Westminster must stop cold callers

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Angus MP Mike Weir has again called on the Government to take immediate action on the continuing problem of nuisance calls.

He made the appeal during the a House of Commons debate on the report from the All Party Group on nuisance calls, of which he is a member.

According to Mr Weir the large number of complaints from his constituents suggests the issue is significantly understated.

He said: “The scale of the problem is huge and the data appears to be contradictory. The regulators told the all-party group that they receive 6,000 complaints a month, yet BT told us that it receives about 50,000 calls a month to its nuisance calls bureau, so clearly there is a disconnect.”

Mr Weir called upon the UK Government to take specific action to tackle the issue, including making it clear to consumers how to avoid having their details sold on to other companies.

He said: “It appears that many companies are acting as phishing agents by operating specifically for the purpose of obtaining information that can be sold on to other companies - so-called lead generation. That is an abuse of the regulations. We recommend action to clean up that part of the industry through an accreditation scheme, but I feel that we need to look at the situation much more closely and, in particular, at how information about what will be done with the details gathered is given to those targeted by such companies.

“We should reverse the system to ensure that that consent had to be actively renewed. I wonder how many people would do that, having received such calls for a year.”