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UK ISP TalkTalk Reports Rapid Uptake of FREE Privacy Calling Features

Wednesday, Feb 26th, 2014 (12:54 pm) - Score 820

Budget broadband and calls provider TalkTalk reports that its recent move to become “the first and only ISP” to make all of their fixed phone line privacy calling features (e.g. Last Caller Barring and Anonymous Caller Reject) completely free has boosted the number of customers using the service almost four-fold.

The change meant that TalkTalk’s customers could now use features including Last Caller Barring, Anonymous Caller Reject, Caller Display, 1571 Voicemail and Withhold Your Number, all without needing to pay extra. Some other ISPs typically charge additional fees worth several pounds per month (£1 – £4.50) per service but TalkTalk probably sees more value in this as a customer retention tool.

As a result the ISP states that “a large number of TalkTalk homes” have taken advantage of their free service, although the provider didn’t confirm an actual figure. According to TalkTalk, the strong uptake demonstrates that “people don’t believe they should have to pay to protect their privacy“, which is true but then anything useful offered for free is perhaps likely to be deemed equally attractive.

But nuisance calls are a very real problem and it’s refreshing to see this approach being taken. At the same time consumers need to be cautious about hiding their number from everybody, after all using the ‘Withhold Number’ service might trigger ‘Anonymous Caller Reject’ at your friend’s house. Spammers do often withhold their number but so can real people and as more use the service then an increasing number of legitimate calls risk being blocked.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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