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Germany turns up heat on cold callers

Telemarketing telemarketing, the practice of selling goods or services to customers by means of the telephone or of surveying consumer preferences in telephone conversations.  companies that pester people with unwanted phone calls without their permission in Germany face a 50,000-euro (72,000-dollar) fine under new laws New Laws: see Las Casas, Bartolomé de.  that took effect on Tuesday.

In addition, firms that conceal conceal,
v to hide; secrete; withhold from the knowledge of others.
 their telephone number from consumers will be slapped with a 10,000-euro fine, according to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 the new legislation.

Presenting the new rules, Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries said: "Black sheep black sheep
n.
1. A sheep with black fleece.

2. A member of a family or other group who is considered undesirable or disreputable.
 in the industry are now threatened with severe fines if they bother consumers with unwanted calls."

The ministry advised consumers who find themselves on the wrong end of an unwanted "cold call" to take the name of the firm involved and report them to the federal telecommunications agency.

The agency's head, Matthias Kurth said: "We can not help anyone who is not in a position to give us the name, number and, if possible, the address of the company concerned."

"We do not know who has telephoned you and fortunately there is no comprehensive monitoring of telephone conversations," he added.

He urged consumers to be careful when giving out personal details personal details npl (on form etc) → coordonnées fpl

personal details person nplPersonalien pl

personal details 
, especially telephone numbers.

He added that unwanted telemarketing was "more than just an annoyance" to the majority of people.

"No one wants to be pestered in our valuable free time when they have expressed no desire to be contacted," he said.
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Author:AFP
Publication:AFP Global Edition
Date:Aug 4, 2009
Words:212
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