Some nuisance-call blocking services may not be as effective as they claim to be. The best thing to do is to register with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).

Making you pay a fee to become a member of the TPS

It is claimed by certain companies that they will ensure that the call centres do not contact you.

It’s already the law for reputable cold callers to screen their outbound sales calls against the TPS database.

Our conclusion is that adding more registers won’t offer any value. Learn how to avoid telemarketers from bothering you by reading our guide.

The TPS is free to join up for, but some companies will charge you a fee to do so.

A number of significant companies in the direct marketing industry were interviewed by Which? All of them rely solely on the TPS-supplied register.

Using our free complaint tool, if you’re getting a lot of nuisance calls, you can report them to the regulator.


Dealing with omitted or fictitious data

It’s also a common claim made by companies claiming to be able to cope with calls from blocked numbers.

A third-party company, such as those promising to halt nuisance calls, would not have access to the information needed to track down the source of an unwanted call, BT told Which?

The TPS is less effective.

If a firm says that their product is more effective than the TPS, be wary.

If you’re a reputable cold caller, you should already be screening your calls against the TPS database.

We found no evidence of direct marketing organisations utilising a register other than the one supplied by the TPS in their investigation.

In response to claims made by a few companies, the TPS has responded by denying these assertions and providing no proof to back them up.

Putting an end to international calls

There isn’t a single set of rules that applies to everyone on the planet. Customers calling from outside the United Kingdom do not need to have their calls checked against the TPS list by the call centre.

As a result of the TPS being ignored by some international calls, these companies are unlikely to use a commercial database.

They are not legally compelled to filter their calls against the TPS, which implies they are not legally required to use any other register, thus they presumably wouldn’t screen their calls against any other register either.

For this reason, it’s impossible for corporations to block you from receiving foreign phone calls via call prevention registries.

Call throttling devices

You may buy a number of devices that plug into your phone and let you screen and block incoming calls. These devices are called call blocking devices.

Automatically barring calls from an obscured number, only allowing calls from people on your friend or family list to get through, and stopping annoying robocalls are some of the more advanced — and more expensive—options available.

An online account for some of these services is also available. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these gadgets may prevent you from receiving calls that you actually desire. For example, calls from your local hospital that are routed through switchboards.