/ Technology

Will BT’s blacklist stop nuisance calls before your phone rings?

Phones hanging

In the latest win for our Calling Time on Nuisance Calls campaign, BT is launching a free service to block nuisance calls before they even get to you.

BT’s new nuisance call blocking service is set to launch later this year, and follows similar commitments previously announced by TalkTalk.

BT blocks nuisance calls

The phone provider says it will harness ‘huge computer power’ to analyse and monitor calls to its 10 million customers, with any rogue numbers (generally those that make a huge volume of calls) being added to a ‘blacklist’. Incoming calls coming from these numbers will then be diverted to a junk voice box.

This blacklist will also be expanded if lots of BT’s customers identify unwanted numbers they want to divert.

BT estimates that this will block up to 25 million unwanted calls each and every week.

You’ll also be able to divert unwanted calls to your own personal ‘blacklist’, adding individual unwanted numbers and nominating whole categories of calls you want to avoid, such as international calls or withheld numbers. BT will then prevent these types of calls from reaching your home.

More action against nuisance calls

This is a big step in the right direction for millions of BT customers, but it’s not the end of nuisance calls.

Our campaign, which now has more than 300,000 supporters, has prompted lots of action from the Government, regulators and now technology companies, but there’s still more to do. We need to see more action taken by the industry and the Government to reduce the anxiety caused by unsolicited calls.

Are you happy to see BT bringing in a way to block nuisance calls even before the phone rings? Do you want other companies to follow suit?

Updated 17 January 2017: BT launches call blocking service

BT has launched its new ‘Call Protect’ service, which aims to block up to 30 million nuisance calls a week.

If you’re a BT customer you’ll be able to opt into the service for free. The service will divert nuisance calls before they even reach your home, unlike the call blocking devices you can buy separately.

Vickie Sheriff, our Director of Campaigns and Communications, said:

‘We have long campaigned for tougher action to tackle this problem and it’s encouraging to see new technology being rolled out as part of the solution.

‘Now it needs to deliver results for the millions of people harassed every day by nuisance calls, and we expect other companies to follow suit with their own solutions.’

If you’re with BT, would you opt in to its new nuisance call blocking service? Do you, like 100% of 3,800 voters, want other telecoms providers to follow suit?

Jimmy Miller says:
11 February 2016

Hey! A great service! BT will block nuisance calls before your phone even rings! If this works, it will be great news for those of us plagued with pest calls even though we have ‘opted out’ of sales calls etc. I know BT have been checking out those callers that use fake numbers to get through and not be caught out, but this should stop that, hopefully. No more silent calls, no more idiots asking about your computer that you do not have , as in my case.

Well done !
Let’s hope it works !

These calls can cause distress as well as inconvenience. e.g if you are expecting an important call.
It’s about time they were stopped!

Let’s hope Sky match BT’s commitment.

what about kcom providing this for its hull customers

I have been very annoyed that instead of helping to tackle the problem of nuisance calls, BT has been profiting from the sale of call blockers.

BT has gone up in my estimation and I’m happy to forgive, though not forget.

It’ll be a setback for call-blocker sales; someone’s bound to moan. The poll must be the ultimate no-brainer but at least 3 people have voted NO.

It is a step in the right direction. Only time will tell. All providers must follow BT.This must include mobile phones

Of course the big problem is that most of these pests call from overseas, so the Telephone Preference Service doesn’t block them.

TPS doesn’t actually block anything anyway – it just tells the scrupulous ones not to bother calling you.

exactly – seeing as a lot of the calls are illegal scams then they are hardly likely to take notice of the TPS. Ofcom should rule that phone companies have to act and it must a free service to customers

They are a total waste of my time, and sometimes quite rude and abusive. I do not appreciate this intrusion into my time!

So fed up of the constant calls.It doesn’t matter how many times you ask them not to call they still do ! About time something was done with the nuisance calls!

Doreen Mason says:
11 February 2016

I hope Virgin takes the same steps.

Some years ago I talked to a BT helpline about this. They said they could only block those whose numbers are known and that I should note those on the screen on my phone. As my home phone doesn’t have this, and most don’t, is this new step any different? It would be better if the public could submit calling company names or refer them as phishing scam/junk etc as one does with emails. As the reaction against certain companies grows they should automatically be barred. This includes the many many seemingly “official” calls from PPI, energy saving, boiler replacement etc companies who irritate most of us and even harm to so many people who find even getting across their home to the phone difficult.

Given that the majority of other providers lease the lines from BT, it would not be unreasonable to require BT to offer the same services on these leased lines. This would be on the basis that BT has an effective monopoly on copper phone lines and has the software to tackle the problem.

i have bought a b t call blocker phone its brilliant utter peace no calles get through exept the ones thats been o k by you . though it should be free

I too have call guardian and have not had one nuisance call since worth every penny

This is a great step forward and if it works will persuade me to change from my current phone provider, virgin media, currently charge for the right to block either withheld numbers or the regular cold call numbers.

derek says:
11 February 2016

Nuisance calls are an infringement on people’s privacy

So finally the fixed line service is catching up! My mobile has an App that allows me to see who calls are from (even those not in my contacts) and to do a “one click” BLOCK on a caller. BUT call blocking will not stop sales companies just changing numbers – what is needed is control of the whole sales call industry so that they can only call people that have opted IN to accepting calls.

Frances Hailes says:
11 February 2016

Well done BT hope it’s a success.

