The law against telephone canvassing is in force from today

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The blanket ban means those who continue to try to sell green renovation services over the phone face hefty fines. Individuals could be fined € 75,000 for breach of the law and businesses up to € 375,000 (against previous amounts of € 3,000 for individuals and € 15,000 for businesses).Other areas have not been banned from making cold calls over the phone, but the new law will limit the hours of the day and how often they can call customers.

Law resulting from an abusive practice of sales calls

The law came into effect following accusations that companies harassed potential customers over the phone. Some customers reported being called up to 20 times a day by the same company, any time of the day or night.

Complaints were also made that the products sold did not meet standards, as in the case of the “1 € interior insulation” scam based on a subsidy program to support green renovations.

Édouard Barthès, founder of Isolation EBS and president of the energy renovation union Symbiote, told a news source La Depeche: “The € 1 interior insulation pack definitely exists. It is a package mainly financed by energy suppliers. The concern is that some companies would add these services as if they were provided by the state.

In this situation, Mr. Barthès says: “Consumers have been lost because they did not know how to distinguish between serious businesses and those which were not.”

The construction companies responsible for the scam would receive the full subsidy for poorly or only partially completed work, leaving homeowners with a huge repair bill after they were promised to pay just € 1.

Between August 2018 and August 2019, 1,770 complaints were filed with the fraud monitoring, Department of Fraud Control (DGCCRF), 20% more than the previous year.

What can I do if I receive a fraudulent sales call?

  • Register for government service Bloctel to add your name to an official list of individuals and professionals who do not wish to receive commercial calls.
  • Write down the name and phone number of the company calling you. Pass this information on to the DGCCRF, which can use it to identify who is making the calls.
  • Don’t sign anything. Some businesses will ask you to sign a document confirming that they have called by phone or at your door. Don’t sign anything yet. Take your time to read all the contracts.

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