SMS traffic types and legal framework in France

SMS communications are opt-in only: it is illegal to contact a person or user without asking for his permission first in France. The French legal framework surrounding SMS emission establishes a distinction between two types of traffic. Two distinct short number ranges are used assigned to each type.

  • PROMOTIONAL (Marketing) traffic: any message sent to marketing or advertising ends. Promotional messages must follow specific guidelines presented in the next section.
  • ALERTING: messages sent to inform the end user. These include banking alerts, appointment reminders, and notifications. The regulation surrounding alerting traffic is less limiting than for marketing traffic.

Rules applying to promotional SMS

All promotional messages sent in France must include a STOP command offering end-users the possibility to unsubscribe. On SENDR, users who replied with a STOP message are included in the blacklist associated with the campaign.

Numeric sender IDs are replaced by a number withing the 36XXX range.

Alphanumeric sender IDs are allowed. A number (36XXX) must be specified to be able to receive and process the STOP command.

Restricted delivery time: traffic is blocked any day after 10 pm, on Sunday and during public holidays. Carriers will queue message sent during this time until allowed times.

Examples of compliant promotional SMS

With numeric sender ID (ex: 36689)

One-day Sales at ClothyMcCloth Store, jeans are 50% off. Reply with STOP to unsubscribe.

Without alphanumeric sender ID (ex: ClothyMcCloth)

One-day Sales at ClothyMcCloth Store, jeans are 50% off. Reply with STOP to 36111 to unsubscribe.

Rules applying to alerting SMS

The STOP command is not required for alerting traffic. Numeric sender IDs are replaced by a number within the 38XXX range. Alphanumeric sender IDs are permitted without any additional requirements and no time restriction apply.

Specifying SMS nature on our API

All SMS traffic sent using the sms.send method (doc) are flagged as marketing if no parameters are set. SMS nature is specified in the sms.options object (doc).

Example codes of usage of the sms.send method (doc) with the nature specified can be found in the SDKs:

Non-compliance risks

If the STOP mention is not included in your marketing traffic, you expose your company to legal complaints. The fine goes up to 25 000 € per violation.

As a carrier, we take the quality of the traffic going through our services very seriously. We reserve the right to limit or prevent your traffic if you don't comply with the obligation to include the STOP mention in marketing SMS.

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2 comments
  • Thanks a lot. I was very helpful

  • Very informative guide !

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