Updated on Tuesday, 19 October 2021 – 01:35
Little-known mechanisms such as inscription on the Robinson List allow consumers to object to the processing of their personal data by these companies.
Things that irritate: the nettle in contact with the skin, the chlorine in the eyes and the call of telemarketers of electric and telephone companies in their struggle to scratch their competitors’ clients. Despite the fact that just three months ago the main Spanish telemarketers expressed their good intentions in a new code of ethics that, among other promises, limited the hours of business calls to business days between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., the avalanche of calls have not yet been stopped. Even less with regard to the electricity sector, which is immersed in a price war due to the increase in the cost of the electricity bill.
Beyond the will of one and the other, there are some firewalls that the user can implement to avoid harassment from these companies. The one with the greatest legal protection is the Robinson List. A registry in which users can register if they want to avoid being called by companies with which they have not had any commercial ties. This means that it does not work to get rid of those with which the consumer has had or has a contract.
The procedure is simple. The user must only register on the Robinson List website, providing some information: name, ID, password and email to confirm said registration. “It is a mechanism that is still little known even though it has its origin in the nineties,” he explains. Enrique Garca, spokesperson for the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU), from where they also recommend saving all the emails of the registration process in the list in case it is necessary to provide evidence in future complaints. Within a period of three months from the completion of the registration in this file, the company will not be able to call or send emails and text messages to the consumer.
But this rule is not always followed and some consumers continue to receive calls and messages. This may be due “to the delay in updating the databases of the companies, which may take a while until it is carried out effectively,” says Enrique Garca. In any case, it advises citizens to report these breaches even though the process may be tedious, since by ignoring the will of the users, the companies are directly clashing with their right to object to the processing of their data for advertising purposes. .
To do this, the user must ask the telemarketer to identify himself, as well as request the company’s legal data and, from there, follow the procedure to apply the right of access, rectification and opposition to the treatment, contained in the Regulation of data protection and supervised by the Data Protection Agency.
Ultimately, Law 3/2018 on data protection, as well as the General Data Protection Regulation, obliges companies to consult the Robinson List among other obligations to enforce consumer rights. In this context, the deontological codes of the companies reaffirm the commitment of the operators to comply with established rules.
In fact, the new code signed by the Spanish telemarketers in July of this year emphasizes the prohibition of calling users registered in the “Robinson List”, limits the number of calls to non-contacted consumers to three attempts and prevents contact in a minimum of three months to the user who has not shown interest in the commercial offer. In addition, it commits the signing operators not to make commercial calls between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. In other words, some of the commitments included in other legal texts.
Thus, these declarations of intent are on many occasions a dead letter. “The companies are committed to codes of conduct that are very good to present to the public, but that are almost never fulfilled”, criticizes Enrique Garca.
For this reason, there are other alternatives that despite not starting the root problem, amortize spam. That is, they do not prevent the user from receiving the first call, but they do prevent having to constantly deal with companies. These “tricks”, as defined by the OCU spokesperson, range from not taking calls from long or hidden numbers to blocking spam, an option that can be activated on both Android and Apple devices by going to the settings menu.
However, the only way to make the protection of consumers’ personal data effective will be, in the eyes of the OCU spokesperson, through the elaboration of “a more incisive rule that can facilitate that the consumer can oppose the processing of their data. “.
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