/ Technology

How can we cut off nuisance calls for good?

Our Conversation on nuisance calls has touched a raw nerve. It’s not often that an option in our poll gets less than 1% support – so far only 17 out of 1,395 voted that ‘the Telephone Preference Service is excellent’.

The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) states ‘this free service gives you the opportunity to select who contacts you by telephone. Once registration is complete telemarketers are legally bound not to call you’.

I’m therefore not at all surprised that so far 73% of you think the TPS doesn’t ‘do what it says on the tin’ – because it doesn’t block all unwanted calls and doesn’t even cover text messages.

Tonight’s BBC Panorama exposes how rogue firms get around the rules on unwanted calls, and for some of them it’s as simple as tearing pages out of a local phone directory and ringing up people at random!

Who can actually take action?

So what can we do about this? Of course it’s not as straightforward as we’d like. There is a complicated hotch-potch of organisations involved. The key one is the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as it has the power to take action, rather than the TPS.

We’ve now had a reply to our letter – sent from Which? and nine other organisations from Hearing Link to Ofcom’s Communications Consumer Panel – to the ICO, Ofcom and the Direct Marketing Association (which runs the TPS). They’ve invited us to meet them this month at a meeting of their ‘Unsolicited SMS and Voice Working Party’.

Enforcement against breaches of unwanted texts and most calls falls to the ICO under the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR). On the other hand, Ofcom is responsible for enforcement of silent and abandoned automatic calls.

In the ICO’s reply, it sets out some of things it’s doing to tackle unwanted texts. The bottom line though is that, just like you or me, the ICO’s problem is working out who the sender is. The result is that it has fined just one company in 18 months.

Complaining about unwanted sales calls

To assist the ICO’s intelligence, it now offers an ‘online reporting mechanism’ for consumers to report unwanted texts (and calls) which it hopes will provide additional information to help it track down the nuisance firms.

Just as we thought, the ICO has seen a boom in unwanted calls and texts about claiming PPI compensation and for personal injury claims – in other words from claims management companies. So please do try out the ICO’s spam reporting form on its website.

We’ll be probing further into what investigations the ICO is carrying out and what enforcement action is in the pipeline when we go to see all three organisations later this month. We’ll also ask if the confusing responsibility for tackling unwanted calls and texts is part of the problem.

Another obvious tricky issue is how to deal with nuisance calls from overseas. From your comments, it seems that lots of you have received them and yet there’s little we can do – the TPS can’t block overseas calls. One wonders if the boom in unwanted texts and calls opens up an unnecessary market in paid-for call blocking services provided by many telecom firms?

How does the Telephone Preference Service work for you?

It’s rubbish - I get lots of nuisance calls (76%, 3,204 Votes)

It’s OK - I only get the odd nuisance call (15%, 615 Votes)

I’m not registered with the Telephone Preference Service (8%, 339 Votes)

It’s excellent - I don’t get any nuisance calls (1%, 35 Votes)

Total Voters: 4,196

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Comments
Guest

Sid Samuel
You are quite correct in thinking that non responders are slowly dropped.
Cold callers play the numbers game, they might get one in fifty to listen to the sales pitch and of those one in ten will buy whatever they are selling; so if it takes twenty seconds a call then it stands to reason that non responders screw up figures and waste time. I don’t know what the actual numbers are but I’m sure you grasp the concept.
I never speak to cold callers because doing so gives them information. If they open with “Mr THUX?” I answer “Who are you”? they are not then sure who I am.
Loosing your temper and arguing with a skilled cold caller may well give information that can be used to target you.

Guest
Cas says:
9 June 2015

An alternative is to be very abusive. They don’t tend to ring you back.

Guest
Eladram says:
19 December 2014

I am getting calls asking to speak to ‘Mr and Mrs Bain’. As far as I am aware no such people have ever lived here. Also calls for the previous occupants, who died six or eight years ago. Also. ‘Can I speak to the homeowner’. Now I just say ‘No’ as brusquely and rudely as possible, and bang the phone down.

Why are our politicians not doing more to stop this? I repeat: No reputable company needs to cold call, and no other company should be allowed to.

