Consolidated ICC code

Article C16 – Use of telemarketing

C 16.1 – Disclosures
The following provisions apply specifically to telemarketing:

Outbound calls

1.    When calling a consumer, telemarketers should:

  • promptly state the name of the marketer they represent;
  • unambiguously state in the beginning the purpose of the call;
  • politely terminate the call when it becomes apparent that the recipient is not competent to complete the call, or does not wish to take the call, or is a child (unless the telemarketer receives permission from an appropriate adult to proceed with the call).

2.    When a telemarketer calls a consumer who has a device with a number display facility, the consumer should be able to identify the number of the company that is calling.

All calls

3.    Before closing the call, the telemarketer should ensure that the consumer is informed and aware of the nature of any agreement reached, and of any steps that will be taken following the call.

Where a sale agreement is claimed to have been concluded, the consumer should be fully aware of the essential points of the contract. These include, as a minimum:

  • the main characteristics of the product;
  • where products are to be supplied permanently or for an ongoing period, the minimum duration of the contract;
  • the price of the product, including any additional costs (e.g. delivery and/or handling charges and any tax which the consumer may have to pay);
  • the arrangements for payment, delivery or performance;
  • any right of withdrawal to which the consumer is entitled.

Where the call leads, not to a sale, but to further contact by a marketer, the telemarketer should inform the consumer that there will be a subsequent contact. If data supplied by the consumer are to be used for any non-obvious purpose, i.e. a purpose which has not already been disclosed, the telemarketer should explain this purpose to the consumer in accordance with the General Provisions on data protection (article 19).

C 16.2 – Reasonable hours
Unless the recipient has expressly requested otherwise, outbound calls should be made only during hours which are generally regarded as reasonable for the recipient.

C 16.3 – Right to written confirmation
Where a call results in an order, the consumer has the right to receive confirmation, in writing or durable format, of the detailed terms of the contract, in due time and at the latest at the time of delivery of the goods or at the commencement of the delivery of the services. Confirmation should include all the information specified in article C3 (Right of withdrawal) and article C5 (Identity of the seller) and, where appropriate, any other information specified in this chapter.

C 16.4 – Monitoring of conversations
Monitoring, including recording, of conversations made for telemarketing purposes should be conducted only with appropriate safeguards, in order to verify the content of the call, to confirm a commercial transaction, for training purposes and for quality control. Telemarketers should be made aware when monitoring is taking place and consumers should be informed, as early in the call as is practicable, of the possibility of monitoring.

No recorded conversation should be presented to a public audience without the prior consent of both participants.

C 16.5 – Unlisted numbers
Consumers with an unlisted number should not be contacted for any commercial purpose, unless the number was supplied by the consumer to the marketer or operator.

C 16.6 – Use of automatic dialling equipment
Where a predictive dialler is used, if no telemarketer is immediately available to take the call generated by the dialler, the equipment should abandon the call and release the line in not more than one second.

Other automatic dialling equipment may be used to contact a consumer only where the call is initially introduced by a telemarketer, or where the consumer has expressly agreed to receive such calls without telemarketer intervention.

Neither a predictive dialler nor any other automatic dialling equipment may be used unless the equipment immediately disconnects when the consumer hangs up. Dialling equipment should release each time before connecting to another number.


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