How to stop cold callers pestering you… for good

How to stop cold callers calling

How to stop cold callers callingThis one is a pet peeve of many and even though there’s a simple 1 minute fix so many of us haven’t actioned it yet. I’m talking about the curse of the cold caller…


Long pause. Clicking sound

“Hello, are you the main bill payer in this household?”

“Who is this?”

“I’m calling to let you know about our latest offers on…”

“No thanks”


Line goes dead

Sound familiar? At one stage I used to get 3 or 4 of these calls an evening. It drove me insane.

Admittedly cold calling is a pretty thankless job. Hundreds of souls packed into grey office cubicles given headsets and forced to bother complete strangers all day… often for a pretty miserable wage.

At the same time it’s horrible to be on the receiving end and the last thing you want when you’ve got home and flopped in front of the couch or started putting the dinner on, is to answer a pushy sales call. It can be quite intrusive and it’s the reason why in years gone by many chose to go ‘ex-directory’.

These days there’s a FAR simpler way to stop cold callers dead in their tracks. If you fill in this simple online form they’re legally bound to stop bothering you. It doesn’t cost a penny to do this by the way.

You can register here:

Telephone Preference Service

It takes about a minute to fill in and then you’re done. Should you get any unsolicited sales calls after you’ve registered, just mention that you’ve registered for TPS. You shouldn’t get any more calls but there might be the occasional straggler. Mention this and they usually panic and hang up.

Top Tips:

– You can do this for both your home phone (or landline) and your mobile.

– It’s worth bearing in mind that it can take 28 days for it to fully kick in.

– While the telephone preference service will stop unsolicited voice calls it doesn’t cover SMS or text messages to your mobile phone. There currently is no service in place for this. If you’ve received an unsolicited text message, or subscribed to a text messaging service that’s overcharged you or not processed a complaint, then you need to contact these guys. They regulate these kinds of shenanigans: Phone Pay Plus

– The telephone preference service only blocks UK-based marketers and sales callers. Unfortunately international cold calls don’t fall under the same jurisdiction. However there is now a workaround for this… see the update below (it’s not cheap but it’s a one off cost and it works).

– Be wary of scammers claiming to be from the telephone preference service calling to request a fee to complete registration. It hasn’t happened very often but there have been a few isolated incidences.

UPDATE – A clever fix from the gadget world…

If you’ve tried all of the above and still had no joy you might want to take a look at this.

I’m afraid it’s not cheap but this device TrueCall (The Nuisance Call Blocker) has been getting rave reviews. I’ve just posted my own review of it here. It filters all calls except whitelisted numbers (for example friends, family and other numbers you specify) from the point of entry.

For unknown numbers it acts as a receptionist asking the caller where they’re calling from. You then get this information e.g. “It’s Sandra from the bank” and can hit ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Worth a look…

Alternatively BT have a service called ‘Anonymous Call Reject’ which is supposed to block all incoming calls from witheld numbers. It costs £4.30 a month, however I have heard reports from some disgruntled customers who say it doesn’t work as effectively as it should.


5 responses to “How to stop cold callers pestering you… for good”

  1. Even though I have tried to stop the phone calls coming in they are still coming in at least twice a day. What else can I do to stop this??

    • Hi John, I’m really sorry to hear that.

      If your registered on TPS and they’re calling you from the UK they’re acting illegally and you should tell them that (it sometimes causes them to cross you off their ‘list’ permanently).

      If you’re still being bombarded you could consider BT’s ‘Anonymous Call Reject’ service which automatically blocks any witheld numbers coming through to your house phone. The downside is that this costs £4.30 a month and I’ve heard grumbles from customers that it’s not great.

      There is a gadget you can now get called TrueCall which fixes the problem. The only downside here is that you have to pay for it. I’ve added an update to the article above.

  2. I’ve commented elsewhere on the excellent TrueCall product. TPS is completely useless. It’s ignored by UK cold callers and the organisation is toothless. Overseas call centres don’t have to comply with TPS anyway. The best you’ll get is to tell the caller you’re on TPS and they shouldn’t be calling. They usually hang up at this point but you still have to answer the call.

    The Information Commissioner’s Office(ICO)did help me with one persistent company which continued to (illegally) send spam text messages after I and my mobile provider asked them to stop. However, the ICO has had powers to fine persistent offenders since the start of this year. Companies fined to date – none. Get a TrueCall unit and take control.

  3. Hi, Im a presenter on BBC radio lancashire and tomorrow morning we are looking at how to deal with unwanted callers – would anyone be free to feature on the radio show, by all means email me for more details, but ideally we would like to have a chat for about 5 minutes at 950am


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