/ 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


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.

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.

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

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

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.

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…

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

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

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…….

Hazel says:
1 December 2015

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

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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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..

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

“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 .

The tps is a waste of time

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+ 1

NOT with me, you ain’t DL

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

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.