eMail To SMS

The communications industry regulator, Ofcom, has recently announced the implementation of a new project to make it easier for people in the UK to avoid being afflicted by various types of unsolicited calls, according to IT Pro.

The scheme, which is run in conjunction with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), will make it possible for consumers to opt out of being eligible to receive ‘nuisance calls’ without any complicated registration process or log-in procedure. Although for the moment it is only a process that applies to mobile users and not those with landline numbers that they want to protect.

email and sms

Mobile Blockade

All that is required is for users to send a text message containing the term ‘TPS’, followed by their personal email address, to the number 78070. Project spokesperson John Michison said that this would help to minimise the number of annoying calls that are received nationally, many of which are actually illegal under current legislation.

He also explained that this action was not only important from the point of view of improving the lives of mobile users across the country, but also in empowering the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to take action against the groups that are flouting the law with nuisance calling campaigns.

Ofcom spokesperson Lindsey Fussell said that while millions of people have already signed their landline numbers up to the TPS, less than half of those who are aware of the service were also familiar with its ability to protect mobile numbers. And the use of this SMS solution should therefore open it up to a much wider audience of consumers.

Simple Solution

The use of an Email to SMS system means that it is easy for the TPS project organisers to manage the influx of messages that are likely to result from this major new campaign. And the commitment of this organisation and Ofcom to cut the number of frustrating and unwanted calls that are received across the UK is admirable.

In particular, this should be a benefit to specific groups within the population who are most at risk of exploitation as a result of unsolicited calls, according to data protection minister Baroness Neville Rolfe. She said that elderly people can be particularly negatively impacted by such activities and so deserved the opportunity to avoid being inconvenienced.

Rolfe went on to speak about the government’s role in this matter, indicating that tougher measures have been put in place to punish those rogue callers that continue to act as an unseen menace in the UK. This includes bigger fines being levied against those that are caught, although more data is needed to mount effective prosecutions.

Once mobile users send a text with their email address included to the TPS, it will take around a month for the effects of the service to be felt in full. But organisers also claim that the number of nuisance calls should decline within the first week, which means those that are having to deal with high volumes of such communications should be able to see improvements in the short term.

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