Africa’s First Adaptive Learning Online High School Launches

Prestigious, independent school, Bridge House and award-winning EdTech company, Digemy, have joined forces to create ConnectEd - the first Independent Examinations Board (IEB) curriculum...

Latest Posts

Which Are The Best Mobile Casino Games Right Now?

Online casinos are really popular among bettors because they allow them to play their favorite games without the need to visit any land-based facility....

A Few Things To Keep In Mind Before You Start Betting On Sports

Ever since online betting became so popular, many people have started placing online bets. Some of them have been following a specific team or...

Why Is Betting On Live Events Better Than Placing Pre-Match Bets

There are many reasons why online betting is as big as it is today. Apart from the fact that the famous betting operators sponsor...

eSports Betting Guide For New Punters

Betting on the sport you like is great, but it could get boring, especially if you do it all the time. Luckily, the eSports...

Everything you ever wanted to know about nuisance phone calls

We’ve all experienced it. Your phone rings, you pick it up, say hello and it’s someone you don’t know trying to sell you something – or a recorded message. Nuisance calls can be irritating, time-wasting and for some people, highly distressing. But can anything be done about them? By Nigel Linge

In July 2013, the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) and telecommunications regulator, Ofcom, announced they were joining forces to tackle nuisance calls. Then, from last April, the ICO was given new powers to crack down on nuisance calls through an amendment to the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations. The results of which are now starting to be seen.

Only last month the ICO issued its largest ever fine of £350,000 to Prodial, a company that had made more than 46m nuisance calls.

Manchester based MyIML, a telemarking company selling solar panels was also recently fined £80,000 by the ICO for contacting people who had opted out of receiving marketing calls.

Why are nuisance calls such an issue?

One of the main reasons nuisance calls are such a big problem these days is that it has never been so easy or cheap to setup a call centre. Today’s telephone network is one large computer and with business connection charges falling, all a telesales company needs is their own computer loaded with software – which is readily available from the web.

What is VoIP Phone System?

With modern Voice over IP systems, call centres don’t even need their own direct link to the telephone network, so long as they are connected to the internet. The telesales organisation’s computer can then automatically dial telephone numbers, connecting those that answer through to telesales operators or a recorded message.

Don’t call us, we’ll call you! Tyler Olson/shutterstock
Don’t call us, we’ll call you! Tyler Olson/shutterstock

 

There is generally considered to be three types of nuisance call. Live calls are unwanted calls from a real person, normally from a telesales company. Automated calls result in you hearing a pre-recorded marketing message when you answer the phone. And silent or abandoned calls are just that – when you answer the phone no-one’s there. Then there’s also the issue of unwanted SMS text messages.

In January 2016, the ICO received 9,633 reports of nuisance calls to be investigated: 45% of these related to automated calls, 42.5% live calls and 12.5% SMS text messages.

How can you stop nuisance calls?

With nuisance calls becoming such a, well, nuisance, the telephone providers are now moving to tackle the problem at source. Talk Talk has expanded their HomeSafe system to monitor the frequency of calls and to automatically block those that exceed a threshold from even reaching a customer’s phone. And in February this year, BT announced a similar service is to be rolled out across their network.

But on top of this, there is also a lot you can do yourself to help reduce the number of calls. First off, you should always report nuisance calls to either the ICO or Ofcom – so they can be investigated. It’s all too easy to get annoyed and slam the phone down, but if you take a minute to gather as much information as possible and pass it on to the relevant organisation, at least then you might be saving someone else from the nuisance of nuisance calls in the future.

You should also register with the Telephone Preference Service. While this alone won’t stop nuisance calls, because it relies on the compliance of organisations, it does act as a deterrent, and is well worth doing if you haven’t done so already.

Another way of managing nuisance calls, is by using caller line identification – which allows you to see the number of the person calling you. If you don’t recognise it, you simply have the option of not answering. You can also use call blocking either on your phone or through your telephone provider to stop calls from specific numbers.

Another tip, don’t immediately speak but listen when answering the phone because if it remains silent, there’s a good chance it’s a telesales call.

And of course, you’ve probably heard if before, but do be very careful of the small print on any paper or online form you complete, as you may inadvertently be allowing that organisation to contact you for marketing purposes – effectively saying yes to cold calling.

Will they ever go away?

Over the years, telecommunications firms have benefited from connecting companies to their networks and through the sale of services such as call blocking, so it is good to see some of that now being re-invested into tackling nuisance calls.

However, the next challenges are already emerging with a growing number of nuisance calls now being directed towards mobile phones. “Spoofing” has also become a big issue, with telesales companies now able to deceive us, and the network providers, by faking their own telephone number to get you to take the call.

So while it is good to see the regulators have begun the fightback with a renewed determination, sadly, so long as it remains profitable for telesales companies to operate, nuisance calls will continue to plague us. Even if overall volumes are reduced, each one we receive is still a nuisance.The Conversation

Latest Posts

Which Are The Best Mobile Casino Games Right Now?

Online casinos are really popular among bettors because they allow them to play their favorite games without the need to visit any land-based facility....

A Few Things To Keep In Mind Before You Start Betting On Sports

Ever since online betting became so popular, many people have started placing online bets. Some of them have been following a specific team or...

Why Is Betting On Live Events Better Than Placing Pre-Match Bets

There are many reasons why online betting is as big as it is today. Apart from the fact that the famous betting operators sponsor...

eSports Betting Guide For New Punters

Betting on the sport you like is great, but it could get boring, especially if you do it all the time. Luckily, the eSports...

Don't Miss

Drivers Improving the Business Case for Solar

COVID-19 presented businesses across the board with the opportunity to re-evaluate both their operational models and costs. Proactive organisations found themselves navigating the wake...

Vodacom Urges Consumers to Contribute Towards the Green Economy and Recycling

A record 53.6 million metric tonnes (Mt) of electronic waste was generated worldwide in 2019, up 21 per cent in just five years, according...

Telkom Wants Competition Tribunal To Declare Vodacom, Rain Agreements a Merger

Telkom announced on Wednesday that it had approached the Competition Tribunal to declare the suite of spectrum arrangements between Vodacom and Rain as a...

Econet Group Launches #SasaiWiFiFinder Hotspots in Kenya, Uganda, Zambia and Rwanda

Econet, through its subsidiaries Liquid Telecom Group (LTG) and Cassava Fintech International (CFI) has today launched a network of #SasaiWiFiFinder hotspots in Kenya, Uganda,...

Tips From ISPA For Making Your Home Cyber Safe For Children

The Internet Service Providers’ Association of SA (ISPA) says October is the ideal time for parents to turn their attention to making the home a...

Stay in touch

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

%d bloggers like this: