Will Morris, group managing director, retail at energy company SSE, said:
'Nobody likes receiving a sales call they haven’t consented to, so we put a stop to it back in 2013. We’re not interested in harassing customers – we’re only interested in speaking to them on their own terms about products and services that are actually relevant to them. In the long run, it makes commercial sense as well as being the right thing to do. So we’re right behind this campaign and want to see more action to clamp down on nuisance calls.'
'BT has been at the forefront of tackling nuisance calls and we welcome the work that Which?, Ofcom, the ICO, industry and Government have done so far in tackling this issue and in raising consumer awareness. BT has developed the BT 8500 phone, which stops up to 100 per cent of unwanted calls. We have also improved the network so that full telephone numbers are displayed for calls made from abroad. These and other products help our customers to manage their calls and only answer calls they want to receive.
'As a responsible business, we make great efforts to ensure we only call customers who want to hear from us. To help to achieve this we have a policy on customer consent that continues to develop in line with customer feedback. We always display a number and leave a message so the customer knows BT called them and customers can contact us to remove themselves from our calling lists.'
We’re calling on the Government, regulators and businesses to renew their efforts to call time on nuisance calls and texts as complaints continue to rack up in the tens of thousands.
Millions of nuisance calls
Back in December an official task force – chaired by Which? – outlined 15 recommendations for action on nuisance calls and texts. But our analysis of data from the Information Commissioner’s Office shows that since the task force reported, there have been around 61,500 official complaints about nuisance calls and texts. With just 2% of people who receive unwanted calls reporting them to the regulator, the true figure is in the millions.
Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd said:
‘Despite a clear action plan from the nuisance calls task force, it’s disappointing that so many unwanted calls and texts are still being received. People are sick of being bombarded with nuisance calls that invade their privacy and waste their time.
‘The Government knows what’s required to tackle nuisance calls, so we need to see more sustained action, with senior executives held to account, to help put an end to this everyday menace.’
Making it easier to complain
We found that a quarter of people don’t know where to complain when they receive an unwanted call, so we’re making it easier by launching a new online complaints tool. Reporting nuisance calls and texts to regulators gives them the evidence they need to take action against companies breaking the rules.
Action from Government, regulators and businesses
We want: - the Government to make top staff legally accountable for their company's nuisance calls, and require businesses to show their number when they call. Our new research found that eight in 10 people support greater accountability over nuisance calls, including directors being personally fined if their company breaks the rules.
- businesses to support our campaign by making a public commitment to tackle nuisance calls
- regulators to give people more power by putting them in control of how their personal data is used.
From today, it's easier for the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to fine nuisance calling companies.
The regulator will no longer need to prove that nuisance calls have caused substantial distress or damage before taking enforcement action.
Send a clear message
Our executive director Richard Lloyd comments:
'Unwanted calls disrupt the lives of millions every day, so it is good news it's now easier for regulators to prosecute nuisance callers. Regulators must send a crystal clear message to firms that nuisance calling is unacceptable by using these new powers to maximum effect.'