Written confirmation requirement for telemarketing
As of 1 September 2018, the requirement that any agreement made verbally during a telemarketing call must be backed up by a written confirmation came into force. If an operator contacts you by telephone at their own initiative to enter into an agreement, it will only constitute a valid agreement if you accept their offer in writing. Please note that this applies only if you are signing the agreement as a consumer; for agreements between companies, there is no such requirement for agreements to be confirmed in writing.
When does the requirement apply?
The requirement for written confirmation shall apply when the operator contacts you, as a consumer, at their own initiative, with the aim of entering into an agreement. If contact with the operator is initiated by you, or you ask the operator to contact you, there is no requirement for written confirmation. However, the operator may not circumvent the requirement by calling you and encouraging you to call them back.
How does it work?
If the aim is for an agreement to be concluded as a result of the operator contacting you, they must send you a confirmation of their offer. The agreement begins once you have accepted this offer in writing. If you reject the offer during the telephone call, the operator should not send you a confirmation.
The operator’s offer does not need to be sent in paper form – you can also receive it by email, text message or similar means. Your written confirmation can also be sent electronically, for example by you ticking a box in an e-document. Your acceptance can only be given once the call has ended.
What happens if you do not accept?
If you do not accept the offer in writing, the agreement is invalid. This is also the case if your written acceptance is submitted whilst the call is still in progress. If the agreement is invalid, you are not obliged to pay for the goods or services the operator nonetheless supplies or carries out.