Time to hang up?

coldcallsMore than 90 per cent of people do not trust firms, including double glazing companies, which call them out of the blue, a survey has found.

According to the survey, carried out for Citizens Advice, 92% of people do not trust the companies who cold-call home owners and ‘pester them’ for business.

Citizens Advice chief executive, Gillian Guy, said it was proof cold calling does not work and is ‘nothing more than a nuisance’.

She added: “It is time companies hang-up marketing plans that bombard people with unwanted phone calls, text messages and automated voicemails. Nine in 10 people don’t trust companies that cold-call which is indicative of marketing that is nothing more than a nuisance.”

Last year, Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, announced plans to lower the threshold of what is considered a ‘nuisance’ call – meaning ‘annoying’ as well as ‘distressing’ calls are investigated.

Further measures are being drawn up to prevent cold callers being able to conceal their number and to improve the system for consumers to give their consent to be contacted.

Telephone firm TalkTalk recently made all landline privacy calling features completely free, allowing families to block nusiance calls.

TalkTalk CEO, Dido Harding, said: “Nuisance and unwanted calls are a huge source of stress. It’s clear to see that customers are looking to their providers to do more to safeguard them against this menace.

,“Our customers can now benefit from even more free features to help them avoid nuisance calls, helping to make TalkTalk homes even better off.”

The issue of cold calling was also debated in the Commons last week, with Lib Dem MP Mike Crockart demanding the government take action against firms who target vulnerable people.

Ahead of the debate, Crockart said: “I am fed up with nuisance calls to my landline and mobile, as well as unsolicited texts. And by nuisance calls, I mean unwanted live marketing calls, as well as silent calls, abandoned calls, spam texts and recorded messages. I’m pestered day in, day out and I know I am not alone.”

The chairman of the all-party group on nuisance calls said he has been inundated by members of the public who are angry about the issue.

“These are an annoyance for most people, but for many vulnerable and elderly people, they are also a menace, and one that puts them at risk of fraud just as much as a crook or a pushy salesman turned up at their door.”

,Culture minister, Ed Vaizey, said the government was now going to bring forward legislation to make it easier for the Information Commissioner to fine rogue marketing firms which generate nuisance calls.

Last year, research from Citizens Advice found 42% of cold calls to households were about personal injury and accident claims, 40% were from gas and electricity companies, 29% were related to double glazing and 23% were from debt relief services.

Source: Daily Mail

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