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Can BT’s call-divert service really cut off nuisance callers?

Cutting off nuisance calls

Nuisance calls are a big problem. In response, BT has a launched a new, free nuisance call-divert service. Guest author Kelly from BT Consumer explains how it works.

Many of you here on Which? Conversation will be well aware of the menace of nuisance calls and texts. Indeed, over half a million people have backed the Which? campaign to call time on them.

On average, people receive four nuisance phone calls every week, according to BT research.

The same research also shows that many people find these calls more than just annoying: two-thirds of women and just over half of men find them stressful, and more than a quarter of all people are concerned about their parents or grandparents receiving them.

Nuisance calls are most commonly from accident claims companies, but also regularly include calls from PPI companies plus computer technical support and personal data request scams.

But the big question is what can be done to reduce these calls?


Customer protection

In response to the growing problem, BT has launched its new, free Call Protect service for its customers.

The first of its kind in the UK, it could see 30m nuisance calls per week automatically diverted to a junk voicemail box, before they can be answered.

Data shows that up to 15m calls a week will be blocked from personal accident claims and PPI companies alone.

This has been made possible by technology that processes large amounts of live data to identify rogue numbers (often those calling large numbers of people) and adds them to the BT blacklist.

Personal blacklist

Although the blacklist will divert the top offending nuisance callers, for calls not captured by the technology, customers will be able to compile their own personal blacklist by adding individual unwanted numbers. They do this by dialling 1572 after receiving the call or by going online.

If large numbers of customers identify troublesome numbers they wish to divert, these will be added to the wider BT blacklist.

Customers can also set BT Call Protect to divert whole categories of calls such as unrecognised calls or those from withheld numbers. The service will then prevent these types of calls from reaching the home by diverting them into the junk voicemail.

This is a guest contribution by Kelly Barlow from BT Consumer. All views are Kelly’s own and not necessarily those shared by Which?.

Do you think BT’s call-divert service will work? If you aren’t a BT customer, would you like your phone provider to offer a similar service and what else do you think can be done to crack down on nuisance calls?

Comments
Guest
rion Owens says:
27 April 2017

I have a fibre optic line for my phone and broadband. BT are still unable to provide the Call Protect service for fibre optic customers.

Guest
michael tonks says:
27 April 2017

well rion Owens I have fiber optic and my calls have dropped 98%

Guest
Hilary Roberts says:
27 April 2017

We opted in and then opted back out again once we realised our answerphone would no longer work.

Guest
Alan M. says:
27 April 2017

where you get normally formatted numbers, call protect can help stop these calls. However, I have received repeated calls from a number which only indicates “00” on the phone display. I am not sure if these can be blocked using the BT system or either it may bar any legitimate calls beginning with “00”?

Guest
john yeomans says:
27 April 2017

I bought a BT blocker beginning Feb; 2017 and I am so thankful I did . As you required I have listed , from 14/2/17 the nuisance calls received. Prior to buying the blocker we were getting approx. 11 calls daily. NOW 2- 3 plus odd days none at all . The list contains international, withheld , and uk calls . If you require I can submit the list of phone No’s and times

Guest
Alan Bissett says:
27 April 2017

I started keeping a diary on week commencing 6th. Feb. At the end of February we had only received 2 unwanted calls. End of March it had gone up to 6. It is now nearly the end of April and it has shot up to 12. What does that tell us?

Guest

Alan-It tells you the sales callers are getting more shrewd. Blocking sales calls requires looking for key words +sentences in the email but telecom companies underestimate the intellect of the companies touting for business . Dont believe me ? – well just click on a website for businesses called- Sales HQ and they tell you how the first email is seen as spam and the “amended one ” isn’t . its all down to semantics and is a very simple form of how our government “services ” look out for “key ” words . Go to : http://saleshq.monster.com/training/articles/154-how-to-use-e-mail-cold-calls , you have to hand it to the sales departments , nothing stops them.

Guest
Sue says:
27 April 2017

I applied for Call Protect but had a phone call from BT and was told it wasn’t available in my area. So that was a waste of time. I get at least 5 calls a day to the point I don’t answer the phone now, I wait until the answer phone switches on and I know who it is

Guest

Yep, me too, almost every call is international or trying to sell something,and BT just say sorry,not available at your exchange.