15 February 2013

Nigeria: Bill to Protect Telephone Consumers Scales Second Reading

A bill to protect telephone consumers from the activities of telephone marketers has passed second reading on the floor of the House of Representatives.

The bill is also aimed at providing adequate sanctions against the business of telemarketing in Nigeria.

The telemarketers delivered prepared sales lectures, describing products and services in order to persuade potential customers to purchase a product or service or to make a donation.

Their job description also entailed the contacting of businesses or private individuals by telephone in order to solicit sales for goods or services, or to request donations for charitable causes.

They explained products, services and prices, and answer questions from customers, obtained customer information such as name, address and payment method as well as enter orders into computers.

Other job description include, recording of names, addresses, purchases, and reactions of prospects contacted.

The telemarketers also obtained names and telephone numbers of potential customers from sources such as telephone directories, magazine reply cards and lists purchases from other organisations among other functions.

Leading the debate on Tuesday on the merits of the bill, Rep. Abiodun Balogun (ACN-Ogun), said that the proposed legislation was aimed at controlling the activities of telemarketers.

Balogun urged members to support the bill to curtail what he described as the inappropriate calls and text messages from telemarketers.

Lending his voice in support of the bill, Rep. Buba Jibril (PDP-Kogi), said that the legislation was necessary to check "such embarrassing calls." (NAN)

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