Stop nuisance calls on your mobile: Ofcom’s opt out service explained

Ofcom has created a text message service that’ll automatically add you to a ‘do not call’ list and make it much easier for you to opt out…

02 Jun 2016


Cold calls

No one likes receiving annoying cold calls to their mobile – but stopping them is complicated and requires a long-winded registration, right? 

Not anymore. If you use a mobile phone, you can opt out just by sending a text message with Ofcom’s ‘text-to-register’ scheme. The watchdog is working with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) to make it easier for you to add your number to the list that can’t be contacted by cold callers.


What is the TPS?

A national service that allows you to stop your number from receiving sales or marketing calls. Once you’re registered with the TPS, it’s illegal for companies to call you without your consent.


Why has Ofcom launched this service?

You might already be familiar with the list for home phone numbers, but a lot of people don’t know that they can register their mobile with the TPS as well.

The text service is also a lot faster and easier than the existing registration process – so the organisation is hoping it’ll encourage more people to sign up with their mobile number.


How to sign up

Registering is simple, and only takes a few minutes. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Text ‘TPS’ to 78070, as well as your email address – they need this to prove your identity
  • You’ll then be sent a text confirming you’ve signed up
  • Within a few days, you should notice that the calls stop – although it can take up to 28 days for it to take effect


How else can I stop cold calls?

Once you’re registered with the TPS, companies including charities can only contact you if you’ve given them permission to do so. So you should notice a big reduction in the number of these calls you receive, if they don’t stop altogether.

However the service doesn’t apply to companies outside the UK cold calling you – meaning there’s a chance a few calls could still slip through. Likewise it doesn’t work for spam texts, so you could continue to receive these.

To avoid unwanted calls, here are some other steps you can take:

  1. Always read the small print when you sign up or subscribe to something online. Make sure to double check the ‘opt-in’ and ‘opt-out’ boxes are what they say they are, as they can sometimes catch you out
  2. Avoid giving out your contact details online unless you know the organisation you’re dealing with
  3. Speak to your mobile network provider – they can set you up with additional privacy services like a call blocker
  4. Don’t answer to international numbers or if the number is withheld – remember that companies are now required by law to display their phone numbers on your screen
  5. Take action when you do receive cold calls by asking the company to take you name off their list or complain to a regulator like Ofcom

See Ofcom’s advice for avoiding unwanted calls