BT to the rescue for British PPI call sufferers

Could the cold calls finally end for British consumers?

“Hi, my name’s Sarah and I’m calling from <insert (dis)reputable company name> about your recent car accident/ your PPI claim/ your chance to win £250 in High Street vouchers.”

I have not had a car accident. I’ve never taken out PPI. I’m also registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). But that doesn’t seem to stop the cold callers.

There are a number of ways you can deal with these calls, and I’ve tried a fair few – answering in Spanish, pretending to be Chinese takeaway, blowing a whistle down the phone, just leaving the line open and ignoring them – but while it’s temporarily satisfying, it doesn’t solve the problem. Other people have tried using robot AI against telemarketers, and one guy even managed to not only charge them for his time, but took them to small claims court.

But now BT might have another solution. According to an announcement today, the British telecoms company will be launching a ‘breakthrough’ service later this year, to divert up to 25 million unwanted calls each week to a junk voicebox. And best of all, this service will be free!


BT explains that their team will monitor calls to their 10 million UK customers to identify patterns in callers, and if you’re a BT customer, you’ll also be able to divert the calls yourself to the “Blacklist”. And this of course if all thanks to data analytics.

BT has also joined other communication providers including Sky, Virgin Medi, and Vodafone, in signing up to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ofcom that centres on nuisance calls. The MoU will gather data from the companies and establish a framework aiming to reduce the impact of unlawful nuisance calls on consumers.

Unfortunately it’s not all good news, as experts says this won’t be a complete fix – companies out to hassle people will be able to change numbers and/or use fake numbers to hide who they are, with many fraudsters and malicious callers still able to get through.

But if I don’t get any more calls from Sarah about my non-existent accident while I was claiming my PPI, I’ll be happy.