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Nuisance calls, texts and emails wasting two full working days a year

New research highlights the disruption caused by nuisance marketing.

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2 December 2015 / by National Accident Helpline Communications / legal-and-consumer-news

New research has revealed that Britons waste two full working days a year or a staggering six weeks (40 days) across their adult lives dealing with nuisance calls, texts and spam emails.

The YouGov survey of over 2,000 adults, commissioned by National Accident Helpline – which is leading the personal injury sector in calling for improved standards on marketing – revealed the extent of the disruption caused by unwanted interruptions to people’s already busy lives: 

•    Over 15 hours a year is wasted as a result of dealing with nuisance calls, texts and emails. 
•    Almost 8 hours (7.43 hours) a year is wasted through deleting spam emails, and almost 5 hours (4.46 hours) through answering nuisance calls. 
•    70% of people have been interrupted by a cold call whilst doing something important – with 46% being disrupted when spending time with family and 24% during a sensitive conversation. 
•    People also reported being interrupted by a nuisance call whilst giving birth, during a funeral, when handling live wires and even operating a chainsaw. 

Nuisance marketing was shown to have a disproportionate impact on older people in society, with retirees on average wasting more than two weeks* of their retirement dealing with nuisance marketing. In comparison, students waste 10.2 hours per year, or 30.6 hours in total throughout a three year undergraduate degree. 

Chief Executive of National Accident Helpline, Russell Atkinson, said: 

"We have all experienced the disruptive impact that nuisance marketing has – deep in thought at our desks, out with family and friends or in the middle of cooking a meal, the phone rings only for it to be a cold call. Whilst each call might only last for a minute or less, this can quickly add up over the course of a month or year.

“National Accident Helpline wants to put an end to this disruption, and as part of our Stop Nuisance Calls campaign we’re continuing to raise awareness of the practical steps that people can take to prevent and report nuisance marketing.

“We are also encouraging other organisations to sign-up to the Ethical Marketing Charter – an industry-led initiative that calls on businesses in the personal injury sector to commit to never cold calling, texting or emailing consumers. 

“All of this will help people to start reclaiming their time and spend more of it doing the things they enjoy most.”

Mike Lordan, Director of External Affairs at the Direct Marketing Association, said: 

“This research highlights that nuisance calls and texts continue to be a key source of frustration for consumers, and we would encourage people to sign-up to the Telephone Preference Service to ensure they are provided with more protection from unsolicited marketing.”

As part of the research, respondents were asked how they would spend the time wasted on nuisance marketing if they were able to reclaim it – with the vast majority wanting to spend time on a hobby, with family and friends or take a well-earned break from their hectic schedule. Among the most popular responses were: 

•    Relaxing and catching up on sleep 
•    Spending time with family and loved ones
•    Working or studying 
•    Reading 
•    Gardening and walking 
•    Watching TV 

However, the survey demonstrated that many people would simply rather do anything than deal with nuisance marketing – with cage fighting and watching paint dry among the suggestions put forward by consumers. 

National Accident Helpline is asking people to share their ideas on how they would reclaim their time. Submit a suggestion on how you would use the time wasted on nuisance marketing on Twitter @NatAccHelpline using the hashtag #ReclaimMyTime. 

*Based on a 20 year retirement period.


The attached sheet provides further information on the findings of the National Accident Helpline/YouGov research along with a breakdown of the practical steps that consumers can take to both prevent and report nuisance calls. 


Sam Pettit (Bellenden) 
020 7234 3302 / 07429 124246 

About National Accident Helpline

National Accident Helpline is the UK’s leading provider of personal injury advice, services and support, and represents 50 legal practices across the UK. If a consumer has had an accident or illness which was someone else’s fault then we will put them in touch with one of our panel solicitor firms, so they can seek redress for the injury they have suffered.

Through our approved network of specialist personal injury solicitor firms, we champion consumer rights for people who have suffered a personal injury, helping those with genuine claims to seek redress and secure access to justice to help aid their recovery. 

National Accident Helpline is regulated by the Claims Management Regulator in respect of claims management activities and is a registered company, incorporated in the UK. For more information please visit the website:  

About the Ethical Marketing Charter

National Accident Helpline is the founder of the Ethical Marketing Charter – an industry-led initiative that allows companies in the personal injury sector to take a public stand against unethical marketing practices and to demonstrate their own commitment to ethical and professional practices which are to the benefit of consumers. 

National Accident Helpline defines unethical marketing as any marketing communications that are deceptive, confusing or aggressive – companies should never coerce you into hearing about their products and services. 

Signatories to the Charter formally and publicly pledge to three key principles and commit to stand firmly against:

1.    Nuisance marketing – they never cold call or send spam texts or spam emails. 
2.    The unethical buying and selling of accident data – they never misuse accident data to pressure people into making a claim. 
3.    Misleading advertising – they never induce personal injury claims by making false or misleading promises in their advertising, and are clear and upfront about any exclusions to no win, no fee. 

You can find out more about the Charter at:

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