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Calling time on nuisance calls in Scotland

Nuisance calls are the bane of many households across the UK. And with nine in ten people in Scotland plagued by such calls, we now want the Scottish Government to take action. Will you join us?

As a new mum I’ve spent a great deal of time at home over the last year. A lot of that time has been spent fielding, and I must admit, avoiding nuisance calls.

Calls from companies that are flogging home insulation, or calling to tell me my computer may be at risk. ‘My computer is fine, thanks, but how did you get my phone number?’ is usually my response.

I very rarely pursue these calls to their natural end (presumably my handing over my bank details), but politely ask to be removed from their database.

Does it lead to fewer calls? No. The worst is the silent calls that are fairly tedious when it comes to baby bath time or bedtime.

Putting up with nuisance calls

Alan and JulieNowadays, I’ve learned to only ever pick up my home phone when I know I’m expecting a call. Or I’ll use my mobile phone so that I know who’s on the other end of the line. But I shouldn’t have to do this.

And our supporters Alan and Julie, from East Lothian, shouldn’t have to put up with these calls either. Alan told us:

‘I have an extremely disabled wife who has numerous health or social work calls. These numbers are withheld – to repeatedly get other unsolicited withheld calls is not only very annoying but can also stop an actual call getting through. It has now got to the stage where I have to screen every call.’

Calling time on nuisance calls in Scotland

Our UK-wide campaign to call time on nuisance calls has achieved a number of successes, but we’ve now set our sights on Scotland. A staggering nine in ten of the Scots we surveyed have had a nuisance call in the last month, and like me, 75% say they are now discouraged from picking the phone up when it rings.

We’ve been asking the UK Government to do more to tackle this problem, but given this is such an acute issue in Scotland too, we think the Scottish Government should also play their part.

We’re calling on the Scottish Government for an action plan, setting out how it will work with businesses (such as SSE, who are backing our campaign) and regulators to call time on nuisance calls. The plan should focus on:

  • Cracking down on businesses breaking the rules and holding senior executives to account.
  • Helping vulnerable people to cut the number of nuisance calls they receive.
  • Ensuring that new Scottish Government policy doesn’t lead to more nuisance calls.

Time for action in Scotland

As a new mum, there were certainly times in the last year when I was pretty fed up. And being bombarded by countless unsolicited telephone calls on top of that was not welcome, and it should stop.

But it won’t stop without an active role played by the Scottish Government, and businesses leading the way with good practice.

If you agree, please sign our petition calling on the Scottish Government to stop nuisance calls.

Useful links

The Daily Record: Nine in 10 Scots have been plagued by the menace of cold-calling


Some time ago my wife and I were woken at 2am by the phone.
I thought that one of my family was in trouble only to find out it was an automated call.

D. Powell says:
26 February 2016

I agree that the tps seems to screen very few nuisance calls. It can’t screen calls from abroad and these are very often the most frequent offenders

TPS will not handle automated calls and refer you to the ICO, who never seem to actually do anything, not even respond to complaints and if they do get involved, they hand out paltry fines to offenders who get millions from their calls!

W Gray says:
29 February 2016

Always occur at the most inconvenient moment, time has to called on this form of personal abuse.

I had to change my number. It started every day at around 9.30 in the morning and would persist till gone 6 in the evening. One day alone I had 15 calls. I am registered with the TPS but no one took any notice when I told them and continued to phone me daily from the same number. The foreign call centres were the worst who did not display a number and who were quite aggressive too at times when I refused to engage with them. One operative told me the sooner I stopped talking and answered the questions the sooner I could get back to whatever I was doing. Now I do not give out my number to anyone but family and close friends and guard it strongly. The most distressing period was after the sudden death of my father when we had to answer the phone as all kinds of people were ringing us and the unsolicited calls were coming thick and fast. I said not to ring this number again as we were a recently bereaved family and the woman on the other end tried to make an appointment to ring me back the following week. It is a complete invasion of privacy at best and extremely distressing at worst and they all need to be closed down with immediate effect

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john gibson says:
8 March 2016

as my wife and me are old age pensioners we are fed up with it getting bothered ,the amount is disgraceful.

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I,m sick of calls asking me 2 change me power company’s and also calls saying that I have entered a competition and got through 2 final but have 2 subscribe 2 certain companies. When I inform these callers that I,m not interested they have the cheek 2 hang up on me !

Ian O'Donnell says:
13 March 2016

I get automated calls everyday informing me of an initiative to install a new boiler and solar panels in every household by 2016. As I am a council tenant these initiatives don’t apply to me and therefore the calls are invalid. I have explained this to their salesmen’ on a couple of occasions and asked to be removed from their database, but they don’t even answer me, they just hang-up. Something needs to done to stop these companies and like everyone else I’m totally fed-up with it!

Government survey and boiler renewal junk calls: we have got many such calls, last at 9.46 am on 15/3/16 from 01212859455. Request to talk to a supervisor got the response, “I,m the supervisor”. The line then went dead.

For 3yrs now I keep getting calls for a Mrs Russell whom I have never heard of and about selling stuff or getting discounts, they say my home number is in their data…they even got hold of my mobile number, I will definitely start taking a note of these companies from now on.