top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon

New French law protects phone purchases from unwanted insurance

Customers can often come away with an insurance policy they did not ask for, and currently only have 14 days in which to cancel

A new law aims to protect consumers from getting stuck in mobile phone insurance policies that they did not ask for Pic: GaudiLab / Shutterstock

Mobile phone retailers are being targeted by consumer groups and a new law making it more difficult for them to charge customers for insurance that they do not want. 

Retailers and telecoms companies selling devices such as mobile phones have been accused of adding an insurance policy that was not requested by the customer onto the bill. 

MPs have therefore voted through a law which has doubled the cooling-off period in which people can cancel insurance contracts applied to mobile phone purchases. 

From January 1, people finding out that they have signed up to a phone insurance policy without realising will have 30 days in which to cancel it for free, as opposed to 14 days at the moment. 

The law also stipulates that the cooling-off period begins when a first payment is made, so as to avoid a situation in which a retailer offers the first month free without reminding the customer that after 14 – or 30 – days, they are committed for the length of the contract.

Customers wanting to cancel their insurance must do so by providing a “durable” notice to this effect, such as a letter, an email or a message sent through their online account. 

The insurer must then reimburse them for the amount paid already within 30 days of their cancellation.

A decree to this effect was published in the government’s legal publication Le Journal officiel on December 5.

Read also: New grant launches to repair home goods in France: how much for what?

This measure was welcomed by consumer organisations and the Médiateur de l’assurance, which had been calling for such a step for over a year. 

Some 6% of the queries and complaints sent to the Médiateur in 2021 relate to unwanted phone and tablet insurance policies, with consumers complaining that they were not provided with written confirmation or information on the policy taken out.

France’s Direction générale de la concurrence, de la consommation et de la répression des fraudes (DGCCRF) has also launched legal action over the actions of insurance company Indexia, which is accused of continuing to debit customer accounts even when they have cancelled their contracts.

In 2019, the company had already been required to pay a €10million fine to the DGCCRF for dishonest commercial practices. 

Related articles 

French consumer bodies launch cheaper car insurance group buy offer

Snow tyre law could be used by French car insurers to refuse claims

How will France’s household appliance and tool repair grants work?

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 2023 (for 2022 income)*
Featured Help Guide
- Primarily aimed at Britons, covers pensions, rent, ISAs, shares, savings and interest - but also contains significant general information pertinent to readers of other nationalities - 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