By Chris King •
Updated: 22 Sep 2023 • 23:07
Image of a man angry with his mobile phone.
A recent survey carried out by the consumer organisation FACUA revealed that 56.9 per cent of consumers still received unsolicited commercial calls.
This discovery came despite the fact that such calls were prohibited in Spain at the end of June 2022. FACUA surveyed 6,065 consumers between September 20 and 22. The results showed that 56.9 per cent of them had received more than five commercial calls in the last month.
Furthermore, 57.4 per cent of those who received an unsolicited call during a call, after expressly asking the teleoperator not to bother them again, subsequently received a new call offering them the services of the same company.
According to the survey, telecommunications services were the biggest culprits, mentioned by 72.4 per cent of consumers. They were followed by energy services, mentioned by 62.1 per cent of those surveyed. Insurance companies were a long way behind, with 22 per cent, alarm companies with 5.3 per cent, and those offering loans totalled 5.3 per cent.
As pointed out by FACUA reminds that users must have expressly and previously authorized companies so that they are allowed to call them to sell their products and services, risking being sanctioned if they do not comply with the prohibition.
Article 66.1 of the General Telecommunications Law 11/2022, of June 28, states that consumers have the right: ‘not to receive unwanted calls for commercial communication purposes unless there is prior consent from the user themselves to receive this type of commercial communications’.
The ban also states that consumers should not: “receive automated calls without human intervention or fax messages, for commercial communication purposes, without having given your prior consent to do so’.
However, only 8.6 per cent of consumers told FACUA that they knew how to report unsolicited commercial calls while only 1.5 per cent said they had filed a complaint for that same reason.
FACUA advises unhappy consumers to file a complaint with the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD). It is the body in charge of monitoring compliance with this regulation. In the complaint – which can be submitted electronically – the following information must be indicated:
• The number on which the call was received and some document that proves that the user is its owner, such as an invoice.
• The date, approximate time and telephone number from which the commercial call was made. If it was hidden, it must be reported because the AEPD requires information from the user’s telecommunications company about the line from which they called.
• Name of the company, if indicated by the caller. Failing that, the name of the company from which they were making the offer.
It is quite common that none of this information is given at the beginning of these calls. Telecommunications or electricity suppliers usually ask the user which company they are contracted with and then attempt to assure them that they will give them a better offer. If so, it is enough to indicate in the complaint which sector offered the services.
Although it is not essential, where possible, consumers should provide a screenshot of their mobile phone showing the number from which the call was received.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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