*phone drop*

Picture this: it’s lunchtime and all you’re waiting for is a call from the food delivery driver. Your phone lights up, and you excitedly pick it up, but… much to your dismay, it’s a telemarketing executive trying to sell you a new credit card. Nothing can be more exasperating, especially when the ‘hangry’ vibes are starting to kick in.

If these phone calls annoy you, you’ll be glad to know that the UAE will soon implement strict new rules for telemarketing in a bid to ensure privacy for consumers.

On June 9, the Ministry of Economy, and the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) announced ‘controls and procedures for regulating telemarketing’ which will come into effect mid-August 2024.

Failure to abide by the new rule will lead to fines of up to Dhs150,000, plus a partial or total suspension of the activity, license cancellation and denial of telecommunication services inside the UAE for up to a year.

The rule stipulates that marketing companies will need to obtain prior approval from authorities to practice telemarketing. Once approval is obtained, marketing calls can only be made from phone numbers registered under the licensed company. The individual is not to make phone calls from a number registered under their names at telecommunications companies in the UAE.

*UAE phones now display the business name of unknown callers*

Furthermore, calls can only be made to contacts from 9am to 6pm. Any calls outside this time frame will be strictly prohibited.

The rule further stresses that if a consumer has rejected the service or the product in the first call, the telemarketer is not to recall. Additionally, if the consumer rejects or ends the call, the telemarketer is not to recall on the same day.

Additionally, telemarketers will be required to ask if consumers wish to continue the phone before they start to market their product.

Consumers will be able to file a complaint with the relevant authorities in case telemarketers violate the rules.

The above rules will apply to all licensed companies in the UAE, including free zone companies. It also applies to marketing text messages and marketing messages through social media applications.

You can read more here.

Featured image: Getty Images