Guest
Barry says:
13 January 2015

I have had a regular cold call that comes from around the world for the last two years. I know that it is off the same database that is sold on to other companies because they have my name slightly wrong. it goes on for a couple of weeks then goes quiet until a new company gets the database. Then I get calls for a couple of weeks, today I had the call from a UK company who were trying to sell a ‘cold call elimination’ box they have a website of that name. so I am curious to know how they got my number if they are a legitimate company and not using the same database.

Guest
Jenny says:
11 July 2015

Barry
I have just read your report, why not get a phone that has Call Guardian with it, we have not had any cold calls for well over 12 months now, all thanks to the phone.. however these people are now getting hold of me on my mobile, but Call Guardian makes a huge difference, you can buy a normal phone with Call Guardian from Tesco, Curry’s , Argos or any such place..

Guest

I am currently having a lot of hospital treatment and the hospital rings me and it says “number withheld” on the phone so a lot of these solutions will not work. My own tactic is to just put the phone down on them without saying another word, it seems to work. If you are abusive, they may get disgruntled and decide to call you back. Amazingly, they don’t think they are doing anything wrong!

Guest
Steve-M says:
14 January 2015

These wretches at ‘Perfect Preferences’ peaked out at 17 calls in 5 days, some within 10 minutes of each other. I told them I had died but still they called back. Finally I got out the Acme Thunderer whistle (from wifes Girls Guiding days) and gave them serious ear ache. The calls have stopped!

Guest

Having been plagued with cold calls for a number of years, despite being on the TPS, I now have a solution. At least it works for me, now my phone only rings if the caller is known to me or has a genuine reason to call.
I also realised that calls from non-UK numbers will always be an issue and no amount of UK/EU guidelines or legislation will ever stop them.
In 2013/14 when I received a ‘cold call’ I recorded the calls and made a note of the date and time. During the call I told them that if they called again I’d invoice them at a rate of £10 per minute. For UK based companies that could be positively identified I confirmed this in an email to them along with a copy of the recorded call. If they called again, I issued the invoice as I’d warned them earlier. For those that said they wouldn’t pay I issued a summons under the HMCTS ‘Money Claim Online’, all then paid up.
I then used the money to buy a phone with ‘Call Guardian’ (mine is the BT8500, currently £55 for a twin phone from Amazon).
Now the phone only rings if the caller is known. Unknown callers are requested to identify themselves, something ‘cold callers’ or auto-dialers, never do.
I’ve now had this phone for nearly 6 months and have never had a ‘cold caller’ or scammer (e.g. those claiming to be from Microsoft regarding an issue with my computer) get through.

Guest
CathyB says:
28 February 2015

We also have the BT8500 since January and it has cut out most of the calls thankfully. It was driving me insane. We regularly got a call asking for someone who does not live here, and never has, but they would not listen. Finally I snapped, and swore at them, it did not do any good anyway, they called again the next day! After getting a scam call supposedly from “Scotland Yard”, I spoke to BT Fraud Dept who recommended the BT8500, and this has cut the calls down dramatically. I now know is calling, and only registered numbers get through! Worth getting.

Guest

It is wrong that BT should be profiting from these nuisance calls, but until we get regulators that are fit for purpose ( The current proposal that was hitting the papers a few days ago is laughable as it falls so far short of what is needed, its a joke). It’s down to the consumer to protect themselves.

I too have a BT8500 and love it

Guest
Walter says:
14 January 2015

What can be done to help an elderly gentleman who gets a lot of these nuisance calls? He is registered with B T preference but is getting calls non the less. (Even had one from a company selling a blocking service!!) He is easily confused and could not possibly record numbers, press buttons etc needs something simple. Any suggestions?

Guest
Stuart Sharpe says:
16 January 2015

I have been plagued for a couple of months by a company apparently called Renewable Energy Initiative but this is obviously not the company name. Despite being on TPS I have received numerous recorded calls regarding solar panels. I requested a call back & when a guy did ring back I told him I was on TPS & he shouldn’t be ringing me & to remove my number which he said he would do. This hasn’t stopped them ringing me & I received a call on 15/01/15 from a guy in Poland ( Yes Poland! ) saying he was from Renewable Energy Initiative. I told him politely to go forth & multiply & then received a call on 16/01/15 from a Scottish guy from the same company selling the same solar panels. I asked for his telephone number & he quoted me 0171 8656421 which is not a registered number. As I had received so many calls from these people I did string this guy along making it sound as though I was interested & after talking to him for about twenty minutes, he then asked to make an appointment & that is when I put the phone down. Hopefully, I will not receive any further calls.

