We’ve all had them.
A recorded message at the end of a line asking you to phone a premium rate number about your accident or PPI claim, or offering debt consolidation services. The other more common type comes from a call centre far away, asking you to answer a few questions in a survey. It seems that we receive more nuisance calls than we do phone calls from family, even when we speak to our family every day.
Here, we show you what you can do to hang up on these calls for good.
1. Stop Allowing ‘Third Party’ Communication
The first thing you need to do when you sign up to a new service or register the purchase of a large item is to not allow contact from third party businesses. Reputable businesses word these in such a way that they make it sound beneficial to you. Terms like ‘our carefully selected business partners’ who will recommend ‘services of interest to you and your demographic’ is the main reason these businesses exist. If we all refused permission for our details to be passed on, this would drastically reduce the number of nuisance calls we get.
2. Register for TPS or CTPS
Telephone Preference Service and Corporate Telephone Preference Service are free services to which people may sign up in order to reduce nuisance corporate calls. Be warned: if you fail to follow the advice above regarding refusing third party communication, then not much will change. You will see a reduction in the number of calls, but they will not stop completely. They may have little effect on marketing calls as this is for reducing unwanted sales calls.
3. Send the Company a Letter
You will have a much greater level of success reducing these unwanted calls if, instead of hanging up on the caller, you ask for their name and business address. Then, write a letter to the company formally requesting removal from their database. Be sure to keep a copy of the letter for your own records – you can contact OfCom later should it come to that. It is believed that because these companies operate overseas (particularly the large number operating from India), the UK government and regulating bodies are powerless to stop them. This is not true – they are expected to operate by UK law when contacting British residents.
4. Recorded Messages: Contact the ICO
If there is not somebody on the end of the line from who you can take details for the purpose of opting out of future calls, you may think there is nothing you can do. Thankfully, there is. Many of these calls are cold calling, looking for leads. They may be genuine businesses, but are simply lazy. The ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) is responsible for regulating this type of call. Your nuisance calls may have been authorised when you signed an agreement but you can still contact the ICO anyway. They are interested to hear from anyone receiving unwanted phone calls with only recorded messages at the end.
5. Fax Calls: Contact FPS
The use of fax is becoming less and less common these days thanks to emails and cheaper printers in business premises. Residents still report getting fax calls to home landlines unable to receive faxes. It is possible that the previous occupier of your home had a fax machine or that an input error at the business’s end has led to this type of nuisance call. You can opt out of these calls by registering your number on the FPS (Fax Preference Service). If you continue to receive fax calls, contact FPS again with details of the number trying to contact you and they will attempt to contact the sender.