Don't call me. That's the message sent to over 100 million nuisance callers since September 2016 thanks to UK-leading call blocking technology...

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Need Payment Protection Insurance? Want to win £500? Perhaps, but definitely not from a nuisance caller. Since the introduction of our network-wide call blocking technology in 2016, we’ve stopped over 100 million nuisance calls at their source. In fact, the team at Vodafone UK has blocked nearly 65,000 individual phone numbers and every day we stop up to two million automated calls from reaching our customers.

Chances are, the majority of our customers are blissfully unaware. So, we spoke to Katharine Daubney, Fraud Manager at Vodafone UK, about the UK-leading call blocking technology, and what it means for you.

Firstly, what is a nuisance call?
This one’s pretty self-explanatory – Kat describes a nuisance call as “any unwanted or unsolicited telephone calls that have been generated in high volumes from a distinct source, with a distinct message”.

We’re talking things like PPI claims or calls to say you’ve won an iPad when, sadly, you never entered a competition. The calls are typically generated from dialer machines capable of making thousands of simultaneous call attempts per second to numerous numbers across the networks. They’re often made by sophisticated criminal gangs using fake or misleading company names and they can do anything from interrupt your meeting to relieve you of your cash.

What does the new tech enable?
Previously, like all other providers in the UK, we blocked calls at a network-wide level if they were outbound. That meant that while those suspect ‘security experts’ offering assistance with your computer could call you, we could then block their numbers so you didn’t unwittingly call them back, rack up huge call charges and potentially be left out of pocket. But now, thanks to the UK-first technology, irritating, unwanted inbound calls to Vodafone customers are whisked away as well.

“We’ve always taken efforts to minimise fraudulent callers by blocking the outbound number,” she says. “But that still means the customer is receiving unwanted phone calls, they’re seeing missed calls come up on their phone, they’re getting voicemails that are often unintelligible or enticing them to call back for various deals and it’s generally, as per the name, a nuisance.”

“What this new technology has meant is that the majority of these nuisance callers never reach our customers in the first place. They don’t get the missed calls. They don’t get the voicemails. They don’t get the hassle that incurs. They simply don’t exist for Vodafone customers – and customers don’t need to do a thing.”

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How many callers are we talking?
During testing, Kat and the Fraud team blocked a whopping 425,000 nuisance calls in a single day alone. In that same week, nuisance call attempts against Vodafone UK customers dropped to under a thousand as perpetrators realised their calls could not infiltrate our network.

Today we prevent up to two million automated called from reaching our customers on a daily basis and have blocked 65,000 individual telephone numbers from which the nuisance calls originate.

“We can only block numbers when we’re sure that they are nuisance caller and they’re affecting a significant portion of our customer base, so some calls will still get through, Kat says. “However, what we’re seeing is that this technology is a huge deterrent to would be nuisance callers.”

“As we continue to detect more nuisance callers and take them out of the network, we will get to a point when they realise there’s not a whole lot of point in targeting Vodafone.” – Now that is music to our ears.

A telcoms first
After an extensive review of our outbound call centres, Vodafone UK has been named the first UK telecoms company to receive an anti-nuisance call accreditation. The independent Telephone Preference Service (TPS) accreditation means we don’t subscribe to annoying telemarketing tactics such as cold calling or misleading sales techniques, and neither do the partners we work with. So, you can be sure if you choose our network there’ll be no nuisance calls from us and, thanks to our new nuisance call blocking technology, fewer nuisance calls through our network

Need to report a nuisance call? Click here to contact our customer services team or find out more about this service.