Guest

I have a old call every day even up to 10 at night, I know give them false info I say I’m 89 or a man and now I have looked up silly names from movies or carry on films like miss money penny Ben Dover ,the man on end if phone got the joke and said ha ha and hung up .i get calls for my dad who died 15 years ago .i had loads from double glazing and I started saying I live in high rise flat or a tent no more calls from them .

Guest
pwhs says:
1 February 2015

I have decided that the normal rules of conversation do not apply with cold callers. In one case where the caller was clearly trying to infect my computer with a virus, I acted very concerned about the way he was speaking and then asked him if he had seen his GP recently. I told him that some of his phonemes exhibited a quality of intonation which suggested that he might have motor neurone disease and that he could try a simple test – standing on one leg raising his arms above his head and shaking his leg.

I like to throw them totally off kilter by asking random questions, like “How Old are You?” – I have been tempted to ask: “Are you Gay?” pause…”happy I mean”.

If I don’t have time, I either put the phone on my laptop and allow them to listen to President Kikwete’s speech (in Swahili – on Youtube), or ring the doorbell and say there’s someone at the door. Then put the phone down without disconnecting for 20-30 minutes.

If they really get annoying I set up the HiFi to a door-rattling volume, set something like Led Zeppelin and suddenly put the phone right in front of the speaker and start it playing.

If it is a recorded message, I simply leave it for 20-30 minutes then disconnect. They’re paying for the time and it gums up one line.

I also get indignant if they don’t/won’t tell me their names/company/phone number. “What have you got to hide?” “How do I know you’re not a child molester or axe murderer if you won’t give me your contact details?”

I figure if everyone did that, no one would want the job. I like to give them a totally surreal experience.

Guest
Commander Straker says:
27 February 2015

Hi, I fell about laughing when I read your comments just before….you sound and think EXACTLY like I do! I have done similar things too and they don’t like it! In the 1960s when I lived on a farm, my two friends and I would ring random numbers and purport to be the GPO line testing and other such tripe. One of my friends was mature beyond his years, had a very deep voice and was very bright and articulate. He would ask people to preform certain tasks, like ‘say after me…..maybe the alphabet, complicated and totally random numbers… blah blah etc, etc… usually culminating with the immortal words….’You have been fooled’! Naughty I know but the point is…people like me and my friends kind of invented ‘cold calling’….but, thankfully, grew out of it! Glad you have a sense of humour too…my late lamented mum used to say, once you loose your sense of humour, you may as well be dead!

Guest
Sick and Tired says:
2 March 2015

I fell about laughing to Commander Straker. Brilliant ideas.
I too get constant cold callers on my mobile but unfortunately my phone doesn’t allow you to block them. Seems as soon as I use my phone fore either texts or calls then it starts. How the hell do these people know I do use it?? I have noticed that at weekends I don’t get any so perhaps they don’t work then at time and a third or double time? They drive me insane and even when I have politely asked them to take me off their lists as that is what that Martin whatever his name is suggested it doesn’t work and get another call soon after from them!!!!

Guest
Sick and Tired says:
2 March 2015

oooops that should have been pwhs that made me laugh. Loved his ideas.
I have had cold callers from these numbers has anyone else?

2036300308
08437243916
2036300307
01636302189

Now Im getting calls from a landline in my area too. Its driving me bonkers.

Guest
Brian A. says:
21 February 2015

We specifically bought new digital phones so that we could bar nuisance phone numbers. Problem one – nuisance calls came through as “Out of area”, “Unknown number”, “Number not recognised”, “Private call” so we felt obliged to answer them in case they were “legitimate”. In about 90% of the calls they were nuisance callers.
Problem two – our new phones had the capability to block/bar approx. 30 numbers which we filled in no time and could do with even more.
Yes we are part of the Telephone Preference Service and when we spoke to them they said “….. you need to record the date, time, subject or type of call and the phone number of the company that rang you” before they could do anything – see problem one (many calls had no numbers displayed).
We now try to rotate the blocked/barred callers hoping that many of them will get the message and stop ringing us.

