Time to hang up on nuisance calls

Midlothian North MSP Colin Beattie backs the Which campaign over nuisance calls. Photo: John Need
Midlothian North MSP Colin Beattie backs the Which campaign over nuisance calls. Photo: John Need

Which?’s Nuisance Calls campaign took to the Scottish Parliament recently, as it’s revealed that seven in ten Scots said that receiving cold calls discouraged them from picking up their phone when it rings.

With new Which? research showing as many as eight in 10 (81%) Scots received a nuisance call on their landline in August, campaigners from the consumer champion spoke to MSPs about the issues with these calls that many are facing in their constituency.

Midlothian North MSP Colin Beattie attended the event, giving his support to the Which? campaign.

As part of the campaign, Which? led a week of activity on nuisance calls. Alongside the event at Parliament, a public event was held at Glasgow Central Station and an awareness day in Aberdeen to help people protect themselves against nuisance calls.

At the event in Glasgow, Keith Brown MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, announced an action plan on the issue, with measures including a £50,000 fund to install call-blocking technology for those most at risk from nuisance calls.

The consumer champion wants MSPs, Scottish businesses and regulators to now get behind the Scottish Government’s action plan and ensure that it tackles the problem of nuisance calls in Scotland. It is also pressing the UK Government to swiftly deliver on its commitment to make senior executives more responsible for the actions of their company.

The most common calls to landlines reported relate to accident claims (38%), silent calls (48%) and PPI insurance claims (42%).
The average number of nuisance calls was reported at 14 per month. Four in ten (41%) also said that they have felt intimidated by cold calls.

Previous Which? research shows that Scotland’s cities have the highest rates of nuisance calls in the UK. Glasgow came top of a table ranking 18 UK cities according to the percentage of nuisance calls that people in those locations received. Edinburgh was second and Aberdeen fourth. Nearly 30,000 people in Scotland have signed Which?’s petition to stop nuisance calls.

Alex Neill, Which? Managing Director of Home Products and Services, said: “We’re delighted that Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, attended our event and is backing our campaign to put an end to nuisance calls.

“Scots continue to receive more nuisance calls than the rest of the UK, and we hope that Mr Beattie will get behind the Scottish Government’s action plan and raise awareness of this everyday menace to the public.”

Mr Beattie said: “Nuisance calls are called that for a reason. I doubt there are few of my constituents who have not been plagued by this annoyance.

“These calls can also be stressful, coming at different times of day and night, and people can feel intimidated and pressured into agreeing to something they do not need or want.

“I strongly welcome Which?’s campaign. I’m sure this action, alongside the Scottish Government’s pledge of £50,000 of funding to help the most vulnerable in our society, will see the menace of nuisance calls greatly reduced.”