03 February 2017
Nuisance calls are a key priority in the Panel’s 2016/17 Work Plan. Last month we reported that the Panel were pleased that Ofcom are proposing that Communication Providers offer CLI facilities unless they can demonstrate that it is not technically feasible or economically viable for them to do so, and that where they provide them, they should not separately charge for them. Number blocking is also a useful tool in the fight against nuisance calls. Talk Talk and Vodafone already provide this service and this month BT have begun offering BT Call Protect, a free service to block unwanted phone calls available to BT customers upon request. BT Call Protect works by filtering out calls from a blacklist of numbers that BT has created from network diagnostics, as well as from a blacklist of numbers that each individual subscriber to the service can create. BT says its blacklist will consist of "rogue numbers" – typically those that make enormous numbers of calls. Customers can add a number by dialling 1572 after receiving the call or by going online.
As with all call blocker services BT’s does not guarantee an end to nuisance calls and the Panel believe it is best to combine the use of such a service with other strategies, such as registering with the Telephone Preference Service and opting out of receiving marketing information. BT’s new service, as well as other similar services, makes the Panel’s call for the free provision of CLI even more pertinent. . The Ofcom site has helpful guidance on ways people can protect themselves from nuisance calls and texts.
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