21 Jul, 2021 @ 18:30
1 min read

Phone companies in Spain vow to stop ‘cold-calling’ during afternoon siesta

Spain's telecoms companies agree to stop making nuisance calls during 'siesta' hour and to start later in the morning
Embargoed to 0001 Monday April 6 File photo dated 19/11/14 of a woman using a mobile phone as new laws that make it easier to punish companies who make nuisance calls and texts will "make a difference", the privacy watchdog has said.

SPAIN’S top phone companies have promised to cut unsolicited calls pestering people to sign up to their services putting an end to the misery of those who have their siesta disturbed.

The traditional siesta period between 3.00 pm and 4.00 pm will be kept clear of sales pitches after a deal struck between Movistar, Vodafone, Orange and MasMovil.

The companies have also agreed to start calls an hour later at 10.00 am on a weekday.

The firms have been widely criticised for persistent hawking calls offering new services to poach customers from their rivals.

They’ve also been severely fined and rebuked by Spain’s Data Protection body.

The new code of conduct will start in January 2022 and replaces a previous agreement that kicked in 11 years ago, but was largely ignored.

The agreement also states that there can be no calls after 9.00 pm on a weekday, and none at all at the weekend and on bank holidays.

The firms have committed to calling a given number no more than three times a month if the client does not pick up.

They have also promised to wait three months before calling again if a customer rejects an offer.

Orange’s Spanish head, Jean-Francois Fallacher, said: “ We telecommunication operators all through the years have adapted our actions to consumers’ habits,”

Operators hindered by competition and reduced profit margins have in recent years engaged in aggressive campaigns to capture clients from rivals.

The Spanish Agency for Data Protection(AEPD) have handed out 78 sanctions in recent years to the companies, with 46 transgressions committed by Vodafone over ‘marketing infractions’.

In February, the AEPD hit Vodafone with a record €8.2 million fine after siding with complaints about excessive nuisance calls.

Vodafone has appealed the verdict and fine to the National Court.


Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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