/ Technology

Do you get nuisance calls to your mobile phone?

Mobile phone graphic

When we’ve previously talked about nuisance calls we’ve generally focussed on calls to your landline. But do you get nuisance calls to your mobile? Our survey says it’s highly likely…

We’ve previously found that six in ten people have been discouraged from picking up their landline phone due to nuisance calls. Some of you have even told us that you’ve unplugged your phone in exhaustion. But even that isn’t the end of the problem – we’re also getting calls to our mobile phones.

Our latest survey of mobile users found seven in ten had had at least one nuisance call to their mobile. That’s compared to just over half in 2013. One in ten even said they’d received more than 20 unwanted calls in just one month.

Register your mobile with the TPS

Something that can help stem the flow is signing up to the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). Yet, of the 78.9m active mobile phone subscriptions in the UK, just 3% are registered with the TPS.

It turns out most of us don’t realise we can actually add our mobile numbers to the TPS. To put some numbers on that statement – almost all (96%) in our survey knew they could put their landline number on the official ‘do not call’ list. But only a third said they think the TPS can be used to block unsolicited calls to mobiles.

So if you want to help curb nuisance calls on your mobile, log your number with the TPS. To ease this process, we’ve worked with the TPS to launch a new free text service to let people register their mobile numbers. Just text OPTOUT to 80057.

Action to stop nuisance calls

Of course, we know that the TPS isn’t necessarily the end of the problem. So today we’re also reiterating our call on the Government, regulators and businesses to continue working together to tackle nuisance calls, with further action needed to cut them off at source.


Oh and if you’re at home and watching TV tonight, tune into Channel 4 Dispatches at 8pm. I’ll be on talking about nuisance calls and the action needed to stop them.

Do you get nuisance calls to your mobile phone? Did you know you could register your mobile number with the TPS?

Useful links

You can visit the TPS website to register your phone number too

Comments
Guest
N. Sutherland says:
1 December 2015

The TPS /ICO are useless. No teeth they want you do all the legwork for them! If you do not have call retrieval system notifying them is a waste of time. When there is a recorded all with a withheld number it is useless in reporting it. Also when there is a live person and they won’t supply you their info you are scuppered in reporting the call.

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Guest

Although I agree with your petition I was very disappointed by one of your links. I went to text REGISTER, in order to stop nuisance calls on my mobile, and was informed that it would be a chargeable text, outwith my mobile contract. Surely this is the sort of thing Which campaigns against rather than uses themselves.

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Guest

Hi there, thanks for using our text service – it is completely free to you. You won’t be charged for the text, just sometimes the mobile providers think it’s a charged text. It’s not! Thanks

Guest
Beatrice says:
1 December 2015

I also agree it is a waste of time to register with TPS & such services. Best wishes to Which in their campaign. We should do our bit & write to our MSPs

Guest

The main problem is that lots of these calls come from overseas and they disguise the true number. TPS has no jurisdiction for calls coming in from other countries as far as I understand it and are therefore powerless to stop them.

Guest
Sammy says:
1 December 2015

Not a day goes by without the PESTS calling I’m on the brink of changing both my home and mobile phones ….as we say fed up to F…

Guest
Irena Krasinska-Lobban says:
1 December 2015

TPS does not stop international calls and the current spate of ‘boiler’ calls come from a different number every time so reporting them does not help. they tell you to ‘press nine to stop these calls’ but that has no effect. I’m getting 10 or more of these calls a day. Thank goodness for the answering machine which screens the calls for me

Guest
Patricia Rafferty says:
1 December 2015

I am registered with T P S but it makes no difference. When is the government going to step in and stop this.

Guest
Katrina Murray says:
1 December 2015

The TPS are a waste of time…. It’s got to the stage that I don’t pick up the phone and I refuse to change my number because of these idiots but something must be done because it’s intimidating for elderly people especially…….

Guest
Hazel says:
1 December 2015

TPS Total waste of time, you also can’t report the caller as they don’t display their number!!

Guest
Daniel McDowell says:
1 December 2015

I’m on the verge of having a nervous breakdown due to having these nuisance calls morning, day and night – my nerves are shattered every time the phone rings now!

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Guest

Daniel that makes me very angry ,can you afford a call blocker ? IF I had my way they would go to prison for a long time and the company ,if its one trying to sell you something hit with a £100000 fine. Dont let them get the better of you fight back .