Thank God for the invention of the computer that allows BT to take this action ….. and so quickly after the invention too. Seriously though it just goes to prove that a technological answer [ to stop most] was available it was a matter of sufficient pressure being brought to bear. So thanks to all the media groups including Which?, and all those small campaigners who really got to know the subject and keep it on the boil.

Still BT did manage to sell a lot of phones off the back of it.

“Thank God for the invention of the computer that allows BT to take this action ….. and so quickly after the invention too.”

Sometimes people come out with the funniest things…………..This is a prize one
I really really enjoy this type of thing

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Duncan,,,,,,,you are just a little more public about your views than some of us……..

And I’m right off topic
I’m just after commissioning my little ex nato hardened generator and something came to mind earlier
My cabins are all wired back to a control/switch cabin………….All the cables are swa
In other words I have not followed the usual route………here we go again…….I do nothing normal…………….
There is no RCDs/MCBs in the cabins as such…………….They are all remotely located together
How important is earthing the swa cables from interference/s
I can with a little work bare up a little of the outer pvc and clamp a good earth to each one if it was a potential advantage
They are fine as far as wiring regs go but if metered they are not perfectly grounded……..

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Long story………..
When NIE put the supply in they would not connect as they couldn’t get an earth
The had opened a trench and by the end had a row of spikes hammered into it
It had been a dry spring and the fact that the ground was opened didnt help
The supply had been in situ for many months but connect they would not do
In the end I told the engineer to return Monday morning as it was gong to rain over the weekend………….He looked at me like I had two heads
We went to the nearby stream and filled a big tanker 3 times and put it in the trench……….
They got their earth
The cable from there to the yard is 140mtrs 16mm 4 core swa used as tow pair……….brass flanged at each end with soldered on earth tail to a big brass esco
Before someone tells me the cable size is small I’ll tell you it works fine with 5hp motor,,,,,,,arc welder and the normal household stuff……….No bad voltage drops or blinking
The armour is/was the earth
However over the years especially in summer the arc welder would have tickled me which didnt annoy me as I’m pretty okay with ignition sparks etc….Others didnt like it
Then later grid tie inverters would show the earth warning which I didnt worry about as that is pretty much par for the course but in summer they would go off on earth fault

Our ground/land is agricultural and the areas I use for earth are as wet as I can find there…………
Original house and yard I used a spot between buildings where a large part of the yard rain water and hose run off makes its way………………..It only took one spike there to get the inverters back on and I borrowed a nearby meggar and owner and everything was pretty good………….I dont remember the value

I disconnected the yard end of the NIE earth but left the armour with NIEs earth

Our Cabins and that’s what I’m interested in right now have a new supply cable again which is not connected to the NIE earth.
I again used a stone and gravel area beside the main outside hose again and have 5 spikes in a line below what should be a well watered area………….
I have the end of the earth cable left above ground right beside the borehole should I need it……………
We meggered it last summer and it was very good

The cabins are all metal steel clad outside although it is not visible and covered with log effect timber……The roofs are all steel clad………The small one has a 100% welded aluminium floor………..The large cabin has aluminium foil and wire mesh below the 1″ ply floor below Kingspan…………All cabins are insulated using that Kingspan stuff with aluminium foil both sides/ceiling/walls/floors…………..The electrical shed is steel roof……steel sides…mesh floor again………All the cladding/mesh etc is bonded to the earth
The generator is ex nato in a hardened canopy with metalized filters…….The alternator has no AVR or similar but has a Harmonics transformer type voltage regulation system that no EMP will fool unless its close enough to blow the thing apart……….
I have many many spares all in metal clad boxes………….The boxes were used for the air cargo of large neodymium magnets 35EH and all the then electrical components of the day………..If they can fly magnets in the boxes I figured the boxes were pretty good so I “aquired” a few one by one………..All our spare PCBs,,,,IGBTs,,,,Chips,,,Rectifiers,,,,,diodes,,,big caps up to 6700uf etc are all in those boxes

My question relates to the potential benefit of of striping a little of the pvc off of the outer of the many swa cables inside the switch room and clamping with proper grease a bond to each in turn
They dont all megger out the same????? at present…….Thats not unusual it seems but is acceptable for normal use but normal is not in my train of thought
Would it help in the case of “severe” interference
I know from my past life that that type of protection involved good earthing but as I was mechanical not electrical at that time I had no interest at that time………….

Now a one last question……………I see nothing wrong with using the bore hole as an earth but I have had several questionable answers so to date I have not used it…….
It is over 300ft deep with water to within 5′ of the top most of the time………
The pump 10m from the bottom and the pipe up is plastic
Would it be dangerous to use the big hole as an earth……….Again in my past life I have seen a bore used as a source of earth when all else was as dry as tinder

Sorry Which and other readers……I dont have a “Duncan” to hand and I’m asking a lot of unusual questions but both Duncan and I are on the same interest level here and he knows his stuff so bear with us……..We’ll be gone as soon as I know what I need……….

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I know that TalkTalk have come in for a fair amount of stick recently, following their being targeted by malicious criminals from various parts of the world, but I feel obliged to point out that they have offered a service much the same as this by BT (free of charge), for some time already.
I have made use of this service myself, but I have no way on knowing how effective it’s been. Of course, to ‘report’ a cold-caller to your landline phone service supplier, you have to make the effort to capture the perp’s number, and that’s not always possible – how can you, when the number’s been ‘withheld’ or ‘unavailable’?
That’s what needs to change; prevent these hoodlums from hiding their identity behind telephone privacy rights.