Scottish cities are still topping the table for nuisance calls in the UK, so what’s Which? doing about the problem?
How did you spend St Andrew’s Day this week? We spent it in Edinburgh for the inaugural meeting of the Scottish Nuisance Calls Commission – a group set up as a result of our campaign.
It was chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, Keith Brown MSP, who committed to making sure his government plays its part.
We launched our Scottish arm of the nuisance campaign a year ago, with news that Scottish people reported receiving more calls than others in the rest of the UK. In one month, 91% of Scottish respondents received a nuisance call on their landline, compared with 71% for the rest of the UK.
Between January 2013 and September 2016, Glasgow came top of the UK rankings, with 51.5% of all calls received on landlines classified as a nuisance. Edinburgh came second (47.8%) and Aberdeen fourth (45.6%).
The data also showed that not only is the problem more pronounced for those classed as ‘vulnerable’, but it has been getting worse over the past six months.
What’s the Scottish government doing?
We are aware that the Scottish government doesn’t have the powers to fix the problem entirely – not one agency does. This is why we are actively campaigning in Westminster to pull as many levers as possible.
But the Scottish government certainly has the power to influence and convene the relevant people together to find solutions to the problem – and this was perfectly demonstrated this week.
At the table were the usual faces – telephone companies, regulators, consumer groups and government (both UK and Scottish). We had a lively discussion and chewed over a number of things we could all do to empower and protect consumers.
We also talked about how we can provide guidance to businesses about proper codes of conduct and what technological solutions are out there.
The Commission will meet three times over the next six months, after which it will draw up an action plan. The Minister will keep the dialogue open with his counterpart in the UK government and ensure that similar action is taken there.
It may seem like baby steps, but we call this progress, and pressure from campaigners like you help make these things happen.
Do you live in one of these cities and feel like you’re bombarded more than most? How do you want the Commission to help you?