There is nothing more frustrating than having to pause your favourite show or interrupt your dinner to answer the phone, particularly when the person on the other end is trying to sell you something or scam you. The good news is there is a solution to nuisance calls. In this guide, we’ll explain how you can stop these nuisance calls and go back to having your evening undisturbed by cold callers.
Types of Nuisance Calls
These calls involve someone trying to sell you something over the phone. The products or services they offer are often overpriced or involve a number of hidden costs that are not made clear over the phone.
To stop these calls, the first thing you can do is to directly ask the company to stop calling you and make sure they remove you from their call list. Sales and marketing calls will often begin with a recorded message. It’s worth listening to this message in full, as at the end you may have an option which allows you to block any further calls from this company.
Another way you can stop these calls is by using the Telephone Preference Service. This is free and allows you to hide your number from companies you don’t want to call you. There are further instructions on how to sign up to this service at the end of this guide.
Scam calls are one of the most frequent types of nuisance calls. Often the caller will claim to be someone they are not, such as saying they work for your bank or broadband provider
. They will often present you with a problem which they will then offer to solve for you, in exchange for money or access to your personal information. You should always hang up on these calls as they are a form of fraud.
These calls may potentially be harder to stop as they often use withheld numbers and don’t follow regulations. If you have their number, you can block it using the Telephone Preference Service. To reduce calls from withheld numbers, try to make sure you don’t tick boxes on forms which give consent to ‘third parties’ to contact you by phone. You should also try to avoid giving away your telephone number to anybody unless you really have to.
You can report calls from scammers to the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Malicious calls are designed to upset you or make you distressed in an attempt to gain access to your personal information. If you receive one of these calls you should remain calm, not give away any information and make a note of the number (if it’s not withheld), and the time of the call. If you start to receive these types of call frequently, you should contact the police.
Silent calls mainly come from automatic dialling equipment in call centres, which will often make more calls than there are workers to handle them.
Text to Speech Calls
You will receive a text call when you have been sent a text, but you don’t use a text-enabled phone. Most landline providers will offer a service allowing you to block these calls - just search for the number online.
Calls about PPI or Personal Injury Claims
PPI or personal injury claims companies can only call you if they have your permission. If you are receiving calls without having given your permission, you should report them to the Information Commissioners Office.
If possible, note down the number you received the call from, as well as the time and date they called. The Information Commissioner will look into these companies and can potentially issue them with fines.
How to Block these Calls
In addition to the methods above, there are a number of other actions you can take to block these calls.
Call Blocking and Filtering
A number of landline providers offer call-blocking services. Some examples of these are listed below.
Sky Talk Shield
This service, which is free to Sky customers, screens all calls to your landline by asking callers to identify themselves. When you answer the phone, you will hear a recording of the caller’s name and you can decide whether to add that caller to your ‘block list’ or ‘star list’. Contacts on your ‘star list’ can get through to you without screening, whilst calls on the block list will not get through at all.
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and to find out more about their call screening service.
BT Call Protect
BT Call Protect is a service which is available for free to BT customers. This allows customers to send calls of their choosing to a junk voicemail box, which you can then listen to as you please.
landline packages with usave and get more information about their screening service.
Anonymous Call Rejection
Another way to stop nuisance calls is to enable anonymous call rejection. You should be able to do this by contacting your landline provider. Once enabled, this service blocks all calls from withheld numbers.
Voicemail and Enhanced Voicemail
A voicemail service is usually available with most landlines, it simply requires you to set it up. This allows you to screen calls and choose whether you want to respond to voicemail messages. Some landline providers also offer enhanced voicemail services which allow you to listen to your voicemail messages remotely. Enhanced voicemail services are sometimes free, but on other packages, they are added as an extra cost.
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How do I sign up to the telephone preference service?
One of the best ways to stop nuisance calls is by signing up to the telephone preference service. To you can either sign up online
or by calling 0345 070 0707. To sign up you’ll need your phone number, postcode, and an email address if you’re signing up online. You can sign up via text by simply messaging ‘TPS’ and your email address to 85095.
Signing up to this service is completely free and once you are registered it is illegal for companies to call you.