The cabinet wants the European Union to legislate against some telemarketing and door-to-door selling practices in a bid to protect Dutch consumers.
The Netherlands already has strict rules in place regarding telesales, which stipulate that a contract is only valid when a consumer has explicitly agreed to take up an offer by sending back a signed contract.
A similar rule should be included in the practice of door-to-door selling, giving consumers time to think, caretaker economic affairs minister Micky Adriaansens has said.
“We are still getting reports about people getting unwanted phone calls. They are still having to field visits from pushy door-to-door salesmen and they can’t take considered decisions on the spot,” she told broadcaster NOS.
In August consumer organisation Consumentenbond said the telemarketing law was not working, pointing out some 80% of people are still getting calls from telemarketing companies, mostly on behalf of energy firms, lotteries and charities.
The European free market rules rule out a complete ban on telemarketing and door-to-door selling. “We want a ban on products or contracts which consumers are not able to make a considered decision about, such as complex energy contracts,” Adriaansens said.
The EU is currently asking member states about measures they would like to see included in the current consumer protection regulations which will be evaluated next year. Adriaansens will also ask for stricter rules for discounts and sustainability claims and labels.
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