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consumer associations want to ban this “commercial harassment”

A petition has been launched by several consumer associations, including UFC-Que Choisir, from this Monday, to “put an end to the scourge”.

“Is it normal for people to receive 10 to 20 phone calls a day?”, said Monday January 20 on Franceinfo Alain Bazot, president of UFC-Que Choisir. With other consumer associations, they denounce the usefulness of the Bloctel list, which is supposed to prevent incessant calls. They are also launching a petition “cold calling: ban this scourge” this Monday.

franceinfo: Your idea is to take the problem at its root?

Alain Bazot: It is a first, all consumer organizations, and even family associations are standing up against this practice of commercial harassment. It is as much energy operators as insurers or mutuals. We have a multitude of large operators who keep harassing consumers who are really exhausted. We do not understand that we do not put an end to this scourge, which is really endemic in France. First there is the peace of people. Is it normal for people to receive 10, 20 phone calls a day? The second point is that there is an extremely close correlation between a rise in litigation with these companies which are canvassing.

The Bloctel list, where you can register your number so as not to be disturbed any more, should you try to improve it?

This system does not work, it has been in place for four years and there are many holes in the racket, there are exemptions. Today you are supposed to agree if you don't take the step to say no. And when you make a move to say no, the law provides lots of exemptions. And what is amazing is that the bill which could be adopted in a few days will worsen the situation. I do not understand why elected officials, parliamentarians, are so above ground and do not hear the anger of citizens. You have to reverse the rule.

This is the solution, reverse the Bloctel system, switch to a system called “Opt In”, which would authorize canvassing only when a person has expressly consented to it?

It would be a median solution, which would actually improve things considerably. It is undoubtedly complicated to ban a form of activity altogether, but at least to make prevail the principle of “if I did not say anything, I want to be quiet”, it is the principle which prevails for SMS and emails. Why don't we do this with canvassing, which is infinitely more intrusive? And again, the companies that use this marketing system are the ones who are at the forefront of litigation that needs to be resolved, so there is a real problem that needs to be resolved.

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