Nuisance calls and texts are both frustrating and dangerous. The incessant ringing of your phone and suspicious text messages is the most annoying thing about owning a phone. At the same time, these calls and texts could potentially be fraudulent, people pretending to be from your bank or insurance company.
In 2018, Aviva commissioned a consumer survey and found that Brits were hounded by 2.2 billion nuisance calls and texts relating to PPI, injury claims or other insurance matters. That’s just on insurance matters alone.
So what can consumers do to stop the bombardment? There are several options open from the TPS, contacting the main landline provider or review marketing consent for different services. Here, we’ll take a look at how to prevent nuisance calls and texts effectively.
Register With The TPS
The first stop for any consumer facing a bombardment of suspicious phone calls and texts is to sign up to the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).
The TPS records your preference not to receive unsolicited sales or marketing calls and is completely free.
Still receiving nuisance calls and texts? Then you can complain to the TPS and they will investigate. However, the TPS doesn’t have enforcement powers so it can’t penalise the people responsible.
Although the TPS is unable to prosecute themselves, it will send complaints to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) which does have the power to take action.
Revoke Your Consent To Be Contacted
If you are receiving nuisance calls and texts then it’s more likely you’ve fallen victim to third party marketing. It means your contact details have been sold onto another company and you’ve probably agreed without noticing.
All websites that require login details have tick boxes asking about marketing preferences. Make sure you untick these and especially look out for tick boxes that mention you consent to being contacted by third party vendors and companies.
Remember, it is illegal for companies to contact you if you haven’t consented under the latest GDPR rules. Failure to do so could land companies with a hefty fine from ICO.
Call Blocking Technology
Phone companies lose millions of pounds a year to fraudulent phone calls and messages. These fraudulent and illegal communication techniques erode confidence in their services and cost them customers.
That’s why most providers now include free or additional protection. The likes of BT, Virgin, Talk Talk amongst others have their own services which either block calls from specific numbers (for example, numbers beginning with 08) or detect calls which are from automatic ‘bots’ that can call hundred of numbers within an hour.
Remember that smart phones come with in-built call blocking technology. Simply select the number and there will be a block option. The solution won’t cover all types of numbers, just a specific nuisance number but it should help cut down on the number of calls and texts you receive.
What To Do Next?
If the calls and texts are getting too much then it is wise to contact the TPS or your service provider to see what they can do to help. Remember to look out for elderly relatives and friends as they might not be able to so easily tell what’s a fraudulent call/text and what is genuine.