top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

French associations launch petition to ban cold calls

Consumer associations in France have launched a petition calling for a ban on cold marketing calls - with more than 80,000 signatures collected in less than 24 hours.

Two in five (40%) of the French public say they receive an unwanted marketing telephone call at least once a week.

According to consumer association UFC-Que Choisir - the petition host - the major difference between marketing calls, and marketing through text messages and email, is that the latter two require explicit “opt-in” consent, whereas calling does not.

In fact, in France, consumers are automatically assumed to have given consent to cold calling, unless they explicitly “opt out”.

A list already exists to allow people to do this - named “the Bloctel list” - but four years after its introduction, it has been deemed to have made very little difference to the number of cold calls received.

In response, UFC-Que Choisir is calling for an outright ban on this kind of marketing, which it calls a “plague”, “commercial harassment” and “particularly intrusive”.

Originally, the associations had aimed to gather 50,000 signatures for the petition. But this level was reached within 24 hours, with the total standing at more than 262,000 at the time of writing. Now, the association is aiming to reach 300,000 signatures.

The company highlights that Germany and the United Kingdom had previously attempted to address the problem of cold calling through a similar “Bloctel-style” list, which had similarly proven ineffective.

These countries had therefore simply extended their “opt-in” laws to cover phone calls, as well as emails and texts - UFC-Choisir said - meaning that someone must explicitly consent to be called, rather than needing to explicitly withdraw consent.

On its website, UFC-Choisir said: “The sectors that use [telephone cold calling] are also those that cause the most consumer problems and disputes (over house projects, energy renovation, energy suppliers, and insurance).”

The petition is available to sign here.

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Income Tax in France 2022 (for 2021 income)*
Featured Help Guide
- Primarily aimed at Britons, covers pensions, rent, ISAs, shares, savings and interest - Overview of online declarations + step-by-step guide to the French printed forms - Includes updates given automatically after this year's site opened
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now