/ 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


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!

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.

+ 1

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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!?

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 .

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.