This probably worked when the last review was written but the callers have worked it out and now mark their numbers as unavailable not withheld. Choose to refuse doesn't work on unavailable numbers. That won't stop BT selling it to you though.
A friend of mine rang me this week, quite upset because she had been receiving malicious calls. I advised her to contact BT as I had done when a similar thing happened to me.
BT were very helpful when I had been receiving nuisance calls - they were not malicious, just a nuisance. Although there is a difference in that the calls I received were from someone who I chose not to want to speak to ever again, the ones made to my friend last week were actually malicious and she was obviously upset.
The first thing to do if you receive an unwanted telephone call is to hang up straightaway, do not get into conversation with them. Bear in mind however, that some modern call centres now dial a lot of numbers at random and some of them do not connect with an operator, this could explain the reason why you answer the phone and there is nobody at the other end.
Digressing from the review topic for a moment, some useful information - if you know the calls are from a call centre trying to sell you something etc, then it is advisable to register with the Telephone Preference Service 0800 398 893. It takes a few weeks to stop the unsolicited calls but you will stop getting sales people ringing you all the time as if you register with TPS it is illegal for them to ring you.
However, assuming you are being plagued with nuisance calls, or malicious calls, and want to stop them. The first thing to do is to contact BT. They were extremely helpful to me and offered the Choose to Refuse service for a month free of charge.
This is a service where if you receive an unwanted call you can enter a code as soon as the call has ended and it will bar any future calls from the number. The caller will receive a rather curt recorded message saying "This number is not accepting calls from YOU."
You can bar up to ten numbers, including mobiles and numbers that are withheld. The service is very easy to use and you can add or delete numbers as you wish and also review the list of barred numbers. But you need your PIN to do this. The PIN supplied by BT can also be changed if you prefer to choose your own.
In my case the monthly free trial worked and after the free period I just rang BT to cancel the service. If I had not done that the cost of the service would have been added to my bill, at a quarterly rental. I think it was about eight pounds, but not sure of the up to date price - it is not given on the BT website that I could see.
There is a slight problem with this service, which did happen to me. When the nuisance caller realised what I had done, calls were made from other telephones and of course I did not know who it was. I did bar them when I realised but this happened on a few occasions. If the caller had been really persistent my ten numbers which could be barred could have been exhausted, but fortunately after four or five attempts and getting the same message each time, the caller eventually gave up.
BT take malicious and nuisance calls very seriously and they will be only to happy to assist. If the Choose to Refuse service does not work they will offer further advice, which could go as far as prosecuting people who make these calls.
It may be only a childish prank or a spurned lover who makes the nuisance calls, or it could be something more sinister. Whatever, if you are receiving calls that you do not want then do take up the offer of a free month of the Choose to Refuse service.
Choose to Refuse is a good service but does have it's teething problems. I have blocked a call among my withheld numbers which I can't access to reinstate without doing it for them all! Unfortunately it is my dentist!
Having received constant problem calls from a public nusicance I decided to opt for this service as a lot of my friends have withhheld numbers the service blocking withheld numbers wasn't feasible. I personally feel that with this service the numbers should be shown as it can cause problems reinstating them.
Also I have foreigners pretending to be BT.com and wanting me to take out a service and pay over the phone using my credit cards. I have them blocked too!
I would guess that a large number of people have received nuisance calls at one time or another. I don?t necessarily mean those of the abusive type, they might be silent or the ?phone may even be replaced as soon as you pick it up ? but they?re all annoying in their own way. A large number of ?silent? phone calls are actually from companies cold selling, and these type of calls can be stopped by joining the telephone preference service (TPS), details of which can be found at http://www.tpsonline.org.uk/tps. But alas, sometimes this won?t be the end of your problems. We have had the normal silly calls from the children?s friends, but every so often I get a spate of silent calls from a withheld number. We know who it is, but because the number is withheld, it is not displayed on our caller display window, nor can it be retrieved by dialling 1471. The calls always come in the middle of the day when the children are both at school and my husband is at work and there is normally background noise such as traffic that can be overheard before the receiver is put down. Don?t misunderstand me, these calls do not frighten me in any way, they are just very tedious and annoying and last month I was getting at least two per day. After reporting the calls to BT on 150 the operator advised me of a service called ?Choose to Refuse?. After taking it all in I decided to take advantage of the first month free and thereafter a price of £8.00 per quarter but of course this can be opted out of at any time. The next time I received a call I was able to immediately bar the number, and the great thing about the service is that almost any number can be barred, even mobile numbers and it doesn?t matter whether the number has been withheld either. There is a problem barring International numbers but this is because the whole number isn?t provided to BT when the caller i
s dialling. Once the caller is banned, they will never be able to call your telephone again unless you decide differently. You do need a touch tone telephone to be able to use the service and if you?re not sure if your phone supports touch tone dialling, simply press the * or # key. If a musical tone can be heard you have a touch tone telephone, if not, you will need to switch your phone to touch tone dialling by a switch that can be found either on the base or side of your telephone. Ok, so you?re ready to bar. Very simply BT provide a number to press into the telephone once the nuisance call has been terminated. An automated voice will ask you to confirm that you wish to bar the last number that called your telephone and by following the instructions to press either the * or # key the last number is put on your call barred list. There is another way by which numbers can be barred and that is by calling the special number and entering a pin number. When you first take on the service, the PIN number is defaulted to a silly number, but of course this can be changed. Once you have entered your PIN a list of options will be given and here you can add a number to your list of barred numbers, listen to the list of numbers you have already barred or change your PIN to a more convenient to remember series of digits. One important thing to remember is that when entering a number this way, you must punch in the entire number, that is the dialling code and the number, otherwise it will not be recognised. When reviewing the list of barred numbers the service will tell you the number and the date it was barred. Unfortunately in the case of withheld numbers, you won?t be able to ascertain the number, just the date, which is a bit of a shame but it?s only a minor niggle. The Choose to Refuse only allows ten numbers to be barred which should
not present a problem unless you have an army of people calling you from different numbers and making nuisance calls. It is possible to remove numbers from the list at any time and if or when the amount of barred numbers reaches ten the number that you next choose to be barred will be added to the list and the oldest one removed. ?Choose to Refuse? has been a Godsend to me and we have received no more of the silly phone calls once we barred the number. As it was withheld we only assumed we knew who it was, but as we have not received any normal phone calls from the person since the barring has been in place, I think it?s safe to say we were right. I was slightly surprised that I had to bar two numbers but all was revealed when my friend rang on my office telephone and asked why her number was banned from calling our home telephone. She explained that every time she called my number she received the message ?The person you are calling is not accepting calls from you?. We later discovered that her son had been making silent phone calls to not just me, but lots of her friends during the Easter break while she was out at work so I suppose he?s devastated that ?Choose to Refuse? caught him out! Banning a number is normally sufficient enough and the person will soon get bored receiving the message if they keep trying to call. However, if you have not dialled into the Choose to Refuse service for 31 days all numbers from your list will be deleted and the PIN reset. Of course this is a minor inconvenience but a long as you remember to dial in at least once during the 32 day period, your numbers will remain on the barred list. Overall the service is easy to use and has given me immense satisfaction that the idiot who kept calling is now getting an automated message every time he tries to call normally on the phone instead of withholding his number. I
; suppose I?d prefer it if the service were free (wouldn?t we all) but I?m happy to pay my £8 a quarter now my free month has expired as I know that any number who calls in the future, be it the childrens mates pranking around or an adult who needs to get out more can be banned instantly. www.bt.com/callingfeatures 0800 800 150 (residential users) 0800 800 152 (business users) 0800 661 441 (Malicious Calls Bureau)