BT launches free service to deal with nuisance calls

If you’re fed up your phone blaring all hours of the day with automated messages or other nuisance calls, then here’s some very good news indeed. BT’s just launched a new free service designed specifically to address the problem.

The service, called BT Call Protect, will divert unwanted calls to a junk voicemail box - similar to how junk emails end up in a spam folder. BT reckons the irritation suppression service could divert up to 30 million nuisance calls a week. That means no more PPI calls, or robots bleating on about personal injury - bliss.

According to BT, the new service is the first of its kind in the UK, and works by the analysing huge amounts of large data. BT staff are able to identify naughty numbers - they typically make lots of calls - and add them to a blacklist. This means that calls are automatically diverted into the junk voicemail box before they trouble the customer.

Although BT will have its own blacklist, customers can add numbers to their own personal list of blocked calls. To do that, they simply dial 1572 after receiving a nuisance call, or go online to log the number. In addition, who categories of calls can be blocked, such as withheld numbers or international calls.

Matt Hancock, the minister for digital and culture, said: "Nuisance callers are a terrible blight on society and government and industry are working together to crack down on them. We've forced companies to display their numbers when they call you, made it easier to prosecute those involved in making the calls, and increased the maximum fines up to £500,000.

We welcome BT's new service, which offers customers an additional level of protection, helping them to fight back against this ongoing harassment."

To coincide with the launch of BT Call Protect, the company's released some data about the most common nuisance calls between 13 and 19 December last year. The vast majority - 39% in fact - were accident claims, followed by PPI (9%), computer scam (9%), personal data requests (5%) and silent calls (3%).

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