Mobile phone users can send a simple free text message to opt out of unsolicited sales and marketing calls from today.
The 'text-to-register' service, launched by the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and Ofcom, enables mobile phone users to add their number to the UK's official ‘do not call’ database by texting ‘TPS’ and their email address to 85095.
It is illegal for organisations to make unsolicited sales and marketing calls to numbers registered with the TPS, unless they have a person’s consent to do so.
How to register
To register, mobile customers simply text ‘TPS’, followed by their email address to the shortcode 85095. They will receive a text reply from the TPS confirming their number has been successfully added to its database.
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.
A study commissioned by Ofcom and the Information Commissioner’s Office found people registered with the TPS saw a reduction in the monthly volume of live sales or marketing calls received of around a third (31%). Registering with the TPS, however, does not prevent spam text messages.
Other ways to protect against nuisance calls
BT has a range of home phones packed with features to help you block nuisance calls. Features vary between phones and include:
- Block 100% nuisance calls: TrueCall technology ensures you don’t have to speak to nuisance callers again. Callers that aren’t on your contact list are asked to say their name and you can decide if you want to take the call.
- Block button: Instantly block nuisance calls by pressing the dedicated button. You can also use it if you’ve already picked up the phone, the call will end and the number will be blocked.
- Advanced call blocking by: Choose to block all calls of a certain type including: withheld, unknown, international, mobile and payphone numbers.
- Do Not Disturb: Specify set times you don’t want to be disturbed and the phone won’t ring or light up. Calls from VIP numbers will get through.
- Caller display: The phone’s display screen lets you see the number of incoming calls.
Ofcom also has the following five tips:
- Be careful who you give your contact details to, whether it's online, on the phone, or in person.
- Look carefully at any marketing ‘opt-in' and ‘opt-out' boxes. These boxes are often buried in the small print. If you don't pay attention to them, you could find yourself inadvertently agreeing to be contacted by companies you don't recognise.
- If someone rings and asks for financial information over the phone, such as your account details or PIN number, don't provide it.
- Talk to your phone provider to see what privacy services are available, and consider a call-blocker – though be aware, you may need to pay for these services.
- If you receive a nuisance call or message, make a complaint. Complaint information helps regulators take action against companies acting unlawfully. If the call is a live telesales call, an automated marketing message, or a spam text message, complain to the Information Commissioner's Office. You can report spam texts to your mobile network operator by simply forwarding the text to 7726. If you receive a silent or abandoned call, complain to Ofcom.
You can also take a look at our guide on how to control nuisance and unwanted calls and Ofcom's guides for consumers.