Rule that forces telemarketers to identify themselves is still poorly enforced

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One month after the entry into force of the rule that obliges telemarketing to use mobile phone numbers with the prefix 0303, to allow consumers to identify the call and decide if they want to answer it, only 324 codes registered with the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) were activated.

“We have felt a commitment from companies to implement the rule”, said the advisor to the Certification and Numbering Management of Anatel Secundino da Costa Lemos to Brazil Agency. “But we’re still in the non-geographic code implementation phase.” He recalled that, although the use of the prefix became mandatory on March 10 for calls made from cell phones, companies that use landlines have until July 8 to comply with the new rule.

“We started with the mobile network, but most of the telemarketing asset is still offered by fixed-line telephony platforms, whose migration deadline will only expire in almost two months”, stressed the advisor, explaining that the regulatory agency does not have data to verify whether, with the obligation to activate the code for the services of mobile telephony, more companies of call center started using landline telephony to buy time before adjusting to the change.

The bank clerk Adriana de Araújo Alves has this impression. Checking the cell phone call history, it is easy to see that, since the end of February, the number of calls received from cell phones has decreased significantly, while the number from landlines has increased. Furthermore, in the last month and a half, there is no record of any number starting with 0303, even though she has blocked some cell phone numbers used to offer products and services that she did not request.

“There are a lot of numbers I blocked so I wouldn’t be disturbed anymore. There have been days when I received ten calls; day they called me on the weekend night after 8pm. The most annoying thing is that, when I’m at home and I don’t answer the call on my cell phone, there are companies that call the landline we have at home to talk to my husband’s parents, who don’t have a cell phone”, said the banker. She complained that every time she needed to solve a problem with the call center from some service provider, there was a long wait. “Now, to offer a service that you have no interest in, they are fast and insistent.”

Punishment

In addition to not knowing how to assess whether call center calls from landlines intensified, Lemos says that Anatel is still unable to specify how many number combinations starting with 0303 will be needed to accommodate all the phones dedicated to the telemarketing active, after identification becomes mandatory also for calls from the fixed network.

“The issue is that, today, we do not know for sure how many numbers [de telefone móveis e fixos] are being used for telemarketing. Precisely because, before, there was no specific number to identify them. A company may be using a number contracted by a common subscriber and will only be identified if and when its volume of calls attracts attention and is analyzed”, said Lemos, explaining that the offer reaches tens of millions of possibilities.

The assignment of code 0303 to identify incoming calls telemarketing is provided for in Act No. 10,413, November 2021. The purpose of the measure is to reduce the number of unwanted calls to those who have a telephone. According to the standard, telecommunications networks must allow users to identify the prefix of the calling telephone, clearly, on the display of the devices. Thus, the person can not only choose not to answer the call at that moment, but also program their device to no longer receive calls from that number.

After June 8, if you receive calls from telemarketing of numbers not identified by the prefix 0303 (either from the mobile network or from the fixed network), the person must contact their telephone operator and complain about the improper use of numbering resources to telemarketing asset, identifying the company and the number used by it.

Complaints record

Anatel promises to punish companies that fail to comply with the rule, blocking improperly used phone numbers. To this end, it asks people who receive unwanted business calls from numbers not identified by the prefix 0303 to file their complaints.

“No public policy works without consumer participation. Therefore, we ask that people who are upset call their telecommunications service providers and file the complaint. It is the obligation of these providers that program the networks to correctly route the 0303, according to the purpose determined by Anatel. And to companies telemarketing who want to use the network, ask the operator and use the 0303 prefix”, recommended Lemos.

According to him, “if the complaint to the operator is not enough, the consumer must contact Anatel by phone 1331 or through the channels available on site from the agency and inform what happened and the protocol number provided by the operator.”

self-regulation

Anatel’s rule did not please the telemarketing. In December, when the regulatory agency announced that mobile phone companies would have 90 days to provide caller identification, and fixed-line operators 180 days, the Brazilian Teleservices Association (ABT) even asked that the measure be debated. in order to avoid layoffs in the sector.

In addition, companies have been pointing out the Não Me Perturbe platform, created by the telecommunications operators themselves and available since July 2019, as the most efficient tool for customers who want to block incoming calls. telemarketing and payroll loan offers.

According to Conexis Brasil Digital, an entity that brings together telecommunications and connectivity companies, holders of 10 million telephone numbers have already registered their data on the platform, blocking calls to offer credit and telecommunication services. As it is a self-regulation initiative by the sector, the platform does not block calls from other fields of activity, such as, for example, health plans or retail chains, although the expansion of the service is under analysis. “We are discussing with the operators the expansion to all branches of the economy and there is already an order in this sense”, assured the advisor of the Management of Certification and Numbering of Anatel.

Also according to the entity, the number of registrations represents 3.5% of the base of 284.9 million fixed and mobile accesses in Brazil. Conexis Brasil Digital guarantees that this and other self-regulation measures have had positive effects, such as a drop in the number of user complaints. Since April 2021, complaints made to Anatel have dropped by more than 20%. For the whole of 2021, complaints are down almost 25% compared to 2020.

Who wants to stop receiving calls from telemarketing of the two mentioned segments must register directly in the site or through Procons across the country. Blocking occurs within 30 days after registration.

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