84% of people receive at least one unwanted call a month, with the average total being around two per week, according to a study released by Ofcom, the regulator for the UK communications industries, today.
The study found the proportion of nuisance calls relating to payment protection insurance (PPI) has reduced significantly over the past year.
PPI now accounts for 13% of all nuisance calls where the product or service could be identified – down from 22% in 2013 – although it does remain the most common type of unwanted call.
There have also been increases in calls about home or loft insulation (2% to 8%) ,solar panels (2% to 6%) and other products related to home improvements (3% to 7%).
Ofcom’s study looked at a UK nationally representative sample of 926 people with home landline phones.
Research participants were asked to keep a diary to record all calls they considered to be ‘unwanted’ on their home landline phones across a four-week period (13 January to 9 February 2014).
Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director said: ‘It’s encouraging that the volume of unwanted PPI calls is falling, but millions of us are still being plagued by nuisance calls and texts. We urge everyone to report calls so that regulators can identify companies who break the rules, and we then need tough enforcement action to tackle this everyday menace. Anyone can easily report a call for free at www.which.co.uk/callingtime.’
If you want to report a company for making nuisance calls, you can do so via our free tool.
Tackling nuisance calls
Recent Ofcom research revealed that a third (32%) of consumers were unsure of where to get advice on preventing nuisance calls.
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 in an ‘Easy Read’ format, designed to be easily understood by people with learning disabilities.
Calling Time campaign
Thanks to the support of over 112,000 of you as part of our Calling Time campaign, the Government announced a Nuisance Calls Action Plan in March 2014.
To find out more, take a look at our Calling Time campaign.