Can you identify with these annoyances?


Do relentless nuisance calls, litter louts or being kept on hold get you seeing red? All of these feature in a list of the top irritations of modern life. Can you identify with any of them?

A poll, conducted by Tandem Bank, asked 2,000 adults which parts of 21st century life caused the most stress.

Irritations included dogs mess in public places (57%), litter louts (39%) and noise pollution (37%). I can certainly sympathise with irritations caused by dogs mess, litter louts and noise pollution.

I can certainly sympathise with these. Living in a flat I try and make the most of my local park on a sunny day, but too often I find that a leisurely stroll usually turns to a dog mess dodging challenge, and a sunny day seems to turn the park into a dumping ground full of lager louts 🙁

Modern day annoyances

But it would appear that its telephone-related incidents that really get our goat. Being kept on hold is an irritation for 67%, and being passed around a call centre winds up 38% of those polled.

Unsurprisingly 77% agreed that nuisance calls are the most irritating feature of modern life. We’re well aware of the irritation that nuisance calls causes, with over 365,000 people backing our campaign to call time on them.

Linda McD previously told us on our boiler scams convo:

I had one boiler call yesterday and two calls from them today, and so did my sister. Yesterday I had a call from a man purporting to represent a group of independent financial advisers and also a call “from Windows”. I just hang up and don’t engage in conversation, but I’m sick to death of them. 1471 rarely produces a correct number, so it’s hard to report them through the proper channels.

Maybe you can identify with the 49% who find themselves irritated by unexpected fees and charges, like the 120,000 who have backed our Sneaky Fees and Charges campaign.

Garry White was annoyed by unfair car insurance charges:

I purchased a replacement vehicle in March last year. I started my insurance from the date of the purchase. I told the insurers I would be changing the number plate as soon as I had heard from DVLA. They told me I would have to pay an Admin fee of £25 as a change to the policy. I tried to argue that I was telling them now so they could take account of it but they insisted I would have to pay. It tried to reason that as soon as I heard from DVLA I would contact them. But no chance. All they had to do was press a few buttons on the keyboard and email me the change. Say 30 seconds work? This makes me so angry with car (and doubtless other types of) insurance.

And of those polled, 42% found misleading offers and unclear prices annoying. Saying we find these annoying too may be an understatement; we did after all lodge a super-complaint with the Competition and Markets Authority to report on our findings of dodgy pricing tactics.

As lorna baker explained on our misleading supermarket prices convo:

Quite often it is cheaper to buy the smaller pack but the supermarket is highlighting the bigger one. One stands there staring at it trying to believe what one’s brain is telling you

Over to you

So how about you then? Do any of these annoyances get your goat too? Are there any other irritations of modern life that get to you? Or maybe you’re a bit more relaxed than most of us – do you think we’re too easily wound up?

Which do you find most annoying? (pick three)

Nuisance calls (26%, 831 Votes)

Companies offering the best deals to new customers and not existing ones (15%, 491 Votes)

Being kept on hold (11%, 345 Votes)

Dogs mess in public places (11%, 336 Votes)

Litter louts (10%, 326 Votes)

Misleading prices and offers (6%, 179 Votes)

Unexpected fees and charges (6%, 176 Votes)

Being passed around different teams in call centres (5%, 175 Votes)

Noise pollution (5%, 150 Votes)

Having no internet connection (4%, 143 Votes)

Other - let us know in the comments (1%, 43 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,102

Loading ... Loading ...
Mike B says:
12 April 2016

My greatest annoyance is the seemingly endless number of people who complain of telephone cold callers, some even saying it makes them feel suicidal. I used to get three cold callers per day on average, so I bought a Truecall machine. That must have been over ten years ago or thereabouts. I haven’t had so much as a single cold caller since. Why on earth don’t those complainers do likewise? No, I have no connection with the company other that thanking them on bended knee.


And one of my greatest annoyances is people who dont understand the suffering of those who cant afford a £100 call-blocker like Truecall or even my CPR CallBlocker at £60 (no I am not an agent of CPR only a very satisfied customer ) . Never in my wildest dreams would I criticise the mental suffering of those that need help financially /socially/ educationally/ mentally /sickly/etc because I have witnessed personally those people who suffer in this way having worked for the NHS in the past and visited daily all sections of society including those helping those to help themselves in institutions of all sorts . My role in life is to help those people not criticize them for any type of social inadequacy .


