by Bob Elliott
There is nothing more irritating that being interrupted by an unwanted sales call, but there are several things you can do to prevent being called.
If you are about to have a new line installed now is the time to decide if being ex-directory is right for you. It is a free service and known in France as ‘Liste Rouge’. There are both paper directories that are issued every six months and also an online directory. If you want to set this up after your line has been activated you can, but whilst the online directory will be updated quickly you will have to wait for the next issue of the paper directly to benefit. By that time your number may be recorded on several databases. In any event this might not be right for you as it may stop people who you would like to hear from finding you.
If you have a phone with a caller display or caller name display and subscribe to the service (it costs 1€ per month) you can consider only answering calls you recognise. Legitimate callers not answered are likely to leave a message.
There have been several variations of the UK’s ‘Telephone Preference Service’ in France which requires businesses to check first to see if you are listed and if so they may not cold call you, and if they do they can be fined. The most recent and probably the best is called ‘Bloctel’, a service that is accessed on line, free and simple to use.
If in spite of all your work, calls can still get through so stay calm and don’t let the caller intimidate you. Never reveal your name and if you suspect a scam don’t press any phone buttons during the call as this could redirect you to a premium rate number you will be charged for. If possible get the cold-call number as this will help organisations take action against them in the event of you making a complaint.
Do remember that many shops and online stores now ask you for your contact details so do check the marketing ‘opt in/opt out’ boxes. If you are already receiving calls from them most will respond to a verbal request to be removed, but if they persist it is a good idea to write formally to them, giving you a valid complaint against them if they persist.
Bob Elliott Commercial Director UKT