Truecaller Around the Globe – Part 3: The Uprising Problem of Unsolicited Calls in the UK

In this episode of our blog series we are going to cover the UK market, more specifically, we want to lift up an uprising problem of unsolicited calls in the UK.

?I was away for the weekend and visited my girlfriends parents, and unfortunately I forgot my phone in the apartment. When we got home, I …

In this episode of our blog series we are going to cover the UK market, more specifically, we want to lift up an uprising problem of unsolicited calls in the UK.

?I was away for the weekend and visited my girlfriends parents, and unfortunately I forgot my phone in the apartment. When we got home, I had eight missed calls from a number I didn?t recognize. When I tried to look it up on the Internet, there where no hit.?

– Gareth 32, investment banker from London.

 Now, as in Gareth?s case it could be more than frustrating to not knowing who the caller was. Basically, you want to see what relevant information is associated with the number; is the person connected to you, and how are you connected? Or is this a sales or marketing call? And ultimately why did this person want to contact you?

For a mature mobile market like the UK, the number lookup service is extremely limited. The problem is that most number lookup directories in the UK only cover landline phone numbers and not unlisted or cell phone numbers. The primary reason for this is that landline numbers are published very openly, and have been so for a long time. Mobile numbers on the other hand are still private and not shared to the public by telephone network operators.

?The telemarketing firms are ruthless. They consistently keep on calling me and they are very persistent. It doesn?t matter if I?ve signed up on the Telephone Preference Service. The calls just keep coming ? and coming.?

– Karen 46, housewife from Essex.

 The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is a government-regulated service that allows people to unlist themselves from cold calls of telemarketing companies in the UK. More than a forth of UK?s population (17.5 million people) has signed up on the TPS list. Despite this, there?re still thousands of misconduct complaints to the Information Commissioner each month regarding telemarketing companies. But since the Information Commissioner?s Office hasn?t had the power to issue any fine, there are no actions taken against the offenders at the moment. This contradicts with the very purpose of the TPS list and unfortunately renders it obsolete.

Industry rules say telemarketing companies need to cross-check their databases before they call a person, to ensure that people who have signed up to not be contacted are not targeted. Even when people have signed up for the TPS, there is another cold-call danger that lurks in the form of websites that people may have visited. Because you might have been ticking on boxes giving companies consent to contact you browsing their websites, creating a loophole for cold-calling companies. Even if you have signed up to the TPS now, it won’t make a difference to those companies that are buying and selling that information you gave to that website maybe years ago. Truecaller can help you avoid this loophole by providing our powerful “Call Filter” and “Number Search”.

If you have missed out on the previous posts of our blog series, please read them here: [India] & [the US]