Telephone Preference Service: Stop Unwanted Calls

on Tuesday, 05 December 2017.

Whether it is trying to sell you something, a political call during dinner or a scam, unwanted calls come to our phones at an annoyingly more frequent rate every week, it seems.

If you are looking for a way to stop those calls, the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is a free service that helps block unwanted calls. It is the official 'do not call' database for the UK. Once your number is registered in the database, it is illegal for companies to make unsolicited calls to your number.

Companies and organizations you do regular business with have at some point, most likely gathered your permission to call you. For instance, if you have donated to a particular charity, you provided your phone number and they may call you from time to time to ask for another donation or for various other reasons. The purpose of registering with the TPS is not to block this type of calls, but rather to block those cold calls. The ones that come to you through robodialers or even the ambitious call center worker diligently going through a purchased list of phone numbers are the ones that the Telephone Preference Service is aimed toward.

Originally only available for landlines, mobile phones, and an app were added in 2016. To sign up, text "TPS" and your email address to 85095. Download the mobile app and calls coming in will have a rating of 1 to 5 based on their trustworthiness with 1 being least trustworthy and 5 being most trusted. Users decide what level of call they wish to accept. The mobile app also allows for easier reporting of violators. Reports affect the numbers trust rating which helps other users. Note, however, that SMS or text messages are not included. These can only be stopped by sending an "opt-out" text to the originating company.

Once a user registers a phone number, they should notice a gradual decline in calls from unsolicited numbers over the next 4 to 5 weeks. Users of the app are encouraged to continue to report unwanted calls anytime they occur, so sign up and help yourself and others fight this problem.

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