Protect yourself from nuisance calls
There are calls that we do want to receive from companies and service providers including, for example, those that we have an ongoing relationship with, such as our phone provider, bank or energy supplier. We need to be updated about changes to services or products which may benefit us and we have specifically chosen to receive communications from these organisations. However, nuisance calls, spam texts and spam emails are different.
Almost everyone has received a nuisance cold call, spam text or unsolicited email at some time or another and it is more than just an inconvenience.
Three top tips for preventing nuisance calling
Take extra care when completing marketing ‘opt-in’ boxes when buying goods, entering competitions or using services such as free Wi-Fi access etc. These forms can often trick you into saying yes to marketing when you didn’t mean to. We believe a large proportion of nuisance marketing could be stopped if the government made ‘opt-in’ boxes clearer or, even better, made it mandatory for them to all be consistent.
Register with the TPS (Telephone Preference Service). You can register both your landline and mobile numbers. Businesses are legally required to check if you are registered with the TPS before calling you to market their services. If you are TPS registered they must NOT call you to sell you their products and services. However, it’s important to know that if you sign a tick box on a marketing form which says third-party companies can contact you about goods or services which may be of interest to you, this will over-ride your TPS registration. And of course, if you have previously chosen to receive marketing from a selected organisation such as your phone provider, energy supplier, insurer or some other company, they will still be able to contact you.
Don’t give out personal details online or over the phone unless you are 100% confident you know who you are dealing with and they can be trusted to use your information appropriately. If you receive a nuisance call, ask them to tell you the name of their company, their registered address and their telephone number (which you can then use to report them). Tell them to stop calling you, inform the caller if you are registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), and end the call as swiftly as possible.
What to do next
National Accident Helpline believes that the public should not have to pay for additional products and services to prevent unwanted calls. However, until the issue of nuisance calling is under control, you might want to investigate call-blocking services offered by your phone service provider, or call-blocking devices which can be attached to your phone. If you do receive nuisance marketing, it’s important to report it and our simple guide can help.
Ofcom has lots of useful information on nuisance calls and how to prevent them.