Guest
paul snape says:
22 February 2015

I must get 4 to 5 calls a week telling me there a cheque for me for car accident when I have never had driveing licence . Know I just cut them off .

Guest
Commander Straker says:
27 February 2015

Hi,
I was cold called by a firm called Solar Solutions whilst I was busy at home this morning. I had to stop what I was doing, go to the landline phone and receive this banal call about how much they could save me per annum blah blah…you know the drill! When I said I did not talk to ‘coldcallers and had zilch interest in solar panels, which look ghastly! (my subjective opinion, you may well disagree?) The female on the other end of the phone then got obstreperous and called me very rude then slammed down the receiver, oh dear, was it something I said? They don’t like it up em Captain! I noticed they are a touchy lot the ‘Cold Callers’ . There was a door to door job on my estate a few months back, talking to an old work colleague of mine who now has dementia. I could hear the CC raving on about the advantages of this and the need for that, so I polity intervened (nosey sod!) I said this man does not understand what you mean, could you please leave him alone! I then said that ‘cold callers were not welcome on this estate. He went ballistic shouting he was not a cold caller etc. I said unsolicited calling is cold calling in my book, end of!

Guest

I have been plagued by criminal calls from India about my faulty Windows site for years.
Once upon a time I was polite. Now I use a four word phrase, each of one syllable. The first letter is F, the last letter is T. I then slam the phone down. The calls are beginning to lessen, but if they perk up again it’s a referee’s whistle down the line at full blast. Let them sue for hearing damage!.
I wonder if the new regs. will have any effect on international calls. Somehow I doubt it.

Guest

There is one word to use which will get rid of them – YES
Have some fun and waste their time, they get paid on results so take up their time. When they ask a question answer YES, to every single question. It’s surprising how many different ways you can say yes. I had one on the phone for almost 10 minutes, in the end she said “Is that the only word you can say”. YES

Guest
CathyB says:
28 February 2015

Forgot to add, the call we got supposedly from Scotland Yard was a withheld number. On speaking with BT Fraud Dept, they asked me the date and time of the call and they said they could trace where the call came from! On contacting the Police as requested by BT, eventually we were told that not enough information was held in order to make an arrest or take the investigation further! What more information do you need than the number it is coming from, even pretending to be a police officer is a criminal offence? No faith in either now.

Guest
Elaine Cross says:
21 March 2015

I have just discovered that my Dad, who has cognitive impairment (in other words early onset dementia) has been cold called by many ‘companies’ over the last 8 months and has been persuaded to give his bank details and has lost hundreds of pounds. He set up direct debits to Teleprotect for £29.99 for many months to pay for a nuisance calling box!!! And then a company called by Telephone Restrict for £24 for several months. These companies have different addresses and have sent different-looking boxes but my research has shown that both these companies are owned by one and the same person. Last week my dad has done the same with a ‘company’ called AW*DONOTCALLUK. They took a one off payment of £98.99 from him. In addition to this, a telephone ‘company’ called ITalk phoned him and talked him into changing from TalkTalk, with whom I had arranged a very good deal , to their very expensive arrangements. I now have Power of Attorney and have made an arrangement with the bank where dad can’t do these things any more and am about to pursue these people for selling to someone not of sound mind. Please make note of these sharks and protect any vulnerable people you know by getting them a cash card and removing their debit cards so they can’t give out their bank details. Any advice welcome.

Guest
Tony Kightley says:
11 April 2015

I had the same problem with AW*DONOTCALLUK on March 30th. And, they took the same amount out of my bank account. Oh, dear, why was I so gullible. They seemed to know I had a unit and were intent on up-dating it. How do they get to know such details?

Guest
Tony Kightley says:
9 June 2015

I found out that the firm is located in Bournemouth and, so, I have written to Dorset Constabulary giving them details of my experience, together with the address of the firm, in case they, already, had a file on the firm.

