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Ofcom’s text message service lets people easily opt out of unsolicited sales and marketing calls

Unsolicited marketing phone calls can be hugely infuriating and until now there wasn’t an easy way to reduce the number being made to mobile phones.

In an attempt to solve this problem, communications regulator Ofcom has introduced a telephone number that will allow people to opt out of these highly annoying calls.

Texting ‘TPS’ along with an email address to 78070 will add the mobile number used to the UK’s official “do not call” database

Adding yourself to the list won’t stop nuisance calls immediately, however – the update may take a couple of days – and it won’t stop spam text messages.

Ofcom has created the number alongside the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), which is a central register of people who don’t want to receive marketing calls.

“Registrants should notice a gradual reduction in unsolicited sales and marketing voice calls after a few days, although it can take up to 28 days for the service to become fully effective,” Ofcom said in a statement.

Nuisance calls have been an issue that officials have been keen to tackle within the last twelve months.

On May 16 the government changed the law for companies making cold calls to make them display their phone numbers.

This change followed another in 2015, which meant consumers don’t have to prove that a call caused “substantial distress and damage” when making a complaint.

Companies can face fines of up to £2million from Ofcom and up to £500,000 from the privacy regulator the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

ICO has been clamping down on companies making live telesales calls, automated marketing messages and also spam text messages.

Under data protection rules, companies that make calls playing a recorded message are only allowed to do so if they have permission from the people they are calling.

At the end of April the regulator had 122 cases of nuisance calls or messages under investigation.

Then in May, the ICO fined Check Point Claims Ltd, a claims management company, £250,000 after it was found it had made 17.5 million calls “asking people if they had suffered hearing loss” while they were at work.

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