TalkTalk takes stand against nuisance calls by offering free privacy features
The telecoms company will become the first and only internet service provider in the UK to offer ‘Last Caller Barring’ and ‘Anonymous Caller Reject’ for free to both new and existing customers.
These features are in addition to Caller Display, Withhold Number and 1571 voicemail, which are already free to all 4 million phone customers on TalkTalk’s network.
The privacy calling features will be free from 19 January 2014 and TalkTalk has said this should save households up to £140 a year in comparison to BT.
Some providers continue to charge for Last Caller Barring and Anonymous Caller Reject, with can cost as much as £3.70 and £4.50 per month respectively.
TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding said: “Nuisance and unwanted calls are a huge source of stress and frustration. We don’t believe that people should be charged for the privilege of protecting their privacy. Our customers can now benefit from even more free features to help them avoid nuisance calls, helping to make TalkTalk homes even better off.”
Marie-Louise Abretti, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com said: “This is great news for all its customers, but especially for those who were having to choose between protecting themselves from nuisance calls and keeping a lid on their bills. It’s particularly welcome as those who rely most heavily on their landline are often those who require the most protection, but can least afford to pay for it. We now hope that other providers follow TalkTalk’s lead and start to protect their customers for free from this scourge too.”
Last April TalkTalk was fined £750,000 by the regulator for ‘excessive’ abandoned and silent calls.
Recent research from consumer support group Which? stated that one third of people feel intimidated by cold calls and over half are discouraged from picking up their landline.
Likewise, more than eight in ten people have reported that they had received an unsolicited call on their home landline in the past month.
TalkTalk’s free privacy features include:
Withhold Number: hides your number when making a call so it will not be seen by the person you are calling. This means it won’t appear in caller ID or be available if they use Last Caller ID, ensuring that your identity remains private.
Anonymous Caller Reject: blocks incoming calls from anyone who withholds their number. This means if anyone tries to call you without displaying their phone number, they’ll automatically hear a busy tone and you won’t be bothered with the call.
Last Caller Barring: allows users to block the last number to call or specific numbers of your choice. Now when someone tries to call you from a barred number all they will hear is a busy number and you’ll no longer be disturbed by an unwanted call.
Caller Display: displays the number of the caller before you pick up the phone to help you avoid nuisance calls or cold callers