Parliamentarian Leen Dierick has called on telecom operators to help customers to block numbers from which they do not want to receive any more calls.
Dierick, an MP for the Flemish centrist CD&V party, stressed that the proposal to have the operators block numbers is in response to requests from consumers.
“The aim is to prevent prank calls, undesirable calls and scams, and thus provide clients with greater security,” she said. “Additionally, an increasing number of very young minors use mobile telephones. A better blocking system would protect them from fraudulent calls.”
People who have some technology skills can already block incoming calls from some numbers on most telephones, but, Dierick argued, it is the role of operators to solve the problem for their clients.
“Different operators do not offer the possibility of blocking certain incoming calls, (whether a number or a sequence of numbers),” she said. “Others have shown that it is technically possible to ban calls selectively on customers’ connections.”
The telecommunications mediator has already stressed the need to increase blocking possibilities.
Further, Dierick wants to ensure that customers with questions or complaints are put into contact with a responder quickly when they call customer service, and also wants a maximum waiting time of 2.5 minutes to be set by law.
People who have to wait longer should have the possibility of leaving their contact details and having their calls returned within a day. This provision is already included in a conviviality charter signed by the operators a few years ago.
According to the IBPT, which is the national telecommunications regulator in Belgium, customer services managed to attend to clients within two minutes in 80% of cases in the first half of last year.