Junk Phone Calls in the UK
A telephone subscriber in the UK can choose not to receive direct
marketing phone calls.
Companies who do not respect the subscriber's choice can be fined.
The law involved is Statutory Instrument 1998 No. 3170,
The Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) (Direct Marketing)
Regulations 1998 (ISBN 0 11 080315 9), which came in to force in the UK
on the 1st of May, 1999.
A printed copy may be obtained from HMSO for 3 GBP, or an unofficial
electronic copy from
How to reduce the number of junk phone calls you receive.
Register with the Telephone Preference Service on-line at
or call them on
There is also a local rate number (0845 0700 707) but as of 2008-10-21 both
numbers connect to the same automated service.
You should receive fewer junk calls and be in a stronger position to
challenge any calls you do receive if you have registered your telephone
number with the TPS.
You can check with
if your telephone number is registered with the TPS,
but you have to register an account with them first.
It's easier to use the tpsonline web site to try to register the number again;
it will tell you whether it is already registered.
Make a note of exactly when you register because
your registration is not fully effective until 28 days after you register.
If you receive a junk phone call.
If you receive a junk phone call, follow the
Ten things to say when you get a junk phone call
script to see if the caller has committed an offence and to collect
the information required by law if you want to take further action.
Print out copies of the script and keep
them near your telephone.
Depending on your browser settings, you might find it more convenient to print
this version, which has a fixed small font size.
- Take control of the conversation.
- Do not allow the caller to deviate from
Do not argue. Do not respond to any questions. Simply ask the same
question again and again until it is answered, as it must be by law.
- If you feel that the person to whom you are speaking is not competent
to answer these questions, demand to speak to their supervisor or to
the director of the company.
- If they become aggressive or rude, hang up. Write down as many details
as you can, then call your telephone company's Malicious Calls helpline
(BT's is 0800 661441).
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