top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

French heat pump firm fined €460,000 for home cold calling despite ban

Almatys called hundreds of thousands of households, ignoring a 2020 law which prohibits this practice

Eco-friendly renovation company Almatys made hundreds of thousands of cold calls between October and November 2020 Pic: chainarong06 / Shutterstock

A company selling eco-friendly home renovation services has been fined €460,000 for cold calling hundreds of thousands of homes despite being banned from doing so.

Since September 2020, it has been illegal for businesses selling products such as heat pumps or solar panels to make unsolicited calls to households in France, even if their phone number is not included on the anti-cold calling list Bloctel.

Now, these businesses may only make calls to customers with whom they already have a contractual agreement. 

The ban came into force following accusations that companies were harassing potential clients by phone, with some people claiming that they were being called up to 20 times a day. 

There were also complaints that the products being sold were not up to standard, and that low-income homeowners were being offered renovations on their outside walls for just €1, with the cost apparently subsidised by a government scheme.

The work then carried out was not up to standard, and often necessitated further, more expensive repairs.

Read more: Change to law against phone cold calling 

Read more: French homeowners warned of new ‘eco’ insulation scam

In spite of this, Almatys, which sells energy-efficient devices such as heat pumps, called several hundred thousand people between October and November 2020.

The penalty was issued by consumer protection service Direction départemental de la protection des populations d’Ille-et-Vilaine, who also fined solar panel company Nrgie Conseil €65,000 for cold calling tens of thousands of people.

Over the course of 2020, competition regulator Direction générale de la concurrence, de la consommation et de la répression des fraudes (DGCCRF) inspected more than 1,500 businesses to ensure that they were observing rules surrounding cold calls.

These enquiries led to 108 companies being fined for failing to respect the anti-cold calling phone number lists in place. The penalties handed out totalled €4.3million, twice as much as in the previous year.

People who buy products or services from cold callers while unaware of the ban in place for eco-friendly renovation services can initiate legal proceedings before a legal judge in order to cancel their contract. 

Those who have received cold calls from any company offering such renovation services should report them to the French government platform SignalConso.

Related articles

‘Just speak English’: readers’ tips on tackling cold calls in France

France’s anti-nuisance calls service Bloctel breaks down

Law to tackle France's nuisance cold-call problem not enough

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
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
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