Should we have to pay to stop nuisance calls?
BT has launched a new phone that claims to block nuisance calls. Would you be prepared to pay to stop the interruption of unwanted calls? We plan to put the phone through its paces…
The occasional unsolicited call from a telemarketer or PPI claims company is annoying. But if you’re bombarded by them every day, or if you’re worried about calls to vulnerable relatives, then they can become a real menace.
It’s a buzzing topic whenever we discuss the issue on Convo and the scale of the issue is staggering. BT says it receives more than 50,000 calls to its Nuisance Calls Advice Line every month and so it’s perhaps no surprise that the company has launched a new phone it claims will let you block up to 80% of unwanted calls.
BT phone home
We’ve yet to review the phone but have requested the handset so we can put the phone through its paces.
The BT 6500 claims it will bar calls from international numbers, withheld numbers and numbers without a caller ID plus up to 10 specific numbers. Blocked calls (with the exception of those from specified numbers) are then silently routed to the answer machine so genuine callers can leave a message. The phone also comes with a Do Not Disturb mode, whichswitches off the ringer but allows friends and family to get through.
The phone isn’t cheap – it costs £44.99 for a single handset, £69.99 for a twin, and £89.99 for a trio. Although it’s the first handset ofits kind to offer this service, TrueCall’s call blocker (£100) plugs into your existing home phone to deliver the same kind of service.
Time to hang up
Now in principle you shouldn’t have to shell out in order to avoid unwanted calls. You can sign up for free to the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) to stop such pesky calls. However, 76% of you told us in our online poll you still get nuisance calls. And it’s worth noting the TPS cannot stop calls from international companies or from companies that choose to ignore the rules.
We’re aware that nuisance calls are a real problem and we’re busily working behind-the-scenes on the issue. We’re working with members of the Consumer Forum for Communications to take action against companies that bombard consumers with unwanted calls and texts.
Only joined-up action to prevent unsolicited calls being made, and strong enforcement action against companies that break the rules, will solve the problem. Products like the BT 6500 or the True Call blocker could serve a useful function – but we don’t think the answer will come in a paid for technological product. We need to protect everyone from the perils of nuisance calls and ensure companies respect your right to privacy.
Would you consider buying such a device if it meant an end to unwanted calls or would you be nervous you’d miss genuine calls?
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