Help for consumers to complain about nuisance calls

Which? launches a new online complaints tool today to help consumers call time on nuisance calls and texts, as we find that less than a fifth (17%) of consumers officially complain about this menace. 

While only 17% complain officially, this is not a true reflection of the scale of the problem as we previously found that within one month 85% of people received a nuisance call on their landline.

New Which? research also finds that around four in ten people (43%) complain about nuisance calls and texts to family and friends. Of those who do officially complain, eight in 10 (81%) said it’s important to go on the record so authorities can do more about these calls.

But the research reveals of those who haven’t officially complained, the main reasons are they often don’t know who to complain to (31%), they say complaining won’t do any good (40%), or they don’t think the calls will reduce even if they do complain (43%). Six in 10 people (62%) said they would be more likely to complain officially if there was an easy way to report calls as soon as they received them. 

Which?’s new online complaints tool, will direct consumers to the relevant regulator’s complaint form in a matter of seconds, making it easier to register their frustration with nuisance calls and texts. Importantly this will give regulators the information they need to take enforcement action against companies found breaking the rules.

Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director 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.”

Last month we called on the Government to step in to strengthen the law on consent and the use of personal data, and to give regulators more powers to enforce the law. Over 76,000 people have so far signed up to pledge their support for our “Calling Time on Nuisance Calls and Texts” campaign. Consumers can pledge their support at: 

Notes to Editors 

  1. Populus, on behalf of Which?, interviewed 2,070 UK adults online between 19th and 21st April 2013 and 2,101 UK adults online between 3rd and 6th May 2013. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all UK adults. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
  2. The new Which? complaints tool will direct complaints about live marketing calls and texts to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) or the Telephone Preference Service. Complaints about silent or abandoned calls will be directed to Ofcom and complaints about premium rate services will go through to Phonepay Plus.
  3. We are calling on the Government to strengthen the law on consent and the use of personal data, to give regulators more powers to enforce the law, and to work with industry to provide technical fixes to filter out unwanted calls and texts.
  4. Which? is also supporting Mike Crockart MP’s Private Members Bill on nuisance calls and texts which is due to have a second reading in the House of Commons in the Autumn

Press Release