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Sign-ups to French anti-cold call list to be renewed automatically

From January 1, people will no longer have to manually resubscribe to the Bloctel red list 

Bloctel is automating its subscription renewal process Pic: Benjamin Clapp / Shutterstock

It is now no longer necessary for people in France to resubscribe to Bloctel each year, as the renewal process becomes automated. 

From January 1, 2022, consumers will not need to do anything in order to renew their Bloctel subscription for a period of three years. 

Currently, users are warned three months before the end of their subscription that they need to roll it over if they wish to keep their number on the Bloctel database.

The change follows a decree published in the government’s official legal publication Le Journal officiel on November 28.

Bloctel is a free-to-use red list of phone numbers belonging to people who are opposed to receiving cold calls. Companies are supposed to consult the list before they begin contacting households in France. 

In theory, it means that only businesses which already have a contractual relationship with the household in question can call their phone.

Many users have reported that the service – which was set up in 2016 – does not work, with hundreds of thousands still receiving unsolicited calls after signing up. 

However, in July 2020 consumer organisations successfully petitioned for a law that forbids companies and individuals from making calls to offer eco-friendly home renovation services, which had become increasingly common in previous years. 

This legislation also increased sanctions for illegal cold calling, in a bid to reinforce the authority of the Bloctel list. 

Individuals who make unsolicited calls illegally can now be fined €75,000, while companies may have to pay €375,000. Previously, such fines had been capped at €3,000 or €15,000. 

Under Bloctel’s new automatic renewal system, customers can still cancel their subscription at any time. 

Related stories 

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

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

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