Britons scared of answering the phone thanks to nuisance calls

29 October 2013

Bitterwallet - new Sony playstation phone 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."

TOPICS:   Mobile   Scams

7 comments

  • Captain.Cretin
    Call blocking is the only answer, but call blocking only works if you have caller ID enabled - but BT now CHARGE for this previously free service -BARSTEWARDS!!!!
  • jokester2
    I don't believe the "telephone preference service system" really applies since practically everything you sign up for has a confusing check-box allowing them to sell your details to anyone you like. Pretty much everyone must have (at least accidentally) forgotten to check/uncheck this box by now...
  • Bogbrush
    if it wasn't for internet access i'd do away with a landline altogether
  • Rodders
    @ Bogbrush, Virgin Media do a broadband only deal.
  • Jo
    Talktalk allows you to turn on caller ID easily some phones also have an option. Talk talk offer call barring for a few quid a month which I subscribe to but unfortunately you can only block up to 10 numbers at any one time which just isn't enough as nuisance callers often mask their numbers behind false ones. The best method I've found so far to avoid nuisance calls is to program your phone book into your phone and set a ringtone for those entries (i have a melody set)Then set your basic ringtone to a different one (a basic ring for example). Then at least if the home rings a melody at least you will know its a known caller ringing. And if you hear the basic ring you know it's probably not worth answering. This method is far from ideal but it works well for me personally. I also set my answer machine to answer only so nobody can record a message as i used to get tons of pre recorded ppi messages which miffed me off. Then I recorded my own fake Pi answer phone message for callers to listen to if I don't answer After 6 rings. It claims the caller is being charged per minute for the phone call. It seems to put the callers off so I've kept it got about 6 months.
  • connieheer
    We immediately 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 private data.
  • jokester2
    @connieheer Yes, but the government is far too busy fucking up the country and giving away all our money to other countries even though half the people in the country can't afford to pay their fucking heating bills any more...

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