Stopping those silent calls
24 Jul 2004
No - don't cut it off - yet!
No - don't cut it off - yet!
No, don't destroy the phone or throw it out of the window!

A request for help from one of my constituents prompted me to look into the problem of 'silent calls' - when the phone rings, you pick it up, and there is no-one there.

This happens when companies use computers to dial target numbers. If you answer, the computer tries to connect you to one of the company's sales staff. But if all the sales staff are already busy, the computer just drops the line. I'm not sure whether this isn't even more irritating than those out-of-the-blue unsolicited sales calls!

I don't yet know how effective it is, but the Telephone Preference Service (which tries to stop the unsolicited sales calls) has also introduced a 'silent calls service', where you can register that you don't want these computer-generated calls. If you are asking, "Surely no-one wants them, why should I have to register?", I agree with you and I'm taking this up with Ministers and the industry. Meanwhile, if you do register (at 0870 4443969), I'd appreciate an email to let me know (after a few weeks) whether you think it has made a difference.

For the normal Telephone Preference Service (to inhibit unwanted sales calls), you can register online - use the link below.
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