Monday, 8 July 2013

Time to call time

I don’t know anyone who isn’t getting increasingly infuriated by the number of nuisance phone calls to their home phones. And now the problem has been extended with unwanted calls and texts to mobile phones.

The latest research by Which shows that nearly one in ten people received 50 unwanted calls or more in the last month, mainly from Payment Protection Insurance and accident claim companies. Even when people take action by signing up to the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), they still received on average ten unsolicited calls in the last month.

It is suggested that people are often targeted with nuisance calls and texts because at some point they ‘ticked the box’ giving consent to companies not only to contact them but also to pass on their personal data to third parties. I don’t believe a word of it. It is clear that many call centre companies take absolutely no regard for the laws on privacy and will just pursue anyone for whom they have a telephone number.

And, this isn’t confined to overseas call centres, as is demonstrated by the recent hefty fine for a Welsh call centre, currently featured in a series of TV programmes. Unfortunately, far too often, these callers hide behind ‘withheld’ or phony (sic) international numbers that make it difficult for people to report in the expectation of action being taken.

It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the telephone network operators aren’t really bothered by all this as, after all, they are making a lot of money out of both criminal and unlawful calls and spam. The network operators have all sorts of technical ways in which this can be reduced eg spam filtering technology, and only transmitting multiple calls from registered phones.

This is why I’m backing a Which campaign - Calling Time on Nuisance Calls and Texts campaign. Find out more, and add your support at