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Nuisance calls: an everyday modern menace

As new research reveals that thousands of people receive an average of 26 nuisance calls a month, Which? is calling for further action by the Government to tackle this everyday modern menace.

Which? and call blocking provider trueCall have analysed over seven million calls made to trueCall customers over a three year period. This research reveals that for some people registered with a call blocking service the problem of nuisance calls has got worse over the last three years, not better. Which? analysis of calls made to 4,000 trueCall customers found:

  • Over the last three years, these trueCall customers received an average of 26 unwanted calls a month.
  • Four in every ten (38%) of their calls were a nuisance call.
  • In January 2013, they received 18 nuisance calls a month but by January 2016 it rose to 22 nuisance calls.
  • There are regional variations in the numbers of nuisance calls received, with trueCall customers in Scotland receiving an average of 37 nuisance calls a month.
  • Older, more vulnerable trueCall customers received an average of 38 calls per month – 46% more than standard customers – and one in five of these more vulnerable customers received more than 60 calls a month.

Following Which?’s Calling Time on Nuisance Calls campaign, the Government and regulators have taken action to tackle unwanted calls and texts, including hitting nuisance callers with bigger fines and introducing mandatory Caller Line Identification, however this research demonstrates that there is still more to do.

Which? is calling for the Government to use the Digital Economy Bill announced in this week’s Queen’s Speech to:

  • Introduce tougher penalties for senior executives and directors of any company that makes unlawful calls so that they are personally held to account making it harder for companies to continue to flout the rules.
  • Ensure that the new rules being introduced will enable people to have more control over their data.

Alex Neill, Which? Director of Campaigns and Policy, said:

“Millions of people are still being bombarded with nuisance calls and consumers are sick and tired of this daily intrusion. While there have been steps in the right direction, this research highlights that more must be done to tackle this menace.

“With the Government bringing forward legislation in the Queen’s Speech to tackle nuisance calls, they should introduce tougher penalties that hold senior executives personally accountable when their company makes unlawful calls and make sure the new rules give people more control of their data.”

Since we launched our Calling Time on Nuisance Calls and Texts campaign more than 370,000 people have pledged their support. As part of the campaign we launched an online tool to make it easier for consumers to report unwanted calls and texts to the relevant regulator.

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