Some Local Authorities, I believe, provide call blockers foc to vulnerable people. I don’t know how widespread that is. For those able to afford them they seem the pragmatic answer. Getting rid of all unwanted calls, particularly from abroad, doers not seem likely?


Duncan I agree, , ,It is all too easy to climb on a high horse and tell everyone how its done
A few years ago I was on a good wage by a working man’s standard . . .I had worked my way along very nicely
Today and for the past 5 years this month things have changed
I wouldnt know what it is like to have to think about buying a call blocker at £60 if I thought I needed one
I do think about near every penny now but I am not that tied
What I do see is that people assume loads of things they shouldn’t. . . .
So like Duncan when I see someone who openly cannot afford something I understand and I admire them for being honest.
Not everyone can afford £60 for a call blocker
Some can barely afford the cost of the phone and could well do without the harassment of cold calls

Barry says:
14 April 2016

You don’t even need to buy a special machine or phone if you have caller display and an answer-phone. Just leave the latter on and don’t pick up if you don’t recognise the caller. Nuisance callers seldom bother to leave a message, while a genuine caller – even if using a “private” number or one you don’t recognise – usually will, in which case you can pick up if you’re there, or call back later.

suzanne says:
27 May 2016

i use tps that blockes most markerting calls .its free to

A. De'Ath says:
12 April 2016

We are registered with TPS but still get up to 7 nuisance calls a day, starting at 8 a.m. I have a phone with call blocker but as I only have one handset for it, it still rings on the extension (which I ignore). The blocked call list is now full so when the phone rings I have to check the caller ID to see if I recognise the number. If it says “unavailable” I don’t answer. My husband sometimes answers as I think he enjoys sparring with the callers, but it’s a waste of time and possibly encourages them to keep calling. It’s not a major issue now as we simply ignore the phone unless we know who’s calling, but there is always the worry that we will miss a call we want to take and the frequent ringing is also annoying. Most of the ones we get are from foreign call centres with callers whose pronunciation of our name is so far off I tell them, on the rare occasion I pick up, that they have the wrong number. I really wish there was a way to stop these pests.


A.DE,Ath–A bit worried when you say your extension landline phone still rings even with a call-blocking main phone , mine doesnt although mine is a non-built in unit , can you give me the make and model of your phone so that I can access the programming somewhere to see if that is part of its blocking features on the premise =if you block a call on your main phone why would you want it to come through on an extension ? unless somebody programmed it to do that. I take it we are talking DECT phones -ie- digital internal house phones ?


Not having any call-blocking apparatus or TPS registration we get virtually no unwanted calls so I do not know how effective the TPS is. Is there any way by which the telephone subscriber can tell how many calls have been prevented by registration with the TPS? I suspect not. People on the TPS register might get seven calls a day but without TPS registration they might have received seventeen. There’s just no way of knowing yet people constantly say TPS is useless.

We were at a friend’s house recently and the landline telephone rang. Our hostess answered it and the [nuisance] caller asked to speak to Mrs Ward. It’s curious that no nuisance calls come to our home phone but they catch us when we visit friends. How can that be? I can only assume we are under continuous surveillance!


That’s scary stuff John. I receive very few nuisance calls but can normally deal with them when I do. Had the odd one or two silent calls lately with numbers withheld. I have a system whereby I say”hello” once only and if no one answers I replace the receiver straight away. If they continue I alert regular callers such as family and friends to speak first so that I know whose calling. If then no one answers I place the receiver on the table next to the ‘phone for a few minutes so that the caller is receiving a taste of his/her own medicine.

This always works.


John -continuous surveillance – I dont know whether you said that “tongue in cheek ” or not but I will take it you meant it seriously . In that case you are more astute in the workings of our “security services ” than I give you credit for . As you post on a high profile UK website ,of coarse the government will be “interested ” in you for various reasons , I should know they have taken more than just an “interest ” in me over the years elsewhere. I will not go into the details as to why many sales calls wouldnt reach you for technical reasons, attributed to said “surveillance ” just remember they “rule ” the Internet .


I am sure it was just an innocent coincidence Duncan. I have just run downstairs to take a call asking for “Mr Barker”. It happens. I do not share your view that the government has any interest whatsoever in me or Mrs Ward just because I post on what you describe as a “high-profile UK website”, and certainly not “for various reasons”. I also find the notion that the usual type of nuisance calls that everyone else receives are somehow being deflected away from our landline inconceivable. I accept that it would be technically possible but I have no genuine suspicion that it occurs.