Which? launches new complaints tool
The Government is urging householders plagued by nuisance calls to use a new online tool to complain, saying it will help regulators take action.
Consumer group Which? is directing complainants to the relevant regulator's complaint form via its own website, with the aim of gathering the evidence required for enforcement action.
A survey by the watchdog found that 85% of householders had received a nuisance call on their landline within the space of one month, but only 17% made an official complaint.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: "Consumers are completely fed up with nuisance calls but often don't know who to complain to, or they think nothing will happen if they do. Our new complaints tool will take the confusion and hassle away and helps people register their frustration with unwanted calls.
"If more consumers complain, it will send a clear message that more needs to be done to stop unwanted calls and texts. We urgently need to see a new approach, new laws and new technology to tackle the menace of nuisance calls and texts."
Communications minister Ed Vaizey said: "Nuisance calls are a menace. At best, they're an irritation, but at worst they can cause real misery. The more people complain, the more evidence regulators can have to take action against the companies breaking the law.
"This initiative by Which? will make it quicker and easier for people to raise concerns about any company plaguing them with nuisance calls, and I urge consumers to use its reporting tool. I am also pleased to be working with Which?, regulators and industry to see what else should be done to cut this nuisance off at source, and will announce our plan as soon as possible."
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS), which allows consumers to opt out of receiving telemarketing calls, also welcomed the initiative.
TPS head John Mitchison said: "By law, companies cannot make unsolicited calls to people registered with the TPS. The TPS is effective at stopping unsolicited live calls from reputable and responsible companies that screen their contact details against its 'do not call' list of more than 18 million private household and mobile numbers.
"Which?'s complaints tool should give people the guidance they need to report to the TPS or regulatory authorities those companies that choose to flout the law. The more information that is collected on lawbreakers, the easier it becomes to protect people from the problem of nuisance calls."