New release by Ofcom: PPI most common unwanted call type


Mid May brought a new study published by Ofcom getting down to the nitty gritty extent of these nuisance calls. This study involved 926 participants who kept a diary to record all unwanted calls received on just their land-line over a 4 week period between 13th of January and the 9th of February 2014. Critical findings were accumulated such as the number, type of number, whether the number was identifiable or not, frequency and type of organisation making the phone call.

Here is what the survey revealed..

How many calls did the participants receive?

The study reported 84% per cent of participants received at least 1 call per week however the overall average of participants received 8.7 unwanted calls over the 4 week period.

What type of calls were received?

The most prevalent types of nuisance calls were live marketing calls at 38% of all unwanted calls received, followed by silent calls at 37% and recorded sales calls 12%.

What are we looking at compared to last year?

There has been a decline in the proportion of recorded sales calls from Ofcom’s 2013 study from 14% to 12% and abandoned calls from 4% to 3%. Live marketing calls was consistent with last year, while the silent calls actually saw an increase from 34% to 37%.

Were the participants able to identify the caller?

Roughly 19% of the calls received, the participants were able to identify the name of the company and the telephone number in 36%.

What were the recipients thoughts on the received calls?

The majority at 81% of unwanted calls were considered ‘annoying’, which was actually a decrease from the 2013 study that stood at 86%. Funnily, there has also actually been a decline in the proportion of calls considered ‘distressing’ from 9% to 6%, and an increase in those not seen as a problem 7% to 12.

Who is likely to phone?


The study revealed that PPI has actually decreased from 22% in 2013 down to 13% in the 2014’s study. Despite the decrease, Payment Protection Insurance remains the most common type of unwanted phone call.

And as mentioned previously, less than 40% of the calls are identifiable and this remains a key factor in attempting to trace back the companies who are responsible for these nuisance calls and applying the appropriate action. The research narrows down some causes and will undoubtedly assist the major bodies effectively respond to the national issue with the nuisance phone calls. Incontestably, they have our support in providing recipients with appropriate information.

This information was brought to our attention originally by GfK NOP conducted the study on Ofcom’s behalf. It must be noted as per that while participants may have classed certain calls as ‘unwanted’, they may in some cases have given prior marketing consent for such calls to be made. As such, it does not automatically follow that all calls recorded during the research were illegitimate or in breach of any laws or regulations in this area.

If you are interested in this topic, you should also have a look at our annual report! There you can find lots of interesting information, for example the top spam trends in 2019.


5 thoughts on “New release by Ofcom: PPI most common unwanted call type

  1. David

    I receive an average of four calls per day; most numbers are hidden about 50% of calls are pre-recorded and 30% want to speak to the home owner. Most are energy related followed by PPI claims, computer problems? and surveys. I am TPS listed and have been for over a decade and in that time the call have increased by about 10 times and now can be from 9am to 9pm they used to be only after 6pm! I have complained and given numbers and names to the TPS and they can do nothing apparently saying names and numbers are fictitious. How can an 01412802446 number be fictitious when thousands of people have complained about it on the web?

  2. Richard Hill

    I had a PPI call five times in the same hour and the guy on the phone was a foreigner with an Asian Accent. He said I have to claim PPI so I told him I all ready had PPI through my bank but he said I HAD to take it out with him told him I was not interested and put the phone down. Two minutes later he rang back and we hung up and then he rang back and this carried on for over an hour

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