/ Technology

Nuisance calls crackdown: the progress so far

One year on from the first report by the Nuisance Calls and Texts Task Force, we’ve found some good progress but there’s still more to do.

Last year the Government asked me to chair a task force to look at the causes of nuisance calls and what could be done to tackle this modern day menace that affects so many of us. Together with regulators and industry bodies, this task force set out 15 recommendations for businesses, regulators and the Government to help stop nuisance calls.

Today, one year on since these recommendations were published, we have been looking at what has been achieved in the last year. Here’s what we found:

Actions by businesses and industry bodies

There has been some progress from big business and the third sector. For example, SSE has made one of its directors accountable for nuisance calls, and telecoms providers are working with Ofcom to identify nuisance call activities. The Charity Commission, the Institute of Fundraising and the Fundraising Standards Board are working with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

However, the majority of companies have not announced or committed to making nuisance calls a board level issue.

Actions for regulators

Earlier this year the Competition and Markets Authority published a report on the commercial use of consumer data and has committed to play a role in any future regulation on this issue. The ICO is revising its guidance and has mystery shopped firms making unsolicited marketing calls and texts. It will also be holding workshops and consultations in the New Year looking at the wording of marketing consent.

Meanwhile, Ofcom is developing a process to register mobile numbers with the Telephone Preference Service by text and has opened a consultation to review its policy on how it tackles silent and abandoned calls under the Communications Act.

Actions for the Government

The big step forward this year came when the Government made it easier for the ICO to fine companies who are found to be making cold calls, and we’ve seen a number of hefty fines over the past year.

However, there’s been no progress on giving the regulator more powers to hold board level executives to account if they’re found flouting the rules – a key ask of our Calling Time campaign.

Meanwhile we’re still waiting on the Government to consult on legislation to introduce Caller Line Identification for marketing calls, making it simpler for people to see who’s calling them.

As yet, an awareness campaign aimed at businesses has not been launched and the Government also need to assess new policies, to ensure they do not lead to nuisance calls.

There’s more to be done


Across the UK more than 300,000 people have backed our campaign to call time on nuisance calls. Despite some good progress, we’re still seeing high levels of unwanted calls and texts so more work still needs to be done to put an end to this everyday menace once and for all.

The Government, regulators and businesses need to continue to work together, with further action to cut nuisance calls off at source and make senior executives accountable if their company is caught flouting the rules.

Comments
Guest

BT ( and other providers) already have the technology to block nuisance callers but prefers to sell phones to do the same ( having already sold one or more versions which were manifestly not fit for purpose).Why should I pay £80 for them to do what they can / should do already?
Also the government is dragging its heels in putting effective financial legislation in place to deter those who ignore those with TPS in place

Guest

I have a Trucall which is supposed to block calls but all they do is leave a message.

Guest

Most nuisance callers simply hang up.

Those that leave a message, you simply reject the call and move on.

Guest
Robert C says:
27 May 2016

BT also charge me a significant fee / quarter for the 1471 service so that I can spot the caller’s number. I believe the service should be free – so that we can report the nuisance callers.

Guest

While reading throughthe comments on nuisance calls, now. I have just had a call from BT, trying to sell me a telephone that stops nuisance calls, or 2 or 3. Are BT monitoring these comments. Is’nt that nuisance calling by (BIG BROTHER). It seems we are being watched! Time. 14.57. 15.12.2015. The old git.

Guest

Ronald–While BT are probably monitoring the Which website (like most BB,s ) I think you can take it for granted that it was not the real BT that called to sell you phones . I have been with BT for decades and have never got a phone call from them trying to sell me something. AS a matter of fact I was given the option of not receiving sales emails but elected to get them as I like to keep up to date with telephone technology . But for your information every website has trackers on on it ,some 1/2 others 8/9 its a battle blocking them ,although I allow BT to track me.

Guest

It’s not just nuisance call’s it is also nuisance mail that tell’s you, you have won £10.000. or more. This mail is generated from abroad where the rules are more relaxed. The Royal mail are obligated too deliver this mail and these busines’s know this. There should be a preference to stop this. Thousands of elderly people are scammed out of a lot of money every day, and when the crooks get a person who falls for there con, they then pass their details on to other scammers.

Guest

I hate the onse on mobiles which say you’ve won a prize and sneakily put in you’ve agreed to pay a monthly sum obviously added to your telephone bill

Guest
STEADman says:
16 December 2015

We are imprisoned in a self-contained Electronic Community!!!