Services that can help tackle nuisance calls

Ofcom Nuisance Calls Guide from Ofcom on Vimeo.

The prices listed are per month. The communications providers shown above are those with a relevant market share above 1% or with a universal service obligation to ensure that basic fixed line telecoms services are available at an affordable price to citizens across the UK (BT and KC). There are other communications providers offering the same or similar services.  When choosing a provider consumers should also consider them and check their provision of the relevant services and the charges.  Consumers who are a customer of another provider should check their services and charges.

For ease of comparison Ofcom has used a generic name and description for each of the services offered by the communications providers listed. Whilst the services are broadly comparable there may be slight differences in the way the services operate and the features they offer. Consumers should therefore check the precise nature of the service with the provider directly.

Information correct as at 10 December 2013


Caller Display

Caller display helps consumers (who have handsets capable of displaying numbers) identify who is calling them.  A consumer can choose whether to answer an unrecognised number or not and shield themselves from potential nuisance calls.


Caller display information is also important so customers can report nuisance calls to Ofcom and other regulators, and for the effective use of handsets and services that rely on the telephone number to help block and filter calls.


Incoming Call Blocking

Incoming Call Blocking services can help consumers to tackle nuisance or unwanted calls by preventing selected numbers from getting through.


Anonymous Call Rejection

Scammers or callers making unsolicited or nuisance marketing calls may wilfully try to conceal their identity by withholding their number.

Anonymous Call Rejection allows consumers to stop calls from people who withhold their number from getting through.


Last Caller Identification or 1471

If a consumer receives a nuisance call, dialling the 1471 service immediately afterwards can help identify the telephone number of the last caller (unless the caller has withheld their number).i

Consumers could then contact the person or company to opt out of future calls, or report the caller to the relevant regulator.


Voicemail or 1571 (standard and enhanced services)

A voicemail service allows consumers to decline to answer certain calls (perhaps those from an unrecognised number) and make a choice whether to return the call once they have listened to the message.

Some providers also offer an enhanced voicemail service. This includes features such as remote access, allowing consumers to listen to messages from a device other than their landline.