/ Technology

How many nuisance calls do you get a week?

Angry man pulling hair out

As you might have expected, nuisance calls are ranked as the top annoyance among consumers. Our Facebook fans waded into the debate to share their frustration, as well as top tips to avoid cold callers.

A new survey from BT found that most Brits rank nuisance calls as their biggest frustration, above queue-jumpers, noisy neighbours and rude commuters. Our Facebook fan Jane has reached the end of her tether:

‘We’re receiving about three to four calls a day – it’s so annoying. PPI, accident claims, new boiler, etc etc. and they can get very stroppy when we tell them we’re not interested and to stop ringing us.’

Liz finds nuisance calls so annoying she’s stopped using her phone:

‘I get several a day. Don’t answer the phone any more unless I’m expecting an important call. Have an answer machine and I tell friends and family to leave a message and that I’ll then pick up if I’m there.’

This chimes with BT’s survey, which found that nearly half of Brits avoid answering their landline during the day, and almost a quarter have unplugged their phone altogether. This includes Anna::

‘There’s no point ringing friends or family on land line, or them ringing me as nobody will answer their phone! It’s pointless even having a land line. As soon as my year with the present provider is up I’m cancelling completely and will rely on my mobile for phone and internet. Maybe if we all did this the phone companies would do something about nuisance calls.’

Your solutions

As the frustration mounts, many of you have found your own solutions. Eunice has had success with Truecall:

‘The system Truecall monitors every call where the number is not in your system. The caller must say something (your message will ask for the caller’s name) but if a computer has rung you and nothing has been said, your phone won’t even ring. We’ve used this for years and we can see online how many nuisance calls we’ve avoided – several every day. It’s worth the cost.’

Karen has adopted a slightly cheaper technique:

’I was getting about 15 per day, I then sent a form into 192.com and I have had only 2 this week!’

And Lisa has a bit of fun with the cold callers that bother her:

‘I answer the phone, find out who is calling and if I do not know the caller I leave the phone on the desk with the line open – leave it for hours, doesn’t cost us anything but costs the caller a fortune! The unwanted calls are getting less and less and less … Give it a go, this works!!’

More than 100,000 of you supported our Calling Time on Nuisance Calls campaign, and with this support we convinced the Government to launch an Action Plan to tackle them. This included a call for Which? to lead a task force on how you give consent to marketing calls. The task force will announce its recommendations at the end of this year.

How many nuisance calls do you get? Do you have any tactics to stop or avoid them?


I don’t get bothered by any now. Have a Binatone Symphony and turn off the ringer on the two handsets as well as turning the base station volume to zero. Leave a short blast of Adam Faith’s “What do you want” before the option to leave a message. If it’s an important call they will leave a message which shows on the base station. Success!

Donald says:
2 September 2017

All the call blocking devices/services seem to rely on using the callers number. We have been getting a phone call almost daily that says international and no phone number, so it rings. How do we stop this?

You could sign up for BT’s Call Protect service, Donald: http://home.bt.com/tech-gadgets/tech-news/bt-call-protect-free-service-crackdown-nuisance-calls-11364136279348

I do not know how well it works, but it is free and claims to deal with international calls.

Moira says:
27 February 2018

My answer phone message is “Cold calls will Not be accepted” . (said in a really sniffy voice, then nicely), “Otherwise, I will pick up, at once or soon after, when I know who you are.” It works like a dream.