Guest

I am already registered with TPS and it has not made a great deal of difference.. I receive calls at all times of day and evening, it is extremely annoying particularly when you receive the automated calls where your not even listening to a real person..

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Guest

Please get something done about this nuisance. I have bad hips etc and find it a nuisance to answer phone calls when I have no interest in the subject. It is not treated seriously as I have filled in hundreds of requests to have nuisance calls stopped – no one is interested in stopping nuisance calls.

The technology exists to identify call centres which are sending out these calls and take action – a call is a earning money for the telephone industry and the sender – there is no incentive to stop this nuisance – so it continues.

Guest
Pauline says:
1 December 2015

My elderly mum was being driven to despair by nuisance calls. She was harassed from early morning until late evening, multiple times a day, including weekends. Being registered with the TPS made no difference, and when I complained about one company the volume of calls increased.

In the end I bought her a call blocker and in turn had to pay for caller ID to enable the call blocker to work. Worth the money, though, as my mum can now see who is calling, and doesn’t have to deal with being harassed.

Guest
Anne says:
1 December 2015

We are registered with TPS and yet we still get calls. The main nuisance ones come at a time when I am expecting calls from family or just about to leave the house: I rush to the phone either to be met with silence, which is unnerving (is it a burglar checking I am out?) or an automated call. The latter even use my answer machine facility.

Guest
Jocky says:
1 December 2015

I am registered with TPS and have always been ex-directory and still recieved umpteen calls per day. TPS are as good as useless, the companies know full well who is registered with TPS but blatantly ignore it. What is needing to happen is to stop companies trading your details. Call blocking has helped but people should not need to go to that length to stop unsolicitated calls.

Guest
George Johnston says:
1 December 2015

T.P.S. are as useful as a chocolate teapot. They are a complete waste of time. Legitimate companies and services who withhold numbers are at a disadvantage as many of us, self included, ignore the call.

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Guest

“Report the call” indeed! Many are automated , some cut off as soon as you pick up the phone , but by that time you have rushed through to answer. When you get there , not all phones display numbers. And although many other calls are live ( e.g. for wall insulation , solar panels ) they are often quite inappropriate for the building (TPS guidelines are too narrow ) . But the callers sound like local firms, very polite and anxious for work and make you feel bad .

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Guest

The tps is a waste of time

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Guest

Your right Kate so if nobody else is brave enough to say it I will . Public service help organizations from top to bottom have had their teeth pulled /DE-clawed and neutered officially to save money ,unofficially to help BB (big business ) staff reduced grants reduced and so on its called the “free market ” oh my ! now I am in trouble !

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Guest

+ 1

NOT with me, you ain’t DL

Guest
Anne says:
1 December 2015

I have been with TPS for several years and continue to get these calls, when you challenge the caller they won’t give you there correct company name and always withhold number which makes it impossible to report to TTS , I for one am sick of them and the automated ones are worse, I have had upto 4 calls from same company with 10 mins several days in a row and you can’t get to vent your anger to them or complain to TPS as they don’t deal with automated calls, don’t want to answer phone anymore and usually leave answer machine on, it’s time the law is changed

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Guest

Extremely distressing for elderly people. They do not answer the phone – simple. So why have it?
I have to go through a “routine” that is agreed to get a call through.
For my wife and myself, I do not answer the phone. My wife uses the answering machine and cherry picks the genuine calls, or intercepts if a known caller number appears on the phone. Too sophisticated for the elderly
Commercial disgrace and very sad.

Guest

Automated calls should be made illegal and the Service Provider made accountable if they allow such practice through their systems.
Try putting that one to the Court of Human Rights as an invasion of a persons right to privacy.
Agreed that TPS is useless!

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Guest

Agree re TPS being ineffective. Call blocker on the landline is good and reduces calls immediately due to known ones being built into the call blocker itself additionally you can block any other call such as withheld, or 0000 or weird and wonderful concoctions of unrecognisable numbers and they all get blocked – satisfying and peaceful.

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Guest

+ 1

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Guest

I used to be a strong confident person until I was hit with a debilitating illness, the distress these people cause is just awful. Now being vulnerable, I understand moreso what the elderly and vulnerable people go through, its horrific and can cause real trauma making a huge impact on their everyday life. Its time Companies paid the price for either selling our information or abusing our information by way of nuisance calls, the government need to step in and step up. Sadly though there are so many shocking atrocities needing government intervention that I feel Companies should step up and realise their responsibilities too. In a time where PROGRESS is the new buzz word, the World has become a awful place, people are committing worse crimes and those aiding them seem to be able to walk away unscathed. Its very sad times and I am just grateful to know that there are good people still out there willing to help others.

