Unwanted Calls Decrease After Heavy Fines

After the Czech Telecommunication Office (ČTÚ) issued hefty fines in the summer, unsolicited telemarketers, colloquially known as “telešmejdi,” seem to have significantly retreated. The office’s data provided to Novinky indirectly suggests that complaints about unsolicited calls or telemarketing have noticeably decreased in recent months.

The number of complaints about marketing calls on record at the ČTÚ has significantly declined over the last few months. The numbers peaked at the end of last year and have been steadily decreasing. In September, the monthly decrease was more than 30 percent, revealed Tereza Meravá, the spokesperson for the office.

It’s not entirely clear what has led to the decrease in complaints. However, the fact that the ČTÚ handed out hefty fines during the summer months could have led to some telemarketers being more cautious in their illicit activities.

In September, one of these fines, specifically amounting to 2.2 million CZK, became enforceable. It was received by the Polish company Asmanta Call Center Spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością for more than 100 unsolicited calls related to offers on photovoltaics.

The company not only called without the called party’s consent but also violated the law on electronic communications by making a large part of these unsolicited calls through an automatic calling system without human participation, Meravá specified. Moreover, she added that photovoltaics are no longer the dominant theme of unsolicited calls. In recent months, financial service offers have instead come to the fore.

The amendment to the law on electronic communications, which includes a ban on unsolicited calls or so-called telemarketing, has been in effect since January 1, 2022. Still, it definitively entered into practice six months later. Until then, a six-month transitional period was in place for companies to have time to adapt to the new rules.