Dealing with nuisance phone calls
Beeping on the line - If you can hear a beeping, intermittent dial tone when you pick up the phone before you dial, this may mean you have a pending voicemail and isn't necessary a fault with your telephone line.
If you receive nuisance or malicious calls, including silent calls, please read our advice below on avoiding these calls.
If you’re still having problems after following our advice, please call our Customer Service Team on 08442 411 653 and one of our agents will be happy to help as best they can.
If you suspect that the calls you are receiving are of a criminal nature, you should consider contacting the Police. Examples of these types of calls include:
- Threatening bodily harm;
- Sexual assault; and
- Racially motivated threats.
Less threatening calls include:
- Annoying/silent calls; and
These are automated dialing systems used by call centres for sales or marketing purposes. The system automatically dials a number without an agent being on the line and when the call is answered the system attempts to put an agent on the line. If no agents are available within a few seconds the system ends the call.
The system is likely to make repeat calls to the number until a successful connection with an agent is made. This can create the impression of persistent short silent calls.
Some sales and marketing companies use automated equipment to attempt to send faxes without knowing which numbers are connected to fax machines. If you are called by anyone using this equipment, when answering the call you will hear bleeps, screeching tones and white noise. This could also be caused a computer modem in your home.
There are a few things you can check if you think a Power Dialer or Fax Bureau may be causing nuisance calls:
- Do the calls occur only between 8am and 9pm?
- Is there are fixed pattern to the calls?
- When answered is there a delay of one or two seconds before the call is connected? You may hear click on the line followed by the “Number Unobtainable” tone if there is no agent to take the call.
What you can do
Contact Sky on 08442 411 653 to opt-out of unsolicited marketing calls or faxes. This will stop “Direct Marketing Calls” but will not stop all unsolicited calls as some of these may be from a business you use such as your bank or insurance company, or may originate from outside the UK.
If you are able to speak with someone, attempt to identify the source of the calls (including name and address) and resolve the issue directly with that party. When doing this ask the caller what company they are employed by and not just what company they represent.
These are normally due to an individual misdialing or having an incorrect telephone number when dialing and should be infrequent.
Misdialing can also occur where an individual has incorrectly set up call divert on their telephone or mobile phone so their calls are diverted to the wrong number.
What you can do
- Keep a log recording the time and date of the call and number that the caller intended to dial.
- Identify the person for whom the calls are intended (if possible).
- Attempt to identify the source of the calls (including name and address)
General advice for nuisance calls
- Never answer the telephone stating either your telephone number or name.
- Make sure the caller identifies themselves first.
- Never give out personal details.
- If a caller asks "what number is this?" don’t divulge this information but ask the caller "what number did you dial or is required?"
- Keep calm. Some nuisance callers may gain pleasure by getting an emotional response.
- If there is no reply after giving a greeting, do not speak further.
- Don’t engage in a conversation.
- Replace the handset immediately, or alternatively leave the phone off the hook and walk away for a period, then simply replace the handset without listening.
- Use an answering machine to screen incoming calls.
- If using an answering machine, don’t program the answer message to include your name or phone number.
- Never program your answering machine to say you are not at home or on holiday.
- If available, use 1471 to attempt to identify the telephone number from where the calls are being made.
- Press a digit on the keypad to simulate the initiation of a call trace and comment as if to someone else in the room.
- Avoid giving any details of names or marital status.
- Record the amount and frequency of these calls and identify if there is a fixed pattern to the time of day the calls are received.
Sign up with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS)
If you’re concerned about unwanted marketing calls and want to opt-out of receiving them, you can register your phone number with the TPS. This service is free and it’s easy to do but it doesn’t guarantee to stop all unwanted calls and doesn't cover international calls, market research calls, non-sales related calls and calls from companies to which you’ve already given your consent.
It takes up to 28 days for your TPS registration to become effective but if you’re still getting nuisance calls after this period, you can register your complaint so the relevant regulator can take action.
Which? has created a free online tool that sends you to the right place to complain about nuisance calls and texts. Visit the Which? website to register your complaint.
Help with unwanted calls
This lets you see the telephone number of an incoming call before you answer the phone.
To see the callers’ number you must have a telephone with the capability to display numbers and also have the Caller Display service activated on your line. You can arrange for this to be activated by contacting our Customer Service Team on 08442 411 653.
Request a re-number
You can ask for your phone number to be replaced with a new number at any time. Please call our Customer Service Team on 08442 411 653. Please note that re-number is only offered for threatening calls.
Opt to be unlisted or ex-directory
You can opt to be unlisted or ex-directory to ensure your number does not appear in the Phonebook.
Opt Out of Marketing Calls
If you wish to opt-out of unsolicited marketing calls or faxes from third parties and/or Sky, please contact Sky on 08442 411 653. This will stop “Direct Marketing Calls” but will not guarantee to stop all unsolicited calls as some of these may be from legitimate businesses such as a bank or insurance company or may originate from outside the UK.