BT unveils new service to battle nuisance calls

BT is bringing out its latest weapons in the fight against nuisance calls: a company blacklist for rogue numbers and a junk voicemail box to send them to.

It's compiling the BT blacklist with dodgy numbers - "typically those that make enormous numbers of calls," it says - such as ones that make sales calls, PPI claims, automated marketing messages, and so on.

On a customer level, each BT line will also have a junk voicemail box that those rogue numbers are automatically diverted to, so you won't be bothered by them. You'll be able to customise your own blacklist, to which you can add individual numbers or whole categories - like withheld numbers or international calls.

BT will continue to expand its own blacklist, adding new numbers as they crop up by analysing live data and its customers' blacklists. It says it then intends to work with regulators like Ofcom to help them with their own work on nuisance calls.

John Petter, BT Consumer chief executive, said: "Nuisance calls are one of the great annoyances of modern life. Everyone will have received one. We are delighted to have made this major breakthrough. We are giving control of the landline back to our customers and removing a major hassle and grief for millions of customers."

He also encouraged other companies to join the battle: "We are doing our bit. We call on other providers to up their game in the fight against this menace. They can help us to root out the malicious players they may be hosting on their own networks when we identify dodgy and suspicious calling behaviour."

Some providers don't need the call to action, however. In a statement, TalkTalk said: "TalkTalk has already been blocking nuisance and scam calls for over two years... We now block 70 million unwanted calls a month from reaching TalkTalk homes. We're pleased to see other providers follow our lead in taking a stand against nuisance calls. But this is an urgent problem, which can only be tackled if government mandates all telecoms providers to offer free call blocking."

More details about the service will be revealed closer to its launch later this year.

Source: BT

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