Direct marketing - UOKiK proceeding
The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) has initiated proceedings against ACS Medica.
The accusation concerns the method of inviting consumers to product demonstrations, during which mats and equipment for magnet therapy were sold. The company representatives would call numbers from the telephone book and invite people to commercial demonstrations.
The information collected by UOKiK indicates that they had not obtained the subscribers’ prior consent for direct marketing. Such practice is against the telecommunications law (Article 172) and may harm collective consumer interests.
“The law protects consumers against unwanted direct marketing. Undertakings must obtain prior consent for contact by telephone – not only if they wish to present their offer, but also when they only wish to announce it or examine customer needs. Such consent cannot be obtained at the beginning of a telephone call,” says Marek Niechciał, President of UOKiK.
The UOKiK proceedings may lead to the undertaking paying penalty of up to 10 per cent of its turnover.
Consumer consent for receiving commercial information should be explicit and unambiguous. They must know who obtained their data, for what purpose and what forms of contact it covers (e.g. SMS, telephone). It can be withdrawn at any moment.