We use cookies to allow us and selected partners to improve your experience and our advertising. By continuing to browse you consent to our use of cookies. You can understand more and change your cookies preferences here.

Consumer Rights.

Updated: 27 Jun 2022

I keep getting unwanted calls and text messages, what can I do?

If you’re being continuously bothered by nuisance calls and texts, there are things you can do to put a stop to it. Find out where and how to complain here.
Which?Editorial team

Put an end to nuisance calls 

There are two types of nuisance calls – silent calls and unwanted marketing calls.

It’s important to make the distinction because regulator Ofcom deals with silent calls while the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) deals with marketing calls.

If you're concerned about unwanted marketing calls you can register your phone number with the TPS.

This is free and easy to do, but unfortunately it doesn’t guarantee to stop all nuisance calls.

The TPS doesn't cover international calls, market research calls or calls from companies to which you've given your consent. 

Stopping nuisance calls and texts

Report a scam call or text

Report a scam call or text . Every complaint helps us in the fight against scams

Report a scam call or text

Complain to the TPS

If you’ve registered with the TPS and still receive nuisance calls, you can make a complaint and the TPS will investigate.

But the TPS doesn’t have enforcement powers so it can’t penalise the company responsible for bombarding you with nuisance calls.

Although the TPS is unable to prosecute, it does send complaints to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) which has the power to take action.

It's against the law for companies to call consumers who are registered with the TPS without their clear consent.

You can also complain directly to the regulator using our free tool.

Key Information

Is it a scam?

Several companies, besides the Which? recommended TPS, offer nuisance call prevention services. But can these call blocking companies be trusted?

In addition, some consumers have reported getting calls from fraudsters pretending to be from the TPS and asking them to pay to register. 

Dealing with spam texts

Spam text messaging is also on the increase especially messages about debt management, accident claims and mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI).

Sending nuisance text messages is illegal so if you're receiving spam texts you should also report this to the ICO. There are steps you can take to stop receiving spam text messages.

Landline call blocking services

Phone companies offer a number of services that can help protect against nuisance calls. 

Some of these services are free, and for some of them, monthly charges can apply and may vary depending on what package you have signed up to. 

Services include caller display, which shows you the number of the person calling; incoming call blocking, which prevents selected numbers from getting through; and last caller identification - or 1471. 

For more information on the different types of services available, take a look at Ofcom's guide on phone company services

Our Calling Time campaign win

We campaigned to call time on nuisance calls & texts. 

We called for a tough new approach from government, with regulators given new powers to police and punish companies that break the rules. 

Thanks to your support, we convinced the government to lower the threshold for the ICO to take action against cold calling firms and new regulations to let Ofcom and the ICO share information on rogue companies.

Ofcom guides

Ofcom has subsequently published guides to help ensure consumer information about nuisance calls and messages is accessible to a wide audience.

The first guide is a short online educational video that offers tips and advice on nuisance calls. It is available with subtitles to help people with hearing impairments.

The second guide provides advice on preventing nuisance calls for vulnerable people in an ‘Easy Read’ format.