Guest
Carol Walker says:
27 March 2015

Over the last 2 weeks the same company clear sky or clean sky call nomatter how many time i ask then to take my name off they wont ive asked for their phone number but they wont give it .The one that did David same guy that calls each time said ” theres the number now call a taxi”

Guest

Funny you mention “clear sky”; as I have just had a phone call from Josh at “clear sky funding”, a company which doesn’t exist and who are unable to provide a phone number when challenged. Something to do with solar panels; clearly the increased fines threat is not yet working!

Guest
D Keable says:
11 April 2015

We received a BT SMS call from 0845 6021111 at 3.15 am in the morning. As we have elderly parents this is no joke. The message gave a number to call 075090677471which a google search revealed was based in China. As TPS cannot block overseas calls we have blocked the BT SMS number on our phone. Otherwise we let all number withheld or unknown numbers go to answerphone. They get bored calling eventually.

Guest

Thanks for all the recent comments on this conversation which was originally posted nearly 3 years ago. Sadly, it just goes to show that dealing with nuisance and unwanted calls and texts is a problem that has not gone away despite the good news that, in a win for our campaign, the law changed on 6 April 2015 to make it easier for the regulators to take action. More details here for those that have not heard this news: https://conversation.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/nuisance-calls-ico-prosecution-fines-government/
In posting this update, I wanted to make a new comment about scams. Unwanted nuisance calls (about solar panels or PPI) are nothing compared to cold callers that are actually just a front for a criminal scam. Some examples have been given on this conversation of firms that claim to be able to stop unwanted calls or even charge you to register your number with the TPS, something you can do free of charge. These firms are little short of scams. The most effective way for an individual consumer to stop unwanted calls is to purchase (outright) a call blocking unit. The most sophisticated, such as Truecall, will screen all calls and only allow permitted number through. We give some advice on call blocking technology here: http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/action/how-to-stop-nuisance-phone-calls-#link-4
Advice on how to avoid falling for scams – by phone or by any other means – is available here: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/about-us

Guest

Thanks for the update, Mark.

I am not surprised that we still have this problem. What needs to be done is to make it illegal for companies to make marketing calls unless they have signed approval to do so. Government should be running the country, not business.

I appreciate the efforts by Which? and I have seen a considerable reduction in nuisance calls, but the problem will not go away until we change the law.

Guest

Isn’t it outrageous that we have to buy something else to prevent fraudulent nuisance calls though? Privacy in our own homes should be our right. We are all missing the point surely? i.e. That these calls must coming via a B.T. switchboard i.e. B.T. is accepting a call fee from ‘somewhere’ so must hold the billing info of those responsible! Instead if carries on profiting from these scams, conveniently claiming there’s nothing they can do! If B.T. isn’t going to protect it’s customers then they should be made to issue us with these call blocking gadgets free of charge.

Guest
disclosed says:
18 April 2015

Change the law!

Guest

Most of the cold calls I get are of two types.

One is the “We are Microsoft and your computer is infected” scam.
I tell them that there are 17 computers on site, and lead them on a merry dance as we “try to discover the infected unit”.

The other is from someone, always with an accent, telling me that he is not selling anything, but that this is just a survey. I used to see how long I could hold them on-line before they realised what I was doing, but with the latest call I changed tactics.

I let him waffle on for a while, and then played him an audio clip. He instantly hung up. This was a pity, as it meant that he missed out on hearing the other clips that I had ready:

I once spoke the last one, in English to a “Microsoft” caller, and he did not understand what I was saying, and had to call someone else, so I was able to waste several minutes of a supervisor’s time, something I considered quite a coup.

[This comment has been edited to align with our commenting guidelines. Thanks, mods]

Guest
Howard Jones says:
23 April 2015

Even though I was registered to thr TPS I was still getting some ppi , accident claim calls etc,
so I tried a different tact.
Hanging up didn’t do the trick.
So I record all the calls and told them I was doing it.
Asked the callers name and the company they work for.
Asked them the name of the company who supplied my number.
Asked them if I was (obviously) on their data base.
Politely asked them to remove it.
Did this about four times
I feel a bit lonely now .
Most of the calls must origionate from a small number of data centres.
Just a bit of advice.

