Make sure you check the opt in/opt out boxes on any direct mail order or online order. Often these are ticked for you and you have to actually un-tick them to stop receiving future calls and email spam. They can be buried in the small print at the bottom, making it harder for people to find and read.
If you opt in, you are agreeing future contact, not just from that company, but often from other third parties. This can be by phone, email or post. If you opt out, they cannot contact you under the data protection laws.
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) allows consumers to opt out of receiving any unsolicited telesales calls.You can register your relative's phone number online, or by phoning 0845 070 0707. It’s free to register and takes up to 28 days to come into effect.
Telemarketers are not allowed to call a number registered to the TPS. Unfortunately, registering with the TPS won’t stop all unwanted calls. Firms may still call you if you’ve previously given them permission to contact you by phone. To stop these calls, you must contact the firm in question (preferably in writing) and ask them not to call you for marketing purposes.
Be aware that firms will also still be allowed to call you to conduct market research purposes if the call does not include any marketing or collect data for use in future marketing calls and some companies still break the law!
TPS is the only register that organisations are legally obliged to check against before making live telesales calls.
There are various products and services that can help block nuisance calls, although you may need to pay to use them.These may block international calls, or calls from withheld numbers or a you can select a list of numbers to block. You need to ensure which you are able block the calls you want to block and nothing else.
These calls may ask you to press a number to speak to a live agent. It is best not to answer and just to put the phone down. Never call the number back, as it may cost you a lot of money
If someone sends you a text asking you to reply ‘STOP’ , ignore it, as by replying, you confirm that your number is active and this can result in you receiving more messages, and calls. Instead, report the spam text to your network operator by forwarding the text to 7726. (they are the numbers on your telephone keypad that spell out the word ‘SPAM’!)
You will not be charged for forwarding spam texts to 7726.
You can also complain to the ICO by phone 0303 123 1113.
If you complain, it helps regulators such as the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and Ofcom take action against illegal callers. When you receive a nuisance call, make a brief note of the call, including the date, time, name of the firm (if possible) and also the number you were called from (even if it doesn’t look like a valid phone number). Then complain to the relevant organisation or regulator. You can still complain even if you don’t have all the information available.