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BT launches free service that redirects nuisance calls

Monday, January 16th 2017 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

BT has launched a new free service to help protect its customers from nuisance calls.

The company claims the BT Call Protect service could divert around 30 million unwanted calls a week to a junk voicemail box.

Research by the telecoms giant shows that people receive an average of four nuisance calls a week, with two thirds of women and half of men saying they find them stressful.

A quarter of people are also concerned about their parents or grandparents being scammed by a nuisance caller, according to the survey of 2,000 Brits.

BT has also released data on the nuisance calls to its customers during one week in December.

Between 13 and 19 December 2016, it recorded more than 31 million such calls.

More than a third of the calls (39%) related to accident claims, with PPI calls (9%), computer scams (9%), personal data requests (5%) and silent calls (3%) making up the rest of the top five.

Digital minister Matt Hancock said: “Nuisance callers are a terrible blight on society, and Government and industry are working together to crack down on them.

“We’ve forced companies to display their numbers when they call you, made it easier to prosecute those involved in making the calls, and increased the maximum fines up to £500,000.

“We welcome BT’s new service, which offers customers an additional level of protection, helping them to fight back against this ongoing harassment.”

BT said its new Call Protect service combines network intelligence with the ability for customers to control the calls they receive.

Experts at the BT centre in Oswestry, Shropshire, identify rogue numbers from large amounts of live data and add them to a ‘BT blacklist’, meaning calls from those numbers won’t even reach customers signed up to the scheme.

Customers can also create their own personal blacklist by dialling 1572 after receiving a call or by going online.

'Avoid the stress'

TV presenter Christine Lampard, who has signed up as a BT Call Protect ambassador, said: “All of us have experienced the frustrations of nuisance calls at home, be it interruptions at family meal times, while you’re busy working or just trying to have a quiet evening in.

“My own parents have noticed a huge rise in these sorts of calls recently, an increase that seems to be affecting a majority of the older generation.

“Any help we can give to our parents and grandparents to avoid the stress of nuisance calls gets my vote.”

BT customers can sign up for Call Protect at bt.com/callprotect or by calling 0800 389 1572.

Consumers can also add themselves to the UK's official 'do not call' list by registering with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). It is illegal for companies to call numbers registered with the TPS without prior permission.

You can register with the TPS at tpsonline.org.uk. Mobile users can add their number to the database by texting 'TPS' and their email addresss to 78070.

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