Government ministers have been urged to tackle nuisance calls by an Angus MP during a debate in a report from the All Party Group on Nuisance calls.
Mike Weir, who is a member of the All Party Group, said that he had received a large amount of complaints from his Angus constituents on the issue, and that the extent of the problem could be underestimated.
Mr Weir commented: “The scale of the problem is huge and the data appear to be contradictory.
“The regulators told the all-party group that they receive 6,000 complaints a month, yet BT told us that it receives about 50,000 calls a month to its nuisance calls bureau, so clearly there is a disconnect.
“The reason why people are calling BT but not the regulators might be that many still identify BT as the national phone operator, or it might be that the regulators have failed to get the message across that they are responsible for dealing with the problem.
“Part of the problem is that this situation has gone on for so long that people have simply got fed up and no longer trust the regulator to deal with it.”
He continued: “Of particular concern is the number of elderly people who receive such calls.
“Many of those who contact me feel that they are being specifically targeted. That might well be true, although it is also possible that they receive more calls because they are in during the day.
“A recent trial of call-blocking technology by Angus council found that 40 per cent of calls received by the elderly were nuisance calls.
“Elderly people are especially upset by silent or abandoned calls—when they answer the telephone and no one is there. Those kinds of calls are the responsibility of Ofcom.”
Mr Weir called on the UK government to take action to tackle the issue, including making it clear to consumers who are asked if they wish to get further information from companies that this will override registration with the Telephone Preference Service and they might be sold on to other companies.