People in France can now detect which phone calls come from telemarketing centres after new number regulation came into force on January 1.
New rules from the telecoms regulation agency have limited the numbers that telemarketing companies can use. This makes it easier to tell what kind of call you are receiving before you answer it.
Commercial sales and marketing calls must now begin with one of the following numbers:
- 0162 or 0163
- 0270 or 0271
- 0377 or 0378
- 0424 or 0425
- 0568 or 0569
- 0948 or 0949
Commercial callers, sales reps, and telemarketing callers are not allowed to use any numbers that do not start with one of these four-digit combinations. The use of any numbers beginning with 06 or 07 is now also forbidden for call centres and commercial callers.
You may wish to block any numbers that start with the four-digit combinations above, or make a note of them so you can avoid any unwanted calls if these numbers appear on your screen.
It had also previously been reported, on the official service-public.fr website, that other numbers were also used by commercial marketing callers. However, this is not correct. The numbers below may be used by businesses, but they are not necessarily sales or spam calls.
- 0937, 0938 and 0939
These numbers only signify that telephone software is being used. The calls made from them may be genuine, and you may not want to miss or block them. They could be from services such as parcel delivery people, car-sharing app drivers, and even banks.
This ‘new’ Autorité française de régulation des télécoms (Arcep) regulation already works for other numbers. For example, it is the reason that all mobile numbers in France begin with 06 or 07.
The regulation comes after the government’s Bloctel service, which was supposed to stop cold callers from calling people who had opted out, was reported to be ineffective by many users.
In March 2022, new anti-harassment laws came into force that stipulated that callers selling contracts must get explicit permission from the person on the other end of the line before they go on. However, this does not stop them calling in the first place.
Some consumer associations, including UFC-Que Choisir, have called for a ban on all types of selling over the phone.