Landline, Mobile Customers Experiencing Fewer Nuisance Calls Than Before: Ofcom Research


By Emmanuel Oluebube

Telecommunications customers in the UK are currently seeing fewer nuisance calls than was the case three years ago.  The findings are included in an update to the joint action plan to tackle nuisance calls and messages, published May 4  by TMT regulator Ofcom and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Nuisance calls tracking research

In January 2020, two in five (39%) customers reported that they’d received a nuisance call on their landline telephone – down from 61 per cent in May 2017. The proportion of mobile customers experiencing a nuisance call also fell from 47 per cent to 37 per cent during the same period.

Complaints about nuisance calls

The ICO received around 37,000 fewer complaints about nuisance calls and messages than it did five years ago – 129,354 in 2019 vs. 166,663 in 2015 (-22%). Similarly, Ofcom received half the amount of complaints about silent and abandoned calls in 2019 (27,869) than it did in 2015 (49,648), when complaints were at their peak.

More work to do

“Nuisance calls are an unwanted interruption to our daily lives. They can also cause anxiety and distress, or result in customers being scammed by fraudsters. So while it’s encouraging that progress is being made, there is still much more to do to make sure people are protected from harm.

Today’s action plan therefore summarises our ongoing technical work to tackle the problem, including blocking nuisance calls at source, as well as the coordinated effort by the banking and telecoms industry to tackle scams, led by Stop Scams UK. The update sets out the ICO’s and Ofcom’s joint priorities for the coming year,” Ofcom said.

Covid-19 scams

The ICO and Ofcom  said they were also aware of reports of scams related to Covid-19 and were working to help protect customers against these.

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