How to avoid unsolicited phone call offers for goods and services

Aug 2, 2016

Are you harassed by unsolicited calls from various merchants? We have prepared the following effective procedure you can use to protect yourself:

  1. Call the customer services of your phone operator and withdraw your approval for the processing of your personal data, in particular, for any processing related to marketing and transferring such information to third parties.
  2. If you receive a phone call from a merchant, do not hang up and express your clear disagreement with using your phone number for offering goods and services.
  3. If the phone calls do not stop, you may file a complaint with the Office for Personal Data Protection, the Czech Telecommunications Office, or the Czech Trade Inspection Authority.

For more detailed information, see below.

Are you harassed by unsolicited phone calls?

If you are harassed by unsolicited phone calls with offers of goods and services, several options are available to you under law.

Whether the caller has obtained you phone number from your operator or directly from you (for example, during registration on the internet website of the caller), there are effective ways to prevent such calls from happening.

Revoking approval with your operator

You must first contact your operator. Based on approval which is usually hidden in the terms and conditions attached to your agreement, the operator processes your personal data, including your phone number, and it provides the data to third parties for various purposes, including marketing. However, the law (and usually the terms and conditions themselves) makes it possible to revoke your approval.

In practice, this means that you should contact your operator and revoke the approval to process personal data for business and marketing purposes.

It is very often possible to do so by contacting customer services. Some operators offer the possibility of setting the required level of protection for personal data on their website or in their mobile applications (for example, Vodafone).

The most important step is to revoke the approval for all processing of personal data, if possible. By doing this, you prevent your operator from using your personal data for sending business advertisements and from transferring data to third parties.

Revoking approval with the caller

If the harassment does not stop, the second step is to contact the caller directly. The law entitles you to demand to be informed by the caller about how it received your personal data.

If the caller received your number directly from you relating to its business activities, you must express your clear disapproval with further phone calls and with processing your personal data for any purpose.

Making a complaint to an administrative authority

If you discover that the operator or the caller are in error or if you are still harassed by unsolicited phone calls even after following the steps above, you can file a complaint with the relevant administrative authority.

If your personal data is still processed even after revoking your approval, you should file a complaint with the Office for Personal Data Protection. Other errors of operators are the responsibility of the Czech Telecommunications Office, and aggressive business practices are resolved by the Czech Trade Inspection Authority.

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