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Panel calls for a robust coordinated approach to deal with nuisance calls

17 May 2013

In response to the nuisance calls research published by Ofcom today, the Communications
Consumer Panel has called for greater collaboration by the relevant authorities; swifter and
robust action against offenders; and increased support for consumers, including better use of
technology such as Caller Line Identifier (CLI), which should be offered free.

Jo Connell, the Panel’s Chair, said, “Ofcom’s research confirms our concerns that nuisance
calls are a widespread problem for the majority of consumers, with older people more likely
to be targeted. The study highlights that four in five (82%) of adults have experienced a
nuisance call. The research also shows that significantly higher levels of nuisance calls were
experienced by older consumers, some of who may struggle to answer the phone, only to find
an uninvited and unwelcome call.”

The Panel welcomes BT’s agreement to display full incoming international numbers as
routine. The Panel also believes that communications providers should provide all CLI data to
consumers free of charge and by default. Jo said “CLI technology is a key feature in helping
protect consumers and one of the few defences available directly to the consumer. As the
service provided by telephone companies, and paid for by consumers, is being abused, it
seems logical for CLI to be freely available.”

“The progress on tackling nuisance calls reported by Ofcom today is welcome and we
appreciate that Ofcom is working collaboratively with other authorities and industry to
address this issue. Currently, there are a number of public authorities with a key role to play
– however no single authority has ultimate responsibility for dealing with the problem. We
urge these authorities to think strategically about long term solutions so that the problem can
be better resolved. Together, they need to assess which actions could bring about the most benefit; who the lead organisation will be and outline the timescales in which short, medium and long term actions will be undertaken.” Read the release here (PDF 134KB, opens in a new window)


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