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If the number calling you starts with these 4 digits, it is cold calling

© Tima Miroshnichenko – Pexels

Phone canvassing is a real scourge in France, and we don't teach you anything. Consumer associations like UFC Que Choisir often step up to the plate by complaining about the customer experience but nothing happens. Not even the government measures which aim to better define the framework for call centers in order to harass the population less.

On average, the latest UFC study affirmed that the French were contacted at least 4 times a week for canvassing by telephone… without their consent. This figure is all the more frustrating since a large part of the canvassing is carried out during times when people want to be quiet (evenings, weekends, public holidays). Call centers know this, and they take advantage of this moment to successfully reach their prospects.

How to identify a suspicious number?

A study published by ARCEP, the results of which were published in April 2024, shows that 65% of French people never or rarely answer the phone when the call number is not identified”. This percentage is constantly increasing, year after year, due to canvassing which continues to intensify.

In March last year, however, the government published a firm decree with several points that help: call centers can only call from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., then from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. No more public holidays, Sundays or evenings.

In addition, the State now imposes restrictions on the numbers that can call. In this case, if a number that starts with 06 or 07 calls you: you can be reassured, it will not be a call center. In fact, the latter no longer have the right to use these codes to call customers without their prior consent.

Above all, the government has imposed new codes for telephone canvassing. If the number starts with 0162, 0163, 0270, 0271, 0377, 0378, 0424, 0425, 0568, 0569, 0948 or 0949, it's necessarily cold calling. This means that if you want to have peace of mind, it is better not to answer these calls. Call centers that operate legally (unfortunately not all do so, editor's note) are therefore forced to respect this rule under penalty of being inflicted with a heavy fine.

This list of four-number area codes are specific to Metropolitan France. On the other hand, if you are in Guadeloupe, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy, the authorized code is 09475. For Guyana, it is 09476 while for Martinique, it is 09477. If you are in Reunion and Mayotte, 09478 and 09479 are the only two codes authorized to call customers with cold calling.

Eradicate spammers

If you have already tried the adventure, you certainly know that the Bloctel list is no longer effective: it is not because you appear there that you are less victim of telephone canvassing. Even if operators are officially prohibited from requesting numbers from this list, they sometimes do not hesitate to break the rule to find customers.

The most effective method against canvassing is Orange Telephone. This application allows, thanks to a responsive and lively community, to systematically block numbers associated with canvassing. Millions of French people have downloaded it and can indicate when a number is associated with canvassing. In fact, it will be blocked for other members of the community. The application is available on iOS and Android and is free.

It is also possible to register a telephone number linked to a call center directly on the site www.33700.fr which is managed by the French Association for Development Multi-operator Multimedia services and uses (AF2M). This applies both to telephone calls and to preventing fraudulent SMS messages aimed at extorting information.

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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