Phone calls legal framework (France)

Guidelines applying to special numbers

Three types of premium number are available in France. Each is identified by a specific prefix range as well as color.

While displaying a special number, the promoter must follow a strict guideline: the corresponding colors must be displayed (in French) as well as the price.

FrenchPremiumNumbers.png

Premium numbers required presentation in France

"Green" numbers (verts) overview

  • Prefix: Green numbers use the 0800 to 0805 prefix range.
  • Price:  They provide free services (no cost per minute) and are free to call.

"Grey" numbers (gris) overview

  • Prefix: Grey numbers use the 0806 to 0810 prefix range.
  • Price:  They provide free services (no cost per minute) and the call costs the regular price.

"Magenta" numbers overview

  • Prefix: Magenta numbers use the 0810 to 0899 prefix range.
  • Price:  They provide paid services (at a set cost per minute) and the call costs the regular price. The service price paid by minutes goes up with the value of the prefix: 0810 XXX XXX are the cheapest numbers to call while 0899 XXX XXX are the most expensive.

Nationwide marketing blacklist (Bloctel)

What is Bloctel?

Since June, 1st 2016, all French individuals can register their phone number on a nation-wide marketing blacklist to prevent any business from contacting them for telephone canvassing. All businesses initiating a phone campaign must contact Bloctel to ensure that their contact lists are compliant with Bloctel's restrictions. The enrichment, selling or exchange of contact lists including phone numbers must be first validated with Bloctel to make sure no numbers registered on Bloctel are included in the contact lists.

By December 2016 (6 months after Bloctel inception), more than 2,7 millions French individuals already had registered to Bloctel.

Exceptions

The law defines four different situations where compliance with Bloctel is not mandatory:

  1. If there is any pre-existing relationship between the business and the contacted individual.
  2. Prospection which goals are to sell newspapers, magazines and any periodic publications are allowed.
  3. Businesses can call individuals who asked to be called back (call me back form on websites for instance) without having to check with Bloctel
  4. Noncommercial phone calls emitted by public services, research and survey institutes, or non-profit organizations (NPO).

Pre-existing relationship (1st exception)

The Bloctel law defines a pre-existing business relationship as:

"contractual relationships linked with currently ongoing contracts that were not terminated"

This includes:

  • Service contracts occurring over a duration such as subscriptions,
  • Fixed-duration contracts that are still ongoing,
  • Permanent contracts that are not terminated.

In the situations specified in the previous paragraph, the business can prospect the individual. Nevertheless, businesses must still comply with other cold-calling laws that pre-existed Bloctel such as the obligation to inform the called prospect that he can opt out of any phone canvassing even if he's in a contractual relationship with the calling company.

Besides, once the contract is completed, the business need to check and comply with Bloctel before canvassing the prospect again. Completion of a contract includes: 

  • delivery of goods with payment,
  • full completion of ordered service with payment,
  • termination of the contract by one party or the other.

Comply with Bloctel as a business

Bloctel offers different subscription type for businesses to help them comply with the legal obligations the law creates. While users' subscriptions are free, businesses must pay. First, they pay an inscription fee of 300 € Tax Included ("Frais d'Inscription"), then an annual royalty fee ("Redevance annuelle d'utilisation du service") of 360 € (TI). Finally, businesses pay the chosen subscription annual price ("Tarif de l'abonnement") ranging from 180 € (TI) to 48 000 € (TI) depending on the business needs.
The full price list is available on Bloctel's website.

Non-compliance risks

Bloctel holds the company which ordered the call as responsible in case of transgression even if the calls originated from outside of France. The fine goes up to 75 000 € 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 laws of the countries concerned.

Automated calls legal framework

The broadcast of vocal messages without human intervention (automated phone calls) is subject to specific regulations in France.

While collecting phone numbers:

  • Prospect must be informed that their data will be used for telephone canvassing.
  • Prospect who are called must have given consent to be called during phone number collection.
  • Prospect must be given a free and easy option (such as a box to check) to refuse any form of telephone canvassing.

During the campaign:

  • Anonymous telephone canvassing is now totally illegal: caller must display a CLI.
  • The caller must announce its identity: the name of the company who calls.
  • The caller must provide a free and easy option (such as "Press 0 to unsubscribe") to allow prospects to unsubscribe for further calls.

Available number types in France

We wrote a detailed overview of the number types available in France, presenting their formatting and main characteristics in our piece about number types:
Number types overview - What are the main number formats in France?

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