MP ready to go to war on cold-callers

MP Rosie Winterton
MP Rosie Winterton

Complaints about telephone cold-callers who are making people’s lives a misery have sparked a campaign by Doncaster MP Rosie Winterton.

The Doncaster Central MP is spearheading the Freezing Out Cold Calls lobby after being inundated with complaints from constituents being plagued by unwanted phone calls.

Wayne Maw, of Bennetthorpe, told the MP his mother-in-law ended up having £2,000 taken from her account after giving her card details to cold-callers over the phone.

He said: “We managed to prosecute them and get it back, but it’s awful that this can happen. Once we had a cold call and put down the phone – but they hadn’t disconnected at their end, so we couldn’t use our phone for over 20 minutes.

“It was when the snow was really bad and my mother-in-law lives out in the middle of nowhere, so we needed to be able to contact her.

“We are getting calls every night. I’ve complained to Ofcom and they basically said there wasn’t much they could do about it.”

The MP is calling on the telemarketing industry and the Government to take a coordinated approach to combat the scourge of nuisance calls from both home and abroad.

She has already tabled questions in Parliament and met with the chief executive of Ofcom, and is urging MPs from all political parties to back her campaign.

Ms Winterton said: “Nuisance calls make life a misery for thousands of people across Doncaster and the rest of the country. I know many of my constituents are becoming increasingly annoyed at the number of telephone calls – and text messages – they are receiving, trying to sell any number of unwanted things from insurance protection to new household appliances.”

A loophole allows cold calls for ‘market research’ purposes.

Ofcom research suggested the number of people affected rose from 24 per cent in 2011 to 47 per cent in 2012.

To register your support for the campaign contact Rosie Winterton MP’s office 01302 326297.