Establishment of a “Do Not Call Me” Database
30 November 2020
Dear Clients and Friends,
On November 24, 2020, Amendment No. 61 to the Consumer Protection Law, 1981 (the “Amendment” and the “Law“) was published in the Official Government Gazette. The Amendment sets out a general arrangement regarding the establishment of a “Do Not Call Me” database that aims to restrict dealers from contacting consumers by way of a telephone marketing call.
Initially we note that in the relevant draft bill it was noted that the need to establish such “Do Not Call Me” database arises, among other things, due to the practice of aggressive telephone marketing that developed in Israel which includes unfair influence, misleading and harassment of consumers. In addition, the fact that the Communications Law (Bezeq and Transmissions), 1982 (also known as the “Spam Law”) which determines restrictions regarding advertisements by e-mail, text message, automatic dialing system and fax (including an “opt-in” requirement), does not include restrictions on telephone marketing calls, also played a part.
Accordingly, the Amendment stipulates that the Consumer Protection Authority (the “CPA“) shall establish a database which will include telephone numbers of consumers wishing to restrict dealers or those acting on their behalf, from contacting them for marketing purposes. “Telephone Marketing Calls” are defined as a contact of a dealer to a consumer by way of a call to the consumer’s telephone number (including by electronic communication), for the purpose of entering into a transaction, either during the call or thereafter, including an offer to receive a property or service without consideration, at a discount or by providing a benefit). The consumer may request that one or more of his/her telephone numbers be registered in the database and he/she may at any time request that such number be removed from the database.
In accordance with the provisions of the Amendment, a dealer who wishes to make a telephone marketing call to a consumer will need to contact the CPA, prior to contacting the consumer, in order to check whether the consumer’s number is included in the database. In case the answer is – yes (provisions will be made regarding the manner of clarifying said data and fees, if any), the dealer shall be prohibited from making such telephone marketing call, including, contacting the consumer in order to convince the consumer to remove his/hers number from the database.
Notwithstanding the aforesaid, the Amendment stipulates a number of exceptions according to which a dealer shall be allowed to call a consumer whose telephone number is registered in the database, by way of a telephone marketing call, as detailed below:
(a) In case a consumer requests a dealer to return to him/her by way of a call, the dealer will be able to contact the consumer by way of a telephone marketing call.
(b) In case the dealer and the consumer have entered into an on-going transaction, the dealer may contact the consumer by way of a telephone marketing call, during the period of said transaction, with respect to the said transaction only, including, with respect to the change of the transaction’s terms, except for the extension of the on-going transaction (unless the consumer has requested the dealer to extend the transaction’s period).
(c) In case the consumer has given the dealer an explicit and separate prior written consent, to contact him/her through a telephone marketing call, including by electronic means; provided that such consent: (i) has not been obtained by way of a telephone call with the consumer; (ii) it was clarified that nothing in the consent indicates a consent to the execution of any transaction between the consumer and the dealer; and (iii) the consent shall be valid for a maximum period of one year, unless the consumer has withdrawn his/her consent prior to such one year period. Such consent may be extended for additional one year periods.
(d) In case the consumer approached the dealer on his/her own initiative and gave the dealer an explicit consent to receive telephone marketing calls from the dealer. Such consent will be valid for one year only, unless the consumer withdraws his/her consent earlier.
In addition, the Amendment provides that it will be possible to impose financial sanctions on dealers for the violation of the provisions regarding conducting a telephone marketing call to a telephone number which is included in the database. The Amendment also provides the Consumer Protection and Fair Trade Commissioner (the “Commissioner“) the authority to issue administrative orders in order to stop certain violations of the Law, inter alia, due to unfair influence on consumers.
Amendment No. 61 shall enter into force on the date of its publication, with the exception of the provisions regarding the database; the telephone marketing calls; and the financial sanctions following the violation of such provisions, which shall enter into force eighteen months from the date of publication of the Amendment.
For the publication of the Amendment (in Hebrew) >> click here
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or require any clarification regarding the above.
Herzog Fox & Neeman