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Guest

A very nice letter lottydon and it shows you have compassion and understanding but that has no real place in this modern world where hard nosed politics and “interventions ” in other countries dont need to take place but orders come from “above ” and so its war-war-war instead of peace .I wont go any further than that as many will disapprove but try to “follow the money ” and you will see who started all this. I wish you well in your illness as I too know about pain and suffering and how it restricts you . I hope many read your letter and see what life is like for many people in this country and dont believe all you read in the newspapers. Best of luck lottydon.

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Guest

I do feel for those who live in what seems to be a constant state of siege by unscrupulous telemarketeers. Susan’s solution seems the best lacking, as we do, any form of immediate retribution for the numerous foreign tele-invaders, although some sort of long-range, caller-targeted missile might be a nice addition to Amazon’s post-Xmas line-up.

TPS is woefully inadequate, however, even with UK-based intruders. We’ve only ever had one undesired call and it was quite a palaver to get that sorted. With foreign callers, they’d clearly be even more useless.

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Guest

Very few companies are fined for making nuisance calls and this can take years. Fines may just be treated as business costs and passed on in increased charges for goods and services.

My suggestion is that as soon as it is reported that a company is making nuisance calls their telephone service should be suspended for a day. If they resume making nuisance calls, increase the length of the period they are denied phone services. I’m convinced this would work, but legislation would be needed to require phone service providers to take this action. I expect there would be considerable public support.

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Guest

Our experience is that TPS registration simply doesn’t work. We get over 100 unsolicited calls every month, mainly from international or unknown numbers. our phone system intercepts them but often they leave recorded messages (new boilers is the current scourge). Occasionally, I answer in case there’s a human. If there is, it is (sadly) entertaining to waste their time talking to the complete moron who is my alter ego. It makes me feel a little better but has absolutely no effect on the companies using automated systems to send out mass junk calls with automated messages. Like junk emails (I get 100-200 a month of these too), I spend very little time deleting messages or removing them from the incoming calls list BUT, even so, anything that can be done to stop this modern curse would be welcome.

Guest
Lily MacNeil says:
2 December 2015

TPS are useless.I got 15 calls on one day and 6 the next day from one company and reported this to TPS and even though I had their number and I know other people who had been plagued by this company TPS wouldn’t do anything but told me I could contact the ombudsman.

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Guest

The scammers are getting braver and more abbusive because they know it is difficult to prosecute them and the phone companies are making too much money from it so reluctant to put in effective measures to stop this activity.

Guest
Michael says:
2 December 2015

I registered with TPS some years ago, but found it was pretty ineffectual. I tried the usual tricks of engaging callers in lengthy conversations, providing false information, etc, but that has only limited entertainment value. Several months ago I eventually I took to denying that I was Mr Flexman.

Caller: Good morning Mr Flexman, how are you today?” or ” Can I speak to Mr Flexman?” or some variation on the above, invariably said with an Indian accent.

Reply: “Who? Never heard of him. You must have a wrong number.”

This worked wonders and after half a dozen such calls, they dried up completely. So for the last few months I have received virtually no nuisance calls (less than one a week) and would recommend this approach.

Guest
Margaret says:
2 December 2015

I get lots of nuisance calls and that is bad enough. My mother who is 82 and has dementia gets daily calls from companies who want to sell things to her. I have to regularly vet her bank statements to cancel direct debits for services that she does not require.

Guest
Sam Smyth says:
2 December 2015

Businesses and others who withhold their numbers are just as bad as nuisance callers as it is impossible to know whether or not to answer it. Why should I want to speak to someone who doe not want me to know who they are!?

Guest
William Maxwell says:
3 December 2015

If the call is International or a witheld number we just let the answer machine take the call.These calls are generally automated so there is no way to get a number to report.It is either PPI or new boiler or solar panels that are the subject. It doesnt stop them but nowadays it is about knowing they are going to happen and managing the calls by regularly deleting them.I know it is a pain but these callers are not stupid ,as i said the calls come from numbers you cannot report .

Guest
Celia H says:
3 December 2015

It’s the calls from India that are so numerous and impossible to stop. I believe there is nothing in law that can be done about them.