Fiona Duff: The answer to those nuisance phone calls

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These days I don’t know anyone, other than my mother really, who uses a landline to make personal calls.

Invariably when our house phone rings it tends to be someone asking me if I would like a new kitchen or windows (yes, I would but I’d need a new home to go with it) or to ask if my computer needs to be checked (yes, it does but I ain’t falling for that scam again).

Sometimes it is a recorded message and, frankly, I really wonder why any company bothers with them. I mean, how lonely and bored must you be to listen to one of those all the way through?

I’m not alone on this, as apparently around 65 per cent of us Scots have received unsolicited calls or texts from some shyster offering payday loans or compensation for an accident at work. I’d like to know how on earth they found out about that incident with the photocopier.

So the result is that generally when the phone rings everyone in my family ignores the noise. Apart from Daniel the spaniel, who serenades us by howling along somewhat like a deranged werewolf.

The fact is that despite us being able to tick a box saying that we don’t want to hear from companies when we order something on the internet, or them declaring that any information we give them shall not be passed on to a third party, someone is passing phone numbers around like sweeties at a five-year-old’s birthday celebration.

I’d like to work out how to stop this as I know there is a number to call, although it has somehow slipped from my mind. And I salute StepChange, the debt charity who carried out the research, for launching a campaign to stop this practice but I fear it would be like chucking a glass of water on to a raging forest fire.

Instead, I suggest that if you do pick up the phone and hear someone blathering about a survey just scream as loud as you can. I doubt anyone from that company ever calls me again.