How You Can Protect Yourself from Receiving Nuisance Calls
Nuisance calls can cause a great deal of disruption in people’s lives, particularly for those who are receiving unsolicited phone calls on a daily basis. Having your mobile unexpectedly vibrate during a meeting is bad enough, but it is the least of some people’s worries. Elderly people are often woken and panicked by unexpected calls from unfamiliar numbers. People waiting for important medical news about families can be caused severe distress. But even if you consider nuisance calls a slight annoyance you have to deal with every now and then, there are steps which you can take to reduce your likelihood of receiving them.
The first and most important thing to do is register with the Telephone Preference Service. Twenty eight days after you have registered, it will be illegal for any telemarketer to place an unsolicited call to the TPS registered number. Registration is extremely easy and quick, and of course, completely free. It simply adds the registered number to the list of numbers which do not want to (and legally cannot) receive sales and marketing calls. Companies can incur large fines for making non TPS-compliant phone calls, so this should be enough deterrent to prevent them from continuing to pester you.
You can still receive calls if you have previously given a company your number. If you continue to get nuisance calls after having registered your number with the TPS, it could be that you had given that company your telephone number. Even if it was many years ago, you may have made a purchase from them, signed up to a newsletter, or given your number for some other reason, and they may still have it in their records. You should therefore think carefully about which companies you pass on your details to, and always pay special attention to check-boxes opting in or out of being contacted by marketing campaigns, or having your details passed onto third parties. If you find that you are still being reached by companies you no longer wish to be in contact with, you should ask them directly to stop contacting you, and to delete your details from their databases.
Your phone provider might also offer some useful services to block unwanted calls. Incoming Call Blocking, for example, allows you to register numbers whose calls will be not get through to your phone. Anonymous Call Rejection, on the other hand, blocks or calls from withheld numbers, which are often used by telemarketers. You need to be aware that you might be blocking calls which you did want to receive, though. There are a variety of different features to consider, and it depends on your provider, too. Some are free, others cost money.
If a nuisance call you receive is doing more than just trying to sell you something, if you suspect it is an illegal scam, you should report it to ActionFraud.
If you take all these steps and continue to receive nuisance calls, it might be helpful to report this to the Information Commissioner’s Office or to Ofcom. It will make it easier for them to track down which companies are making these calls, and issue the necessary sanctions.