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BT launches phone ‘spam filter’ Call Protect

Manny Pham
January 16, 2017

BT estimates the new service will prevent up to 30 million nuisance calls a week

BT has launched a free phone screening service today (January 16) enabling home phone customers to divert nuisance calls to a junk box.

The firm said it was “declaring war” on companies regularly pestering its customers with nuisance calls on subjects such as PPI and personal accident claims.

The service is the first of its kind in the UK to allow customers to control calls received through home phones and online. It harnesses huge computing power to analyse large amounts of live data, enabling network experts at BT’s centre in Shropshire, to identify rogue numbers – and add them to a blacklist. Customers will also be able to compile their own blacklist.

BT estimates BT Call Protect could divert up to 30 million nuisance calls a week.

According to research conducted by BT in December 2016 on 2,001 UK adults, on average people receive four nuisance calls a week. People in the North East receive the most nuisance calls – five per week.

BT recorded 31,206,396 nuisance calls between December 13 – 19 2016. Nuisance topics include: accident claims 39 per cent, PPI nine per cent, computer scam nine per cent, personal data requests five per cent, silent calls three per cent, others 35 per cent.

Around 60 per cent of those surveyed find these calls stressful, with over a fifth (22 per cent) finding them ‘very’ stressful. Women find nuisance calls more stressful than men do, two thirds (66 per cent) of women compared to 54 per cent of men find it stressful.

Television and radio presenter Christine Lampard has been signed up as ambassador to promote BT Call Protect to customers.

BT consumer chief executive John Petter (pictured) said: “Now, with our unique technology, we can identify and tackle huge numbers of those calls in the network and also give our customers control over the calls they receive. We’re leading the way and calling on other telecoms companies to up their game in the fight against this menace.”

Minister of state for digital and culture Matt Hancock added: “We’ve forced companies to display their numbers when they call you, made it easier to prosecute those involved in making the calls, and increased the maximum fines up to £500,000.

“We welcome BT’s new service, which offers customers an additional level of protection, helping them to fight back against this ongoing harassment.”

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