Competition Promotes Better Services

The telecommunications industry is a competitive sector. There are always special offers and introductory promotions aimed at getting subscribers to switch to another service. The approach that companies have used to increase business has often drawn criticism. Some have even used practices that actually leave consumers unsettled by the whole concept of a telephone when it should be such a beneficial link to family and friends.



TalkTalk has announced the withdrawal of charges for the services it provides to combat unwanted phone calls. It is perhaps in recognition of the bad publicity it has been receiving since it was fined heavily for using that tactic itself to increase its business. The fine dates back to a strategy it used in 2011 when it is said to have been responsible for 9,000 such calls, a figure well in excess of what regulatory body Ofcom would sanction.

The calls came from two call centres that used an automatic dialling system which meant at times there was no one on the other end when the recipient answered the ‘call’; the result was often a pre recorded message if the centre was not fully staffed.

TalkTalk’s response was to sack two marketing companies directly responsible for the tactic but that does not necessarily mean that the consumer is happy with the company’s activities. The Citizens Advice Bureau felt that individuals should be compensated as well as the Treasury coffers being boosted substantially.

Bad publicity

The media has been looking at the whole subject of unwanted calls with the Telegraph recently reporting that TalkTalk was removing all service charges. There are different things that can help; caller ID is exactly that. You will know who is calling unless the caller blocks that information. Of the different methods that telecom companies can use to stop the nuisance TalkTalk uses two; selected number blocking and the barring of calls where the caller’s number is not identifiable.

There have been calls for action in general from regulatory bodies, consumers, charities and legislators in response to the huge number of telephone subscribers who believe these calls are more than an irritation. There are people who are extremely reluctant even to answer a call, if they do not know who is calling.

Effective blocking

A good nuisance phone call blocker is the answer to those unsolicited callers who are often ringing on behalf of companies trying to sell you something. A consumer can always block an individual number, whichever company he or she uses for a line, but that is a very slow way to remove the problem.

The quickest way to remove a large number of callers from causing a nuisance is for each unwanted call being blocked right across the board. In that way everyone is contributing to the build up of a database of numbers that cannot get through to anyone within the system.

Image attributed to Stuart Miles

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