The President of UKE imposed a penalty on Koksztys S.A. for conducting direct marketing activities without users’ consent
28 June 2019
The President of UKE has determined that Koksztys S.A. outsourced making marketing telephone calls without having the legally required consents of subscribers or end users to carry out such activities.
During the proceedings, it was determined that 30,636 marketing phone calls were made, in violation of the provisions of the Telecommunications Act. Consequently, a fine of PLN 80,000 was imposed on Koksztys S.A.
The proceedings were initiated in connection with irregularities detected during the direct inspections carried out by the President of UKE at Koksztys S.A. and an entity acting on its behalf. The inspection showed, as confirmed by the administrative proceedings conducted subsequently, that the entity acting on behalf of Koksztys S.A. in the period from 1 May 2017 to 14 November 2017 made over 30,000 phone calls to subscribers and end users in order to present commercial information about the activity of Koksztys S.A. and promote the services offered by this entity in the area of subscription contracts for legal and debt collection services.
Article 172 (1) of the Telecommunications Act is intended to protect subscribers and end users against unsolicited communications, including phone calls. This provision prohibits the use of telecommunications terminal equipment and automated calling systems for direct marketing purposes, unless the subscriber or end user has previously given consent to receive such calls. Koksztys S.A. and the entity acting on its behalf did not prove that they had recorded consents granted by the addressees of their commercial communications to receive marketing phone calls. The marketing campaign was therefore carried out in contravention of the prohibition resulting from Article 172 of the Telecommunications Act, which allows making marketing calls only to persons who previously agreed to receive them, i.e. before initiating the contact. In the opinion of the President of UKE, Koksztys S.A, as the entity outsourcing the marketing campaign, was obliged to prove that the subscribers or end users had given their consents for such practices, i.e. to receive such marketing calls.
The President of UKE, assessing the scope of the infringement, drew attention to the fact that the immediate consequence of the violations found, was the reduction of the level of protection of subscribers’ and end users' rights in relations with a professional business entity conducting commercial activities. The President of UKE noted that over 30,000 subscribers or end users could have been exposed to unsolicited marketing communication.
The President of UKE, determining the amount of the fine, took into account the previous activity of the penalized entity, in particular the fact that it had not been punished by the President of UKE ever before.
The decision is not final. Koksztys S.A. can appeal to the court against the decision.
Information on the rights of consumers in connection with the use of telecommunications services can be found at: https://cik.uke.gov.pl/