Ridding yourself of pesky SPAM texts and phone calls

5th November 2012

There most likely isn’t a single mobile phone owner in the UK who hasn’t at some point (and probably on a regular basis) been the receiver of unwanted contact either by phone call or text message from some dodgy sounding accident claims company or someone claiming you are owed thousands for PPI you can’t ever remember taking out (probably because it never happened).

Most of these phone calls seem to go something like “Hello we understand you’ve been in an accident in the last 6 months is that right sir?” “Um, no, I don’t recall being in any accidents, bye”.  That may be the end of the conservation yes, but unfortunately it won’t be the last time you get a call like this. Similarly you may be bombarded with texts from a company stating: “You may be entitled to up to £5000 PPI compensation, please reply or call immediately”.

Should they call you at a time when you have the time to actually speak to them without just hanging up straight away, the more tolerant ones amongst us can have the temperament to simply politely decline to speak to them again and express complete non-interest. However, even these people have their limit, when “having a go” at these annoying pests may remain your only option to persuade them to finally leave you alone.

The good news for your stress levels is that there are many different methods of reporting or stopping all this unwanted contact, at least to the point where if these companies do contact you they will be breaking the law.

If your mobile phone is on the o2, 3 or EE (the new lovechild of T-Mobile and Orange) networks and you receive a spam text, simply forward the text to “7726”, which quite appropriately spells the word “SPAM” on a conventional mobile phone keypad.  Vodafone customers can do the same to “87726”.

For a more extreme measure, there is a free opt-out service provided by the Mailing Preference Service (MPS), known as the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).  It’s fairly straightforward to register online.

Simply select the type of number you wish to register (this can be your residential number, or the number of a business you own or work for) then enter this number into the form.   It will ask for your postcode to confirm your address and the reason you want to register.  Just 28 days after registering, telemarketers will be required by law to no longer call your number, although the reduction in calls can be noticeable immediately after registering.

If you prefer to register over the phone, you can call the TPS on 0845 070 0707.  More information on the TPS can be found here.


 Phil Sinkinson