BT stops salespeople cold

12 Jul 2005

Consumers fed up with cold calls from nuisance salespeople can avail of a new service from BT that automatically opts-in people who wish to be added to the Telephone Preference Scheme (TPS) register that automatically helps block unwanted sales calls.

At present the service is available only in the UK, but a spokesperson for BT Ireland said that the service is likely to be rolled out in Ireland in the future.

Whereas previously it was up to individuals to contact the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) themselves to register for the scheme, BT Privacy will offer all BT customers the convenience of having it done on their behalf.

Telemarketing is widely regarded as the most intrusive of all marketing media, as illustrated by a survey conducted by the Future Foundation for the DMA in October 2004, with 64pc of respondents saying they agreed strongly that it was an intrusion.

Gavin Patterson, group managing director, BT Consumer division, said: “Consumers are fed up with being bothered by nuisance salespeople cold calling during the precious few hours they have to relax in the evening and at weekends. The new BT Privacy service enables them to keep that time for themselves, by filtering out these unwanted intrusions and giving our customers back the power to enjoy their privacy – in peace.

“Our customers are telling us that they don’t want silent calls and some of them don’t want to receive marketing calls. At BT, we are very careful to minimise the number of customers who are inconvenienced by our marketing calls. In addition, there is always a callback number so you know it is BT calling you. We want to see these callback numbers made available by all firms operating across the industry.”

BT Privacy is an extension of the online service launched in May, which has proved an instant hit, with nearly 102,000 customers already downloading software to protect themselves against unwanted internet diallers.

By John Kennedy