Stop! It is an instruction that everyone understands whether it is a command out in the street or a written instruction to cease a course of action. It will not always get universal obedience but that is not a reason not to issue the instruction. The aim is to get a change of behaviour by people and companies. In many cases it is a matter of respect. There is plenty of advice from various quarters for people who receive an unwanted call and it becomes a regular occurrence. They want this to stop.
Automatic redialling means that if you simply ignore a call when you see that the number has been withheld, the phone may well ring again later. Sales and marketing companies using call centres are likely to have telephones ringing a sequence of numbers whether they have sufficient personnel to answer them all or not.
Where a phone is unmanned, then you may get a pre recorded message if no one is available to talk. There is no point in getting angry and simply putting the phone down is perhaps as good as anything. If you then try to get details of who has rung, you can get it blocked in the future in case it is persistent.
Give no information out
If the caller wants to talk, then the best idea is to politely stop that call without actually providing any personal information. Some unsolicited calls do not come from sales and marketing companies. It is even more important to avoid engaging in conversation in such cases.
You may be advised not to list yourself in any way that may leave you vulnerable; there is no reason for example to register yourself as female if you live alone. It is simple common sense and that advice is not intended to spread alarm.
Ofcom exists to regulate the Telecommunications Industry and if you feel strongly about the subject of unwanted calls you can add your weight to those that are lobbying to get stronger regulation and to get more effective policies in place to eliminate them.
Community blocking systems
If you get a good nuisance phone call blocker you should begin to see the difference. Everyone has their own favourite numbers: family, friends and work colleagues. You will want their numbers to be immediately recognised by your telephone and put through. There will be a procedure initially to get them accepted. Other numbers should have to go through a vetting procedure in order to be connected.
Every system will face challenges. If a sales company can get through by claiming to be a friend that should be the only time that such a call will be successful. The recipient can immediately report that claim as bogus and the number can subsequently be blocked. If that is done and many people are also reporting other numbers, the problem will gradually reduce. That is as long as blocking from a single complaint results in that number being blocked throughout the system. You will have to be a member to get this facility. The facility will automatically update everyone’s telephone. This can create a ‘snowball effect’, a community all working to eradicate the problem which can actually mean the problem does stop.