As we bring our campaign to call time on nuisance calls and texts in Scotland to a close, we thought we should reflect on what we’ve achieved on this campaign together.
We launched our Calling Time on Nuisance Calls and Texts campaign in 2013, and in 2015 set our sights on the Scottish Government. At that time, research from Which? showed that nine in ten Scots received a nuisance call. It was clear action was needed.
As a result of our work pressuring Ministers and MSPs to take the issue seriously, the Scottish Government held a summit on tackling nuisance calls in June 2016. This resulted in the creation of a Nuisance Calls Commission, chaired by the Cabinet Secretary Keith Brown MSP. The Commission included officials from the UK Government, Which?, Ofcom, the ICO, Trading Standards Scotland, the Telephone Preference Service, and telecoms providers such as BT and TalkTalk.
The aim of the Commission was to find practical solutions to the problem of unwanted calls and develop an action plan with long-term changes that would reduce the impact of these nuisance calls on people’s lives.
As a result of the Commission’s work, the Scottish Government published its Nuisance Calls Action Plan on 11 September 2017 at the Which? Nuisance Calls Roadshow in Glasgow. It set out a number of key measures to end nuisance calls which our campaign had called for, including a £50,000 fund to install call-blocking technology for those most at risk from nuisance calls.
The plan also outlined actions to develop a strategy for tackling scams in general, with a commitment to support vulnerable consumers and to develop best practice guidelines for organisations working on any new public-facing Scottish Government schemes.
While our work in Scotland will come to a close, we’ll still be working on the UK wide nuisance calls campaign. For example, we still want the UK Government to see through its commitment to introduce director level accountability and will be working to ensure this happens.