P.S. A good recording programme.
“Audacity”

Guest
Quo says:
7 May 2015

I was called recently by someone who claimed a Policeman in Manchester had given them my name regarding a recent accident. I questioned him, and said that no Policeman would pass on private numbers. He was lying and I told him, then I put the phone down. He immediately called back and started to abuse me – in an offensive sexual way. I had to unplug my phone. The calls continued the next day. I have now got caller ID and had to buy a new phone.
How can cold calling be legal? No one can ever gain by this practice – apart from the dodgy companies that practice it.
I have tried to report this to http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ but the site is so difficult to use I have given up. I’m also not sure that it would be feasible to do anything about this particular caller. I would prefer to support action to ban all cold calls.

Guest
Jenny says:
11 July 2015

Ever since I bought the BT phone, with Call Guardian, I have not had one overseas cold call at all, I belong to the streetlife where I live, and have suggested it on the site.. several people have now got phones with Call Guardian and say they love them, as the caller has to give his name , and scrolling through unwanted calls on my phone, I see a lot that have been blocked by the Call Guardian, do yourselves a favour people. get a landline with Call Guardian, you can even buy them at Tesco or Argos or Curry’s

Guest
Henry says:
12 July 2015

I vet all my calls through my telephone answer record and only talk to the people I can identify or want to the scammers will not talk to a machine

Guest
Bobchip says:
20 July 2015

In spite of TPS etc, I get a lot of cold calls including the usual charity calls. However, when I got a call from one charity which I have supported for years (RSPB), asking me to “at least double” my standing order, I decided I had had enough. I made it clear that I was going to cancel the standing order, and as soon as I had put the phone down I did so.

The caller was (apparently) horrified, but I made it clear to him that the cancellation was a simple and direct consequence of his unsolicited call. Unfortunately this option is only open to you where you already contribute regularly to a charity, but if all of us did this every time we were cold called there would be many fewer of them.

This is of course very tough on charities trying to raise money, but my view is that if they sink to such unscrupulous means to raise money, then they have lost sight of their charitable objectives and no longer deserve our support.

Guest
Mark Tutte says:
24 July 2015

I have been using a call blocker successfully for over a year. It is programmed to reject calls from international and withheld numbers. Over the last week I have had three unsolicited calls from cold callers using numbers which come up on caller display and thus get through. Is this a new tactic they are using? Do they now use other lines when they realise their calls are being blocked? At least now I can report them to the Telephone preference Service but they seem to be powerless to act. I have now written to Number 10 suggesting that instead of increasing the fines they should just outlaw all cold calling.

Guest
Straker says:
27 July 2015

Hi Mark,
Yes, I deduced the same as you too! They have been hitting on defunct local numbers and using them to try to gull people into thinking they are indeed local! I used to have sport with these idiots, but have grown tired of that now. I simply don’t answer the phone…until it has stopped ringing, then immediately dial 1471 (free). If the number looks relevant to my life, then I will ring back, but it is usually this garbage. It is surprising how few calls I actually get now…and at no expense to me, i.e buying gadgets to block them, why the blazes should we all, we pay enough to the phone companie as it is!

Guest
PAUL WOODWARD says:
25 July 2015

The best thing to do is just say hang on ill go and get him/ her now, then after 30 seconds or so pick the phone up and say they won’t be long now !!! keep doing this they will hang up your costing them money for nothing and they won’t phone you again !

Guest

01189030000, 0112886394, 3 Private Callers=4 hours. TPS is toothless and ineffective.

