Rumbles: Government must get serious about nuisance calling

Nuisance calls are “exploitative and time-consuming” Scottish Liberal Democrats rural affairs and connectivity spokesperson Mike Rumbles MSP said today after a new report by consumer group Which? found that half of calls to city landlines are nuisance calls. 

Scottish cities were ranked the worst out of 18 cities across the UK for nuisance calls. Nuisance calls accounted for 52% of calls in Glasgow – the worst of any city – with Edinburgh and Aberdeen following closely behind at 48% and 46%. 

Commenting, Mr Rumbles said: 

“People in Scotland have had enough of being bombarded by nuisance calls. At best they are a never ending source of irritation and at worst they represent exploitation and harassment of society’s most vulnerable. It is time that both the UK and Scottish governments slammed the receiver down on them. 

“This is an issue where the Liberal Democrats in Scotland have led the way in clamping down on cowboy operators. But we need both of Scotland’s governments to work together to shield millions from being pestered in their own homes by exploitative and time-consuming calls.”


Notes to editors –

While the Liberal Democrats were in government between 2010 and 2015, actions taken on nuisance calls included:

  • The fines Ofcom can issue were increased £50,000 to £2 million and the Information Commissioner’s Office were enabled to issue fines up to £500,000.
  • Companies persistently breaching the nuisance calls rules are named and shamed by the ICO.
  • The ICO no longer have to prove that calls have caused substantial damage or substantial distress to take action and the test will now be whether they cause nuisance, annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety. This makes it easier to prosecute cowboy operators.
  • Simplified guidance on how to stop marketing calls and how to complain was published.
  • Marketing firms were forced to reveal their phone number when they call. This means people can refuse to answer calls if they don’t recognise the number and it makes it easier to report them.

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