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.
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.
Report a nuisance call or text to the regulators. Every complaint helps in the fight against nuisance calls and textsReport a call or text
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.
Spam text messaging is also on the increase especially messages about debt management, accident claims and mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI).
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.
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.
Find more out about our Calling Time campaign and sign up to our emails to help us win our next campaign.
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.