Who: The French authorities
When: 1 June 2016
Law stated as at: 9 June 2016
Since 1 June 2016, French residents have access to a free do-not-call list called BLOCTEL, preventing businesses from calling registered individuals for marketing purposes. This creation of this list was provided for by the law nb 2014-344 dated 17 March 2014 on Consumers’ rights, also known as the “Hamon” law, implementing the Consumer Rights’ Directive of 25 March 2011.
This new do-not-call list replaces the former “PACITEL” list which was non-mandatory and entirely based on companies’ will to participate.
The new BLOCTEL list is a mandatory system which applies to all companies. Non-compliance with these requirements is punished by a €15,000.00 fine for private individuals, and €75,000.00 for businesses.
Under the new law, businesses can still legally call numbers on the BLOCTEL list in the following cases:
– where the business has a pre-existing contractual relationship with the individual;
– for the purpose of the sale of newspapers or magazines;
– for non-marketing calls (calls made by the public service, calls issued by organisers of surveys or non-profit organisations), or
– where the individual has expressly authorised a business to use their number for marketing purposes.
Why this matters:
This new mandatory BLOCTEL list is a big step towards France’s compliance with the Consumer Rights’ Directive and a good news for individuals who want to avoid unsolicited marketing calls.
Under the previous PACITEL system, businesses could choose freely whether or not to check the list and were not punished if they chose to call numbers on that list. As of now, any business which obtains a phone number without collecting the individual’s express marketing consent must check against the BLOCTEL list on a monthly basis and delete all listed numbers, or risk facing heavy fines upon each infringement.