Guest

I’M receiving a Cold calling company Based in Lancashire & Solihull It’s a Loan company pretending to be EE ..I I Knew it wasn’t EE by what he said next..He knew my name he said he was from EE ..He said he heard my phone contract Was due for renewal which was odd as i only just recently upgraded my phone contract Two months ago from TypeMail,mobile onto EE .I said I only just upgrade I said shall I double check that with the real EE and not the bogus company that you are he put the phone down. .I phoned EE up they said it wasn’t them who called me I made them aware this number 0161 854 406070 was pretending to be From EE I looked on google I found It startling they had contacted various other people &also told them they where from EE it was a bogus scam company a loan company So it says but It is phoning Alot of people and saying they are from EE the company is based at two addresses one at Lancashire and the other at solihull west midlands..lots of complaints have been made against them But they are still phoning scores of people..So if you get a cold call from 0161 854 406070 they are not from EE As i checked with my mobile phone compsny Who I’m already with which is the real EE.Also the real EE is not based in Lancashire other Solihull..Don’t give them any of your personal information And don’t Give out your bank details if In doubt contact the real EE On 150 ..The bogus Company will know your name because they new mine I didn’t give them my address is also Didn’t give them my bank details..Many people have already been conned by this cold calling company by handing out personal information and their bank details Please Be aware and check always If you are unsure but HARRY from The real EE mobile phone company said this number it not from EE Always double check Also EE wouldn’t phone you If your coming to the end of your phone contract Which is another flag to look out for

Guest
M White says:
25 May 2016

For some weeks now I have had no nuisance calls at all, having previously had 3 or 4 per day despite being signed up to the TPS, but today 25th May 2016 they restarted, with two from men with South Asian accents purporting to be from Windows and Microsoft followed by a recorded message about PPI. Does anyone know why they should suddenly have restarted?
I don’t know what numbers they come from as cut off the calls immediately I hear the introductions or that it is a recorded message. I have signed the Which petition and complained to the regulator, but am unhappy that these nuisance calls still continue despite the changes that should have taken place from 16th May.

Guest
Janet B. says:
14 June 2016

I have not had a cold call for years because I bought a TrueCall Call Blocker after seeing it on Dragons’ Den. It’s the best thing I’ve ever bought! Its a bit more expensive than the other products on the market but I really recommend it.

Guest

I am disappointed that we don’t yet have a technical solution to put an end to nuisance calls and having everyone buy a call blocker seems a very inefficient solution.

I transferred my phone number from one house to another and discovered that caller display did not work. On investigation, I discovered that it is still an optional feature, even though I had assumed it had become standard. Rather than having call blocking done by millions of people buying a call blocker, perhaps the service could be built into landline and mobile phone systems. Like caller display, call blocking could be an optional facility.

Guest

This is the question that keeps being asked and, apart from duncan, no-one – including Which? and the author has provided an answer – is there a technical solution that will stop all unwanted calls? So no good banging our heads against a brick wall if there is not a practical technical solution available. We need to concentrate then on making the best of a bad job and proposing ways of reducing the large majority of unwanted calls. For the remainder then buying a call blocker may be the best answer.

A bit like wanting to stop burglary; it is against the law, we don’t want it but we can’t stop it. But we can take precautions to minimise its likelihood.

Guest

Since you have replied to my comment, please can I ask what’s wrong with my suggestion?

Provide call blocking as an optional feature of the phone service rather than everyone having to install a call blocker.

Guest

There is nothing wrong with your, or any suggestion that can be practically implemented to block all calls. I question whether this is technically feasible or practical – a question that I would hope someone can answer.

Although I “replied” to you wavechange it was as much to keep my comment linked to the relevant bit of the convo so it can be seen in context. Sometimes people seem to think “replying to” to or quoting from a contributor is making an attack on their views; not so. It is the best way I can see to deal with keeping the thread. 🙂

Guest

Given that there is no way technically for a telephone system to recognise a call as being a nuisance until a recipient lists it or reports it as such, the holy grail of stopping nuisance calls is to have the blocking technology installed in the telephone system centrally and as soon as three subscribers [or whatever number is considered reasonable] report a call as a nuisance the number is blocked across the whole system both outgoing and incoming.

Guest

A good way to disrupt legitimate business if you (three or more) wish to, perhaps.

Guest

Earlier this year we learned of a company that made 46 million nuisance calls before it was fined. No doubt there will be some people who would act maliciously to get a company into trouble, but provided that there is real evidence of nuisance calls, I would like to see action and not wait for the problem to grow.

Maybe ICO staff could investigate the nuisance calls they receive rather than expecting us to report them.

