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Ofcom Wants To Block Nuisance Mobile Calls With A Text

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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New registration service will look to protect customers from being bombarded with pesky voice calls

British mobile users plagued by nuisance calls will now be able to put an end to their misery thanks to a new service from Ofcom.

The watchdog has today unveiled a free ‘text-to-register’ service that will let people opt out of such calls with just a single text message.

Launched in assocation with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), the new service signs users up for the UK’s official ‘do not call’ database simply by texting ‘TPS’ and their email address to 78070.

Back off

spam phone callsOfcom says that although it is illegal for organisations to make unsolicited sales and marketing calls to numbers registered with the TPS (unless they have a person’s consent to do so) many people are unaware of this, or the fact that they can opt out by registering with the TPS.

Much of this is down to a lack of awareness, Ofcom notes, as according to recent research it carried out, only half (48 percent) of people familiar with the TPS are aware that mobile numbers can be registered with the service, compared to almost nine in 10 (88 percent) for landline phone numbers.

Ofcom says that currently, only 2.9 million mobile numbers – around three percent of the UK total – are registered on the TPS database, compared with 18.5 million landline numbers (around 85 percent).

Rogue callers operate illegally and against the interests of ordinary people,” said John Mitchison, head of the telephone preference service.

“Texting will make it easier for people to register their mobile numbers on the TPS, which is the only official no-call list, and help us stamp out rogue callers once and for all by giving the Information Commissioner more ammunition to prosecute these cases.”

Users who sign up to the service should notice a gradual reduction in unsolicited calls after a few days, Ofcom claims, although it notes that the process can take up to 28 days to become fully effective.

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