Britons scared of answering the phone thanks to nuisance calls
Research shows that more than 3.2 million people are now too scared to answer their telephones thanks to nuisance calls from telemarketing companies. Of course, most calls are from people you don't want to hear from because everyone else is using messaging apps and SMS.
Of the 45 million who have been pestered by unsolicited calls or text messages from businesses, 83% said the public need greater protection from them.
The research, by debt charity Step Change, found that regulatory measures designed to crackdown on unwanted calls are "widely flouted and inadequately enforced" and in their Got Their Number survey, they said: "Vulnerable customers are now routinely subjected to intrusive, distressing and potentially harmful calls."
"These calls can lead to serious stress and anxiety related problems - just over 3.2 million British adults say they have been left afraid as a result of unsolicited calls and texts."
Richard Lloyd, exective director of financial watchdog Which!!!!!! said: "We found that nuisance calls and texts are making people's lives a misery, with many discouraged from answering their phone and others feeling intimidated. It is especially worrying that financially vulnerable consumers are being encouraged to take out extortionate payday loans they they can't afford."
"We urgently need the Government to step in with a new approach, new laws and new technology to tackle this menace and put people back in control of their personal data."
Labour MP Stella Creasy, shadow minister for competition and consumer affairs, said: " Just as you shouldn't be followed if you decide to leave a shop, so you shouldn't be hassled if you've asked a company to stop calling - yet for the millions of consumers who get unsolicited text messages, phone calls or spam emails, the news that companies are flouting schemes like the telephone preference service system will further highlights the current self regulation of this industry isn't good enough."