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How to control nuisance and unwanted calls

how to report nuisance calls

Nuisance and unwanted calls are unfortunately an issue for many households, but we're here to help. We want to help you identify, control and where appropriate report unwanted calls. Our most recent development in this area is a new phone that blocks up to 100% of nuisance calls .

What are nuisance or unwanted calls?

Generally, they fall under four main types: Marketing and sales calls, silent calls, malicious calls and calls made by mistake.

You could get marketing calls from organisations you’ve dealt within in the past – so unless you’ve told them you don’t want to be contacted for marketing purposes they’ll continue contacting you. You could also get cold calls – these are unsolicited sales calls from companies you’ve not dealt with.

Silent calls, on the other hand, are annoying but most are harmless. Most are made by automated dialling equipment in call centres, trying to maximise amount of time call centre agents spend speaking to consumers. When you answer the call – if you cannot be connected within a few seconds the call abruptly ends – and it seems like you have silence on the call.

Malicious calls are intended to annoy, inconvenience or worry you. They’re likely to be the most upsetting type of unwanted calls. These calls may be a matter for the police to deal with.

Many unwanted phone calls are just mistakes. often wrong numbers, usually one-offs and harmless. Some wrong number repeat calls are made by people with memory problems, where they think they’re dialling a regular contact’s numbers, such as a family member, but their memory’s letting them down.

You can find out advice from BT on all of these nuisance and unwanted calls at .

There are a number of ways we can help to screen or block calls.

  • Block calls: See our range of Nuisance Calls Blocker phones that help you choose the types of calls you

    want to receive and those you don’t. Our latest BT8500 Advanced Call Blocker allows you to block up to 100% of nuisance and unwanted calls.

  • Register with the Telephone Preference Service at or by calling 0845 070 0707. This is a free service so watch out for companies who agree to do this for a fee. BT Privacy gives you the option of registering with the TPS and comes with the option of Caller Display. BT’s range of Calling Features can also help you screen and block calls. Find out more at .
  • Screen calls. Caller Display lets you see the number that’s calling you before you answer, so you can decide whether to pick up the phone or leave it to your answering machine. BT Answer 1571 acts as kind of a screening tool – it’s a voicemail service for callers to leave a message if you don’t answer the phone.

Making a complaint

BT as your service provider can offer advice and provide you with tips, products and services to help you manage your unwanted calls but it’s the regulators - Ofcom and the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) - that have the power to trace the callers and take the appropriate action.

Providing a few details such as the date and time the call was received and any details about the caller can provide real benefits, both for you as an individual and for consumers generally.

Complaints play a vital role in helping regulators tackle the companies responsible for nuisance calls and messages. Without your complaints, regulators would find it much harder to identify and take action against those responsible.

Making a complaint is simple - you can do it online at Which? or, if you are worried about silent calls, by calling Ofcom on 0300 123 3333. You can call the ICO to complain about most calls you do not want from companies on 0303 123 1113.

Category: Bank

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