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Cold calling: don't hang up, here's how to knock out an aggressive advisor

© Yan Krukau – Pexels

Phone canvassing has become a scourge that even the State cannot curb. Indeed, incessant calls from call centers – in most cases unsolicited – exasperate all the French.

In the customer satisfaction observatory conducted each year by ARCEP, the telecoms regulator, it is announced that 65% of French people “never or rarely answer the phone when“ 8217;these are unlisted calls. They are tired and prefer to miss an important call rather than being taken around by a telephone advisor. However, there are ways to manage – even annihilate – unsolicited calls with a few quick measures. We will detail them for you below.

Rules not always respected

On March 1 last year, the French were hopeful that things would change with the introduction of increased constraints for companies that solicit consumers by telephone. These legislative changes, which resulted from the Law of July 24, 2020, aimed to establish a stricter framework for canvassing and to combat fraudulent calling practices.

Among the new obligations of telephone canvassing companies, there is for example the explicit ban on contacting people on the Bloctel list, on only making calls between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. then between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays; the ban on calling on weekends or public holidays; the ban on calling from 06 or 07; and an obligation to contact customers a maximum of 4 times per month for the same offer.

If the DGCCRF tries its best to monitor the questionable practices of certain telephone canvassing companies, it is however very difficult to eradicate it. Indeed, many actors also operate from abroad, which does not facilitate monitoring. Between the beginning of 2023 and today, mid-2024, we can say that the situation has almost not changed for the French.

How to end it forever ?

If your number is already in the databases of tele-consultation companies, you will have to be patient. One thing is certain: hanging up on an advisor is not going to help you. Indeed, either he will not understand and try to call you again, or he will be angry and he will try to harass you afterwards. Last scenario: he gives your data to a colleague who will later try to solicit you again.

The first thing to do if you are faced with a telephone advisor is to tell them that you are not interested, without ever getting into the towers or insulting them (for fear to crease it) with no possibility of opening. Indeed, they are used to having excuses and always manage to respond to what you are going to say. It is therefore better to show lack of interest and hang up politely.

That said, it can quickly become frustrating… and we understand it. There are therefore solutions to intervene upstream and block cold calling on your telephone number as much as possible. Everyone thinks of the Bloctel directory, proposed by the government, which is unfortunately not very effective.

Today, to have an ultra-effective solution, you must rely on the Orange Telephone community application which you can download here. People who have installed the app can report a cold calling number in just a few clicks to spare the rest of the community. These are millions of numbers that have been identified as call center numbers.

There is one last tip to block the attempt at cold calling: since March 2023, operators have been obliged to call you by numbers with a standardized area code. Although the majority of actors respect it, this is not the case for all. You must therefore be careful not to be fooled – especially since many aggressive telephone advisors allow themselves to call anonymously.

A list of codes to ban

Below, you have the list of indicators that have been defined by the government according to the regions. If a number calls you with this area code, you are sure that it is for cold calling. So if you don't want to, just don't pick up… or block it directly. This will prevent you from being called back a second time.

  • Metropolitan France: 0162, 0163, 0270, 0271, 0377, 0378, 0424, 0425, 0568, 0569, 0948, 0949
  • Guadeloupe, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy : 09475
  • Guyana : 09476
  • Martinique : 09477
  • Reunion and Mayotte: 09478 and 09479

And you, what technique do you use to deal with telephone harassers? Thank you for sharing your advice with our community!

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116