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Nuisance calls still on the rise – StepChange Debt Charity response

20 May 2015

In response to research released today by Ofcom which shows that the level of nuisance calls in the UK is still growing1, StepChange Debt Charity’s Head of Policy Peter Tutton said:

“Today’s figures show that there has been no reduction in the level of nuisance calls over the past year, with four in five people still receiving unsolicited marketing calls. These types of calls and messages are more than just an everyday inconvenience - they risk causing severe stress and anxiety for vulnerable people, including those in financial difficulty.

“The current methods of dealing with these potentially harmful calls are clearly ineffective. We must now see more action from government and regulators to make real change happen. In particular, we believe that the Telephone Preference Service should be made an opt-out, not opt-in, service for all households – an approach that is proven to work well in other countries2.

“We also need the Financial Conduct Authority to impose a ban on the unsolicited real time promotion of high-cost credit products. Our research showed that 1.2m British adults have been tempted to take out high-cost credit, such as payday loans, as a result of unsolicited marketing calls or text messages.3

“If we do not strengthen the tools at our disposal, then we will continue to fail families, many of whom are amongst the most vulnerable people in our society and could be suffering real damage as a result of these unwelcome and uninvited calls.”

Notes to editors:

  1. Research from Ofcom’s Landline Nuisance Calls Panel Wave 3 (January-February 2015). 86% of participants received a nuisance call during the four week fieldwork period, compared to 84% in the 2014 Wave 2 report, and 82% in the 2013 Wave 1 report.
  2. Research from Combatting Nuisance Calls and Texts by Claire Milne, February 2015
  3. Figures from StepChange Debt Charity’s Got Their Number report, which can be viewed in full here

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