Fighting Nuisance Calls

Unsolicited nuisance calls plague the lives of many in the UK, with callers offering everything from green deal home improvements to claiming compensation for that car accident you weren’t involved in.

In many cases these calls are not just an unwelcome interruption to our day but can end up in vulnerable people making purchases of items or services they do not need or even becoming the victims of fraud, such as the Pension Scam.

Following a campaign by Which, the BBC reports that a taskforce has been set up to tackle nuisance calls.  This is welcome news.

Individuals can act to protect themselves too.  You can reduce the number of cold calls by registering your landline and mobile numbers with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).   Theoretically, this should stop all cold calls within a month.  Unfortunately, there is evidence that some companies ignore their responsibility not to call people who are registered – but at least it should cut down the number of nuisance calls you get.

If a company does call you, it is worth noting the number that called you and the name of the company, and reporting it to TPS and to the Information Commissioner’s Office.  It is worth asking to be taken off their list and pointing out that they are breaking the law, as you are registered with the TPS.  Personally, I find asking for their surname and then asking to be put through to their supervisor, and asking for his/her surname, tends to discourage them from calling back (they’ll never actually give you a surname but asking underlines that you are likely to complain).

The National Accident Helpline has produced a guide on how to report nuisance calls, including unwanted texts and emails.  Rip-Off Britain also has a few hints and tips.

We all have a part to play: the more people who report unwanted calls back to the authorities, the easier it will be for them to assess the scale of the problem and  take action on our behalf.