If you are fans of Seinfeld you will remember that episode where Jerry Seinfeld lambasts a telemarketer for persistently calling him at home. We like that scene because we all know that pain of dealing with out-callers. Well, that pain is almost coming to an end thanks to new regulations in the UAE.
The regulatory arm of Dubai Land Department, the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) has given its final warning to real estate agents who ‘cold call’ people in Dubai. Those found to be cold calling can face fines of up to Dhs50,000, with agents found guilty looking at a month’s suspension.
That famous Seinfeld scene:
RERA issued a similar warning back in 2014, reminding registered property brokers that practicing direct telemarketing violates RERA’s rules and regulations, and that cold calling or telemarketing SMS messages have officially been banned since August 2013. Why? In the letters that RERA sent out two years ago, the reasons for prohibiting cold calls were that it was annoying and also distressing, especially for those who have not advertised their property for sale.
Those who receive constant annoying cold calls from real estate brokers can log a complaint with RERA’s Inspection Department, who will follow up the claims with appropriate action.
If a real estate brokerage firm wishes to cold call, they have to first seek permission from RERA before placing any calls or sending any messages – along with providing the list of their customers. Soliciting any unauthorised people be it through calls, or any messaging app is completely prohibited.
It’s not just real estate brokerage companies who are guilty of cold calling though. Most of us who live in Dubai would’ve had some service or deal flouted to us at some point. No doubt we have all had calls from certain companies offering to set up wills, pensions and off-shore accounts.
The Central Bank received a number of complaints back in 2015 with regards to various bank officials cold calling customers to promote loans and products. The bank reminded the public that any bank regulated by them is prohibited from calling people’s mobiles phones, and anyone receiving an unwanted cold call should lodge a complaint.
Be wary though, some companies may be unregistered, which unfortunately RERA or the Central Bank can’t do anything about. Unfortunately you might just have to hang up, block the number, and hope they get the message.