Scots face more cold calls than consumers in rest of UK

Three in ten people received 11 or more nuisance calls in the last month. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Three in ten people received 11 or more nuisance calls in the last month. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto
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People in Scotland receive more nuisance calls than anyone else in the UK, with three in ten saying they had received 11 or more in the last month.

Research by consumer champion Which? also revealed eight in ten Scots regularly receive unwanted calls on their landline. The most common calls were about energy deals, home improvements, accident claims and PPI claims.

The findings coincided the first Scottish Government hosted nuisance calls summit with industry and consumer groups being held in Edinburgh today. Campaigners have demanded politicians publish an action plan with new ways of tackling unwanted cold calls, which many consumers are on the rise.

Alex Neill, Which? director of campaigns and policy, said: “Millions of people are still being bombarded with nuisance calls and people in Scotland are being targeted far more than the rest of the UK.

“This summit is a major opportunity for businesses, regulators and the Scottish Government to make a difference by committing to take action against this everyday menace.”

The new research found Scots were almost twice as likely to get nuisance calls than other parts of the UK.

People in Scotland are also more likely than to try to block unwanted callers. Six in ten of those who reported picking up nuisance calls said that, in the last 12 months, they have asked to be removed from a database after receiving a nuisance call.

This compares to five in ten in other UK areas.

More than 25,000 people in Scotland have signed a Which? campaign petition, “Stop Nuisance Calls in Scotland”, which was set up six months ago calling on the Scottish Government to take urgent action on the issue. Campaigners are also asking for more pressure to be put on Scottish businesses to adopt voluntary changes and make senior executives personally accountable if companies breach the law on nuisance calls.

They also want more help made available for vulnerable people to help them stop the calls, such as installing call blocking technology free of charge. Holyrood has been urged to make sure its own policies, such as increasing energy efficiency, do not lead to more nuisance calls.

Keith Brown MSP, cabinet secretary for economy, jobs and fair work, said: “Nuisance calls are simply unacceptable. We will use our new consumer powers as a ­catalyst.”