Bombarded with nuisance call? You aren’t alone. In the first in a series of features we look at the BT 6500 and other phones with call blocking built in to see if they can help.
From silent calls to calls about PPI claims and personal injury claims, a recent Which? survey of more than 2,000 adults found that 85% of people received an unsolicited call last month. Some of you got far more. We found 18% of people had received over 20 unsolicited calls in the last month while 8% had been bombarded with more than 50.
Find out more about our Calling Time on Nuisance Calls campaign.
There are ways to try to reduce or stop nuisance calls, including going ex-directory and registering your number with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).
Call blocking phones
Some network providers also offer call blocking packages but these can be expensive (£3.30 to £4.40/month) and offer limited functionality – like limiting the amount of numbers you can block or the type of numbers, such as those from abroad, you can restrict.
But there are also some phones that claim to help. We took a look at the BT6500 cordless phone (£45, single handset) which claims to help stop nuisance calls to see if it was a straightforward solution.
BT 6500 phone – can it end your nuisance calls?
The BT6500 and BT6510, which has the same features but a different style of base station, home phones each offer a built-in answering machine and dedicated call blocking capabilities.
These BT phones can block up to 10 specific incoming numbers or all calls of a certain type, such as international calls, those from a withheld number or those without a caller ID and payphones.
The drawback to this is that you will block any calls that are routed through switchboards, such as those from a local hospital or friends and family overseas. Blocked calls are silently routed to the answer machine so genuine callers can leave a message (unless you’ve specifically blocked that number).
But what did our readers think? We asked Which? members who have been plagued by nuisance calls to try the BT6500 out.
The reader verdict
Which? members, Bob and Wendy Ham found the BT6500 was easy to setup and it reduced the number of nuisance calls – from 25 nuisance calls to just 4 in two weeks. That’s a pretty steep drop.
But they wouldn’t buy the BT6500. They felt that blocking just ten numbers was of limited value and the blocking of witheld and international calls meant they could miss important calls.
What about other phones?
The BT 6500 isn’t the only phone out there with call blocking features.
Basic call blocking – Panasonic KX-TG8561
Like many of its cordless phones, Panasonic’s KX-TG8561 phone offers a call barring feature where you can specify the numbers to block. This does require you to enter the numbers manually but you can block up to 30 numbers. It also has a Night Mode so you’re not disturbed at specific times.
While call barring might be useful if you receive the occasional sales call, it doesn’t offer as many options as BT’s BT6500 and BT6510 phones, for example you can’t set it to block witheld or anonymous callers.
Call blocking with call silencing – Gigaset S820A
Gigaset’s S820A cordless phone offers a range of call management options, including call barring for up to 15 numbers, night mode, and the option to set the phone not to ring when the number is withheld.
Again, the management features and choice of call types you can restrict aren’t as advanced as on the BT6500 phone.
Join our campaign
We’re campaigning to call time on nuisance calls and texts. We want a tough new approach from Government to give people power over their personal data. We want regulators to have new powers to police and punish companies that break the rules. And we want industry to provide technical fixes to filter out unwanted calls and texts.
More than 70,000 people have now pledged their support for our Calling Time on Nuisance Calls campaign.