Tightened rules for call forwarding services – Emerce

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) will take stricter action against violations of the rules for paid telephone forwarding services. From 16 December 2022, stricter rules will apply.

The regulator has sent market parties a letter to inform them of the new rules. Providers of forwarding services must adjust their services or can hand in their numbers. ACM will also actively monitor this.

People often do not realize if they are connected via a paid forwarding service to a service that they can also call free of charge, such as 0800 numbers from the Tax Information Line or the GGD. Anyone looking up such a number on the internet is easily misled, because advertisements from paid forwarding services often appear at the top of the search results.

Even if the forwarding services indicate the costs involved, many callers do not realize that they are calling via a paid service, as research has shown. Because the call costs continue to rise after the call has been forwarded – often around one euro per minute – the telephone bill can be unexpectedly high.

According to the tightened rules that will take effect from 16 December, forwarding services to 0800 numbers (free information numbers) will soon be prohibited. For services with telephone numbers starting with 0900, 0906 and 0909, call forwarding against payment in almost all other forms is also prohibited.

The rules are also becoming stricter for subscriber information numbers (numbers that start with 18), although it is still permitted to use these numbers to call through for a fee (except to 0800 numbers). This is partly because such services can be useful for people who, for example, have difficulty looking up telephone numbers on the Internet.

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Source: Nieuws – Emerce by www.emerce.nl.

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