in the Netherlands is regulated by the Dutch Telemarketing Code (Do-not-call Register), the Dutch Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), and the Dutch Telecommunications Act. The PDPA and the Telecommunications Act regulate the use of and protect the privacy of personal information, including personal information used for marketing purposes. You must comply with all privacy laws in your marketing efforts. The PDPA is discussed more thoroughly in the Data Protection and Cookie Laws section. The Do-Not-Call Register provides specific actionable rules for telemarketing in the Netherlands. Because of that, the Register will be explained in more detail below.
What is the Do-not-call Register?
The Do-not-call Register is a place for individuals and some companies to register that they do not want to receive unsolicited telephone marketing calls.
To whom and what does the Do-not-call Register apply?
The Do-not-call Register applies to individuals who have a fixed residence in the Netherlands. The register also applies to sole owners of a business, and commercial partnerships. Other legal entities, such as private or public limited companies, are not permitted to be listed on the Register.
How do I comply with the Do-not-call Register?
In general, you are not permitted to call anyone, for marketing or recruitment purposes, who is listed on the Do-not-call Register. In the Netherlands, there is a distinction between new and existing customers. You are not permitted to call new customers who are on the Do-not-call Register. If you call someone who is not registered, you must inform him of the existence of the Register. If a recipient asks you not to call him again, you must remove him from your call list immediately. You are allowed to call existing or former customers even if they are on the Do-not-call Register. However, you must ask whether the person would like to remain on your call list. If the recipient does not want to remain on your call list, you must immediately remove his name and not call him again.
Below are additional rules you must follow when making telephone marketing calls:
At the beginning of every conversation, you must tell the recipient the name of your company or organisation and that you are calling for sales purposes.
You are required to inform the recipient what you are selling, the length of time he has to make a decision, and the costs.
You should not make an offer to anyone who you reasonably believe to be under sixteen years of age.
In certain circumstances, customers must confirm the sale in writing.
Under the Dutch Telecommunications Act, the use of automatic call systems with no human interference is prohibited, unless specific consent is obtained.
You are not permitted to leave an unsolicited message on a recipient’s answering machine or voice mail system.
Telemarketing calls are permitted only between 9:00 am and 10:00 pm on working days and between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm on Saturdays. Telemarketing calls should not be made on Sundays or public holidays.
In addition to these telephone marketing laws, you must also comply with any applicable distance selling laws. More information on distance selling can be found in the Netherlands Ecommerce Laws section.
What are the risks of noncompliance?
The Dutch Advertising Code Committee (DACC) regulates and enforces the Do-not-call Register. Failure to comply with Dutch telemarketing laws can result in a consumer filing a complaint against your business. The Dutch Advertising Code explains the complaint process in detail. The DACC is a self-regulatory body, and therefore does not have governmental power, including the power to impose fines or penalties. If an individual complains about your advertising practices, the Committee will investigate the complaint and you could be required to stop using that particular advertisement or for more serious violations, the Committee will make the violation public through a press release.
KNOWLEDGE BASE Telephone Marketing Laws