Figures highlight nuisance calls

Nuisance calls and texts are affecting the vast majority of people despite most having taken steps to eliminate them, a survey has found.

80% of mobile phone users receive unwanted telephone marketing calls, says a survey
80% of mobile phone users receive unwanted telephone marketing calls, says a survey

Almost nine in 10 telecoms users (87%) receive calls from withheld numbers, with 40% receiving them at least once a week and 9% at least one a day, according to price comparison site uSwitch.com.

Among mobile users, 80% receive unwanted telephone marketing calls, with 18% receiving at least one a week and 15% receiving at least three a week.

More than two thirds (68%) get unwanted texts they cannot unsubscribe from, with almost a quarter (24%) receiving one at least once a week.

But 59% of all phone users say they never share their personal data with third parties and 58% never give their mobiles out "if they can help it", while more than half (51%) have signed up to the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).

Some 83% receive unwanted telephone marketing calls on their home phones despite 53% being ex-directory.

USwitch telecoms spokesman Ernest Doku said: "Nuisance calls are the scourge of a modern society that shares data, and lots of it. The result is intensely irritating cold calls, automated voice messages and unsolicited texts.

"It's encouraging that more than half the respondents we surveyed had signed up to the TPS and even more are being careful about who they give their mobile numbers to.

"What isn't encouraging is how prolific nuisance calls and texts are in spite of the steps people are obviously taking to eliminate them.

"While several bodies, including Ofcom and the Communications Consumer Panel, are tackling nuisance calls, change can't come soon enough.

"Consumers can keep the pressure on by continuing to lodge complaints with the TPS and/or the Information Commissioner's Office for unwanted live telesales calls and silent or abandoned calls with Ofcom."

The uSwitch consumer opinion panel surveyed 1,639 UK adults online in March.