BT has had a massive response from customers to the launch of BT Call Protect, its new free service to crack down on nuisance calls, with more than two million households using the new service in a just under three months. 

BT Call Protect the first service of its kind in the UK, enables home phone customers to divert unwanted calls that regularly pester them, such as personal accident claims and PPI, to a junk voicemail box.

BT estimates that since its launch in January, BT Call Protect has drastically reduced the number of nuisance calls reaching customers by diverting 65 per cent of those calls into its junk voicemail box.

Additionally, customers are making more than 80,000 calls a week to BT Call Protect’s 1572 number to add numbers to their personal blacklist or to change their settings or check their voicemail. Read more in our feature: Why BT's free service can help you banish nuisance calls.

BT is encouraging even more customers to sign up for the free service to help it find and prevent more nuisance callers in the future.

John Petter, chief executive of BT Consumer, said: “This is great news for our customers, but bad news for the nuisance calls industry, like personal accident claims and PPI. The response to BT Call Protect has been massive. Having more than two million customers already using the service is a fantastic achievement in our fight against the companies that pester our customers with millions of nuisance calls.”

BT estimates that if all of its customers signed up to BT Call Protect it could divert 1.6 billion nuisance calls a year. It is thought that PPI and accident claims companies alone are responsible for 800 million of these calls.

Luigi Gallo, from Leicester, said: “Since the service was installed on my line I’ve seen a massive difference in the calls that I didn’t want. I used to get at least six or seven calls a week where I was told I have a computer virus – even though I don’t own a computer. The service has made a real difference. I still get the odd one or two, but the fact I can quickly add them to my personal blacklist and I won’t hear from them again is comforting. Although I do miss winding them up by playing along with them about switching on my computer only to tell them I don’t own one.”

Claire Mawdesley from Bradford, said: “Since we added BT Call Protect for Mum and Dad they haven't had one single call claiming to be from Microsoft, they say they feel so much more relaxed. I don’t have to worry about them receiving scam calls.”

BT Call Protect is the first of its kind in the UK because it combines network intelligence with the ability for customers to control the calls they receive, either from their home phone or online.

It harnesses huge computing power to analyse large amounts of live data. This enables experts at BT’s centre in Oswestry, Shropshire, to identify rogue numbers that make enormous quantities of calls and add them to the BT blacklist. It proactively diverts nuisance calls before they even reach customers, unlike reactive blocking where the calls reach the customer and the numbers are changed frequently to avoid detection.

The top offending nuisance callers are diverted to the BT blacklist, but customers can add calls that are not captured by the technology to their personal blacklist by simply dialling 1572 or going online after receiving a call.

When large numbers of customers identify troublesome numbers they wish to divert, they are also added to the BT blacklist. Customers can also set BT Call Protect to divert whole categories of calls, such as international calls or those from withheld numbers into the junk voicemail.

BT has published the top five worst nuisance callers for 4 to 11 March this year.   

  Category Volume Proportion
1 Accident claims 12,211,599 41%
2 Personal data request (Scam) 5,439,781 18.5%
3 Computer scam 3,593,103 12.6%
4 Debt collection 2,212,713 7.5%
5 PPI 1,892,749 6.4%
  Other 4,131,102 14%
  Total  29,480,777  

BT has previously helped prevent nuisance calls by developing the BT8500 Advanced Call Blocker phone which blocks up to 100 per cent of unwanted calls. 

Customers can sign up to BT Call Protect by visiting www.bt.com/callprotect or calling 0800 389 1572.