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Brits can now send a text to stop cold calls

Engadget Engadget 27/05/2016 Nick Summers
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Ofcom, the UK's communications regulator, and the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) are making it simpler for Brits to avoid unwanted and unprompted sales calls. A new "text-to-register" option means you can type "TPS," followed by your email address, to 78070 to get on the UK's official "Do Not Call" database. Once your number has been accepted, companies will be banned from contacting you with annoying, unsolicited pitches. Oh, and if you're wondering, Ofcom says your email address is necessary to verify your identity, should you need to file a complaint.

It follows new rules, introduced earlier this month, which bans companies from withholding their number while making cold calls.

Before, you could only sign up by calling the TPS or registering online. Few people have done that -- only 2.9 million mobile numbers are on the list, compared with 18.5 million landline numbers. According to Ofcom, less than half of people familiar with the TPS (which on its own isn't guaranteed, especially among young people) know that mobile numbers can be registered with the service. Nine in 10, meanwhile, know that you can add a landline number. The new text-to-register service could, therefore, be an effective way to raise awareness and adoption.


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