Bonn – Advertising calls and phone scams have obviously been less annoying for German citizens this year. At the Federal Network Agency, the number of complaints in the telecommunications sector has fallen sharply.
In the first six months of this year, nearly 76,000 consumer complaints were received there, 39,000 fewer than in the same period of the previous year, as reported by the Federal Agency. from networks to the German press agency. The Bonn authority is responsible for combating the misuse of telephone numbers.
Most of the complaints were directed against unauthorized telephone advertising. A good 27,000 consumers turned to the network agency because they had received unsolicited sales calls, for example for electricity and gas contracts, financial and insurance products or contests. This represents almost 4,000 complaints less than in the first half of 2019. The authority can impose fines for unauthorized telephone advertising, it was around 1.3 million euros over the entire past year.
Complaints about ping calls, with which expensive callbacks abroad have to be caused, have decreased significantly. Instead of a good 21,500 as in the first half of 2019, there were just under 4,300 complaints this time around. In the case of ping calls, it only rings briefly on your own cell phone, after which you sometimes reflexively call back because the country code is similar to a German area code. If the consumer calls back, they are deliberately put online with ads that are difficult to understand.
For such calls, the Federal Network Agency can, among other things, impose a “billing and collection ban” – which means that high telephone charges abroad do not have to be paid. If the invoice has already been paid, it is too late. Then the victim has civil actions against foreigners abroad.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 200809-99-97977 / 2