Broadband Guides

How to deal with nuisance and telemarketing calls

Dealing with nuisance and telemarketing calls:

For a long time now, cold-calling has been a big inconvenience for phone users. Thankfully, there are more and more ways to stop it than previously. Unsolicited calls trying to sell you something are a big enough problem that the vast majority of people have been inconvenienced by it at some stage. For some, the problem can be a constant hassle.

There are several steps to prevent unsolicited calls, and also things you can do to deal with them once they happen. There are resources you can take with both your phone and broadband provider, as well as official organisations you can complain to.

Be careful when signing contracts

Most companies will not call you if you don’t give at least some tacit permission for them to do so. To prevent this, there are generally 2 things to watch out for when signing contracts.

Firstly, there is usually a checkbox that says that the company can use your contact details to inform you of products and promotions. This might sound innocuous enough, but could result in your number being hounded regularly by telemarketers.

Secondly, if you check this box allowing them to make contact, and it is also mentioned in the small print that this permission can be extended to their partner companies, then the authorisation for contact can be extended beyond what you intended to yet more companies. In most cases, it is best just not to tick the box, and if you do, verify that more companies can’t be referred your number.

Avoid giving out your number in general

Door-to-door sales reps and those posing as survey takers often try to elicit your personal details over the phone or in person. The more you give them, the more likely you are to be successfully targeted in calling campaigns. If you’re being quizzed at your doorstep or over the phone with no good reason, it is best to just end the conversation.

If you are being called, it is a good idea to ask where they got your number from. With this knowledge you can request the offending organisation to stop giving out your number.

Buy phones that allow easy blocking of unwanted calls

Some phones can allow you to bar unknown numbers, international calls, and calls from withheld numbers. This might be a big step to take, but if you normally get calls just from a certain set of numbers but are occasionally pestered by other calls also then this is a great choice. It will not prevent all nuisance calls, but can prevent the vast majority.

Make your number ex-directory

Communication is easier now, so it less necessary to have your landline listed in the phone book when it is easy to be contacted by email or social media. Increasing numbers of people opt not to have their number in the phone book and go ex-directory, and this won’t prevent all unwanted calls but will remove the easy option for telemarketers to simply look your name up.

Use the Telephone Preference Service

This service will register you as a number and address that does not want to be contacted, and while it will not solve the problem entirely, after a month of registering you should see a reduction in the amount of calls received. Visit this address ( for more details about the call or text you should make to register as not wanting calls.

Contact your phone operator about your preferences

In most cases, your phone company can help. For example, Virgin Media run a Nuisance calls Bureau. BT allow caller display for a small monthly fee. TalkTalk have a handy feature that lets you bar the last number that called from calling again. In this case, after getting a nuisance call you just use it to bar the last called number, but also allows you to input numbers to stop them from calling you.


If all else fails you can always contact Ofcom and report that you are being called without permission. This could put a stop to it, and also help other customers in your situation. Make sure to note the number they called from and the date.