What are nuisance calls and how can I avoid them?


According to Which?, a household in UK gets an average of 7 nuisance calls in a month. 8% of consumers in UK were bombarded by over 50 unwanted calls in a month and about 85% receive at least one spam call on a monthly basis.

There are two types of nuisance calls – silent calls and unwanted marketing calls. Ofcom deals with silent calls while the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) deals with marketing calls.

Silent calls are calls that when you answer the phone, no one is there. It is abandoned. According to Ofcom, most of these silent calls are due to call centres using automated systems that generate more calls than their agents can handle.

On the other hand, marketing calls can be live sales calls or calls where a pre-recorded message is played. The goal is mainly to promote a product, service, aim or ideal to you.

In tellows, the number 02070609965 was reported as a silent call by user muff:

I have had this number ringing for three weeks, every other day at aprox 4.20. it rings three times and when I answer it closes, how frustrating.I can only think of it as a sort of scam.

One of those marketing calls is the number 01612591475. Fed Up said:

The same recorded message about them “urgently trying to contact me”. Energy related, mentions solar panels too, and concludes by saying they are UK based and government funded. The recording always states that you can press 2 to talk free to their adviser, but I never do in case this is redirected to a premium-rate number. I’ve reported it to the ICO numerous times. Sometimes the same message arrives without a return number. Wish I knew how to stop this.

Stop marketing calls
The first thing to do is to register your phone number with the TPS although this is not a guarantee to stop all calls of this kind, including international calls, market research calls or calls from companies to which you’ve given your consent.

However, it’s against the law for companies to call consumers who are registered with the TPS without their clear consent.

You should ask the company not to call you for marketing purposes or pass your number on to third parties in case you signed up for a new service with them or bought a product.

Always choose the ‘opt out’ boxes to avoid calls from the company itself or from third parties. If it doesn’t, directly ask the company not to call you for sales and marketing purposes.

If you receive an unwanted sales call from a company, call and ask them to remove you from the list. As required by the law, telemarketers should follow verbal requests by consumers to stop calling them. A written request is also always a better option.

Go ex-directory
To lessen the possibility of getting these unwanted calls, try to go ex-directory by asking your landline phone provider to exclude your number from phone books or online records. Most telemarketers often take advantage of these records to target with sales calls.

Call features by landline providers
Caller display, incoming call and withheld numbers blocking are just some of the available services offered by your landline providers which you could make use of to help protect you against nuisance calls.

Barring unwanted international calls or cold calls from abroad can also be offered by your telephone company, but most likely for a fee.

Make a note of the cold call number
Record the cold call phone numbers that you receive, including company name. If you do not have a caller display, you can dial 1471 to check the number. If it’s withheld, take note of the time of the call as it can still be traced by the phone operator. Send the list and details to Ofcom for appropriate action.

A smartphone app to help you filter phone scammers

You can also download the tellows app for caller identification – to help you filter the calls as the app will tell you if the call is trustworthy or not by giving out the complaints or comments of other users about the unknown number.

This will save you time since you don’t need to check the number in the internet. On the first ring of your phone, the tellows Score will automatically appear in order to help you decide whether to answer the phone or cancel it – 7 to 9 being the most untrustworthy numbers.

Your tellows team



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