Thursday, 23 January 2014

Nuisance calls very late at night - we are trying to change the rules in parliament

I debated this matter in the House of Commons on Thursday; some constituents have been receiving many unwanted phone calls a day, often in the very early hours of the morning - this is even happening at "1, 2, or 3 o’clock in the morning”. I urged the Government and regulators to take action. You can read the full debate here:
- but amongst the points I made was that:

"The Government need to do more to give the regulator and others teeth, so that we can stop them”.

My particular concern is phone calls during the middle of the night: “calls between 9 o’clock at night and 6 o’clock in the morning are happening, and it isn’t even very economical for the companies making the calls, as everyone gives them short shrift. However, the last thing a mother or father wants to hear at 1 in the morning is the phone going; too often fear that such a call is bad news about their children or families; this persistent calling is also very upsetting, and makes people reluctant to answer the phones at night. As a result, I think the least the Government could do is stop these night-time calls, and I made this very point to the Minister this week. In addition I would recommend the choose to refuse service that is available with all phone companies:
“Choose to Refuse lets you put a stop to nuisance or unwanted calls by stopping them from getting through to you. You can block up to ten numbers. To do this, customers dial 14258**, and the number is added to a database."
Speaking in the debate, the Government Minister Ed Vaizey MP said that he will bring forward legislation later in the year to deal with the issue; speaking for myself I am delighted that the Government will be taking action against this practice, and I hope that we can change things for the better. In the meantime, I urge any constituents receiving these phone calls to contact the regulator OFCOM, or contact my office, and together we will deter these companies.