Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Are You Being Annoyed

If you are like me, spending more and more time on your boat. Getting to the point where a fixed telephone landline is no longer a practical solution. So I switched to just having a mobile phone. That is when it all started with the unsolicited text messages. However, the most annoying thing I found was the cold callers - wanting to know if I have had an accident or been sold a payment protection plan. Worse still are the silent callers. I have this thing now, if I don't recognise the number, or the number is withheld - I press the button to direct the call to my voice mail.

There has recently been an increase in unsolicited text messages relating to accident claims, debts or miss sold PPI. The companies sending these messages are seeking to solicit leads which are then sold on to management firms. The TPS advise that if you receive these text messages then it is best to ignore them. 

So I decided to register for the free service provided by the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), the official central opt out register where you can record your preference to not receive unsolicited sales or marketing calls. TPS note that it is a legal requirement that all organisations (including charities, voluntary organisations and political parties) do not make calls to numbers registered on the TPS database unless they have your consent to do so.

 To register with TPS click Click Here.

If you feel that the text messages are becoming a nusance then you can report the messages to your network operator who may be able to prevent further spam from the originating number. You can either contact your network operator’s customer services or use one of the reporting numbers:

Orange, O2, T-Mobile and Three: Forward the text to 7726

Vodafone: Forward the text to VSPAM (87726)

However, numbers often change and so the network cannot guarantee stopping all unsolicited messages. If you do not believe that you have opted-in to the number and that there is a breach of your data protection then you can also report it to the ICO.

If a company that has contacted you fails to provide details of who they are then the communication is unlawful and the ICO can help. The ICO Website advises the following action to be taken if you are concerned:

1) Contact the organisation in question explaining your concerns and allow them some time to address the problem. You can call the ICO helpline on 0303 123 1113 for more advise on what can be done to resolve the matter.

2) If the problem remains unresolved the ICO may be able to help. If necessary, they will investigate the problem further and they can provide help and guidance to the organisation if they believe that the law has been broken. You will need to be able to provide evidence to support your complaint otherwise the ICO will be unable to consider it.

You can make a complaint to the ICO by email:
Fill out the complaint form Click Here
Open an email with ‘Complaint to the ICO’ in the subject line
Attach the complaint form and any additional documents that you wish to include
Send to

Or, you can send it by post:
Fill out the complaint form Click Here
Send the form and and any additional documents that you wish to include to:

First Contact Team
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane



  1. Unfortunately, as I found out when I started to get bombarded with these ridiculous calls and messages even though I have been registered with TPS for many years, the companies who initiate them have now got wise and use foreign call centres who are not under the control of our legislation. I haven't fully resolved the text problem yet, but as for the calls I enjoy leaving them hanging on ad infinitum after I tell them to wait as I have left a pan on the hotplate or similar. It doesn't stop the calls but makes me feel better having inconvenienced them like they are doing to me. These foreign calls usually don't have a number associated with the call, but if using a land line, your telecoms company can usually provide a 'number with held' blocking service, but caution must be used when deciding to use this service, as some legitimate organizations such as police also with hold numbers, so you wouldn't receive their calls either.

  2. Hi Peter n Margaret.

    After we signed up with TPS, the number of calls dropped over the next few months. The silent calls have disappeared, but we get one or two of the cold calls every month.

    Have a listen to this phone call. You will love it!

    Tom Mabe is a stand-up comic and he just loves getting cold calls...

    Mick n Mags.


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