BT has pulled out all the stops for the official launch of its BT Call Protect service, designed to stop so-called nuisance calls, by claiming there were more than 31 million unwanted calls in a single week before Christmas.
The telecoms giant has previously been rather more reluctant to divulge how many rogue calls its network handles, but that has all gone out of the window now it has got its own service to promote. The Government estimates that there are over a billion nuisance calls a year.
Announced last February, BT insists the new service could block up to 30 million nuisance calls a week – 5 million more than it first claimed – by analysing call data to identify rogue numbers.
However, TalkTalk reckons it blocks 92 million calls a month, double the amount it did a year ago.
Typically, BT Call Protect will highlight phone numbers that make large numbers of calls, and those calls will then be automatically diverted into a junk voicemail box. The system will continue to block such callers even if they change their number, a common tactic used by spammers, although quite how this will work in practice has not been revealed.
Customers will also be able to identify other nuisance callers, by dialling in the code 1572 after receiving such a call, BT said.
While the new service has been backed by the Government, some in the telemarketing industry are less impressed.
Verso Group operations and compliance director Dene Walsh said recently: “Calls from companies that abide by regulation will be the ones that do not get through. The rogues will simply keep switching Calling Line Identity (CLI). What BT will do is send misuse of CLI into overdrive as those that ignore regulations pick up work from those that behave ethically.
“Rogue companies will have no problem churning through CLIs, while those that stick to the rules get punished. The result will be BT customers receiving an increasingly large number of calls from the worst offenders who will grow in number.”
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