By: 19 January 2017
BT announces crackdown on nuisance calls with new free diversion service

BT has said that it is “declaring war” on companies that regularly pester its customers with nuisance calls in relation to PPI and personal accident claims.

As part of its “war” BT has launched a new free service – the first of its kind in the UK – that enables its home phone customers to divert unwanted calls to a junk voicemail box.

The company estimates that the BT Call Protect service could divert up to 30 million nuisance calls a week to a junk voicemail box, and so preventing them from irritating customers. BT also says that recent data shows that it could divert up to 15 million calls a week from personal accident claims and PPI companies alone.

Research carried out for BT shows that on average people receive four nuisance calls a week and that 60% find nuisance calls stressful. More women say they find nuisance calls stressful than men do, with two thirds of women and just over half of men revealing they find these stressful. More than a quarter of people are concerned about their parents or grandparents getting nuisance calls in case they are conned.

Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, said that he welcomed BT’s new service. He said it offered customers an additional level of protection and would help them to fight back against harassment from claims companies.

“Nuisance callers are a terrible blight on society and Government and industry are working together to crack down on them,” said Hancock.

“We’ve forced companies to display their numbers when they call you, made it easier to prosecute those involved in making the calls, and increased the maximum fines up to £500,000.”

John Petter, chief executive of BT Consumer, said: “We’re declaring war on the companies that regularly pester our customers with nuisance calls on subjects such as PPI and personal accident claims. We’re giving our customers the means to fight back against the millions of unwanted calls for free.

“We’ve been at the forefront of equipping our customers to defend themselves against the huge numbers of PPI and unwanted marketing calls that are continuing to grow. Now, with our unique technology, we can identify and tackle huge numbers of those calls in the network and also give our customers control over the calls they receive.

“We’re leading the way and calling on other telecoms companies to up their game in the fight against this menace.”