Guest

wavechange -you were asking about using your line without a separate telephone circuit with fibre . Well no FFTC can supply that but if you get in FTTP with a box outside or up to your modem and then apply for – DOCSIS 3 broadband that would do the job . The problem is BT hasnt universally enabled that function in its equipment although Virgin has . Its a different method of exchange equipment communications . BT are doing tests in Bradford and Sky/Talk -Talk /City Fibre are enabling it in York so its progressing . First step would be FTTP to get you ready .

Guest

I realised, Malcolm, that anything relying on personal reports would be open to malicious use so assumed there would have to be some form of evidence and confirmation from the authorities before a total denial of service was implemented.

Guest

Now that I have fibre broadband I might take an interest in the technical side, but my current interest is in the possibility that switching from copper to fibre to convey phone calls might offer new ways of tackling the problem of nuisance calls. That might just be wishful thinking.

I’ve definitely got FTTP because I watched the engineer showed me the fibre in a box outside the front door.

Guest

I agree John. The same can happen reporting to Trading Standards (via the CAB). Someone has to spend the time to ensure genuine and valid complaints have been made before action can be contemplated.

I wonder how we could implement denial of service to overseas sources?

Guest
Ian says:
16 July 2016

Reports to Trading Standards go via The Citizen’s Advice Consumer Helpline, not via Citizen’s Advice Bureaux.

“CA” and “CAB” are two separate things.

CA is a national organisation that replaces Consumer Direct.

CAB is a network of local offices that help people with various issues.

Guest

Apparently “Citizens Advice, previously Citizens Advice Bureau….is a network of 316 independent charities throughout the United Kingdom that give free, confidential information and advice to assist people with money, legal, consumer and other problems”. according to Wiki. If so I don’t know why names have to keep changing when the function is the same.

Guest

John – It seems inconceivable that any company or other organisation would have its phone service withheld as a punishment unless there was evidence that it (or another company under its instruction) was using its phone service to make nuisance calls.

It would be interesting to find out if the phone service provider can legally withhold a company’s phone service for making nuisance calls. The last time I looked at my terms and conditions, I saw that my provider reserves the right to terminate my service for many reasons, but that is a domestic line and commercial services will operate under different rules.

Even if the phone service provider can withhold its service to a company, would it do so and under whose instruction?

Guest

So long as the telecoms service provider was collecting revenue from a caller I suspect it would not be noticing any improper use of its network unless it was under a regulatory obligation to do so – i.e. by first having reasonable grounds of suspicion and then listening in.

It might be simpler all round for the government to pay for a free call-blocking device for every household that wants one [more useful than a smart meter in most cases so people should have a choice].

Guest

I am receiving quite a lot of unwanted calls I tried being polite at first but the caller doesn’t listen so I tried being rude they still keep ringing it’s a company who call themselves Perfect Benefits they don’t leave their number when i check some are very argumentative (had one today said he was Allan I told him I do not want to answer his questions he kept on talking then said he would talk later, they just don’t get it . I am registered with TPS but these callers still get through really sick of it.

Guest

You might like to check with the TPS to see whether “Perfect Benefits” is a member; if so you should report their persistent cold calling and refusal to desist. Also report it to the Information Commissioner’s Office as cold calling by a TPS member, or by any firm after being informed that calls are not wanted, is an offence.

Guest

John , if its the “Perfect Benefits Group ” US insurance company you wont stop it, its based in New York, and listen to this “APPROVED ” by the US Chamber of Commerce . Its the only one I can find that fits the PB logo. I will try to find if it has a UK branch.

Guest

Duncan – it’s Ver who is being repeatedly troubled by a company calling itself “Perfect Benefits”. It sounds completely fraudulent to me and could indeed also be ripping-off the American company with the same name. I have advised Ver what to do to check and report this case of offensive cold calling.

Guest
Colin Morris says:
16 February 2017

I’ve now had about forty pre-recorded messages offering free boiler replacement for those on benefits, which I’m not. Each message comes from a different ten digit phone number which cannot be recognised
on calling back. There is an option to press 9 to stop the calls, but it doesn’t work. I’ve told ICO and hope they can do something. There have been 4 calls today!

Guest

You are being block number dialed Colin until the government acts on behalf of its angry citizens you are left with buying a GOOD call-blocker which will block ALL types of scam calls + others.