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UK ISP TalkTalk Adds CallSafe to Enhance Nuisance Call Blocking

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018 (2:06 pm) - Score 6,058

Low cost ISP TalkTalk has launched yet another free tool to help their broadband and phone customers tackle the scourge of nuisance calls (e.g. unwanted marketing and scams). CallSafe will automatically check who is calling and “make sure it’s someone you want to hear from.”

The UK ISP already blocks nuisance calls at a network level (e.g. they blocked more than 100 million scam calls during June 2017) and they’ve also enabled the Caller Display and Last Call Barring features for all users with a fixed line phone service on their platform. On top of that subscribers can use their Check & Report site to test who has called them and report unwanted callers.

How Does CallSafe Work?

Every time you get a call, CallSafe will automatically check the number to make sure it’s someone you want to hear from. Regularly dialed numbers like friends and family, will be put straight through. For any new callers, CallSafe will:

1. Check to see if the number is on a list of unwanted callers. If so, it’s automatically blocked and your home phone never rings.

2. Manage any other callers with an extra step. It will ask the caller to record a short introduction before your phone rings. You’ll hear this message when you pick up your home phone and have the choice to either answer, ignore, or block the call.

CallSafe needs no extra kit, simply dial 1472 to turn it on and leave the rest to us. If you want, you can view and manage your approved and blocked callers through My Account or by calling 1472. Or you can let CallSafe manage it, giving you one less thing to worry about.

As part of this announcement the ISP has published the results of a new survey from Mortar, which was conducted with 2,000 adults during October 2017. The survey found that 61% of Brits are ignoring their landline to avoid unwanted sales or scam calls and as a result the average person misses at least 1 important call a month.

Meanwhile 70% of Brits claimed they would return to answering the landline if they had a feature that blocked unwanted calls, and over half felt their landline provider wasn’t doing enough to stop them receiving unwanted calls. On this point it’s unclear whether or not the respondents were aware of all the new systems that have already been introduced by TalkTalk, BT and Sky Broadband in order to tackle such calls.

Tristia Harrison, TalkTalk’s CEO, said:

“We’re tackling the industry-wide issue of unwanted calls head on. Protecting our customers is incredibly important to us and we’re committed to eliminating the disruption caused by unwanted callers. It would be a real shame if landlines became obsolete just because we are too afraid to pick them up.

CallSafe provides our customers with a free and simple way to avoid unwanted calls, enhancing their call security and allowing them take back control of their landlines – hopefully saving them from extinction in the process.”

It’s worth pointing out that answering machines are also viewed by many people as being incredibly annoying, although hopefully the similarities with CallSafe won’t cause the same level of annoyance.

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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11 Responses
  1. Ray Woodward says:

    Just another name for Sky Talk Shield …

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      Apparently it does a few things that Sky Talk Shield doesn’t, such as..

      * Unlimited number blocking/whitelisting
      * Activate the feature through your handset
      * Automatically adds your frequently called numbers to your approved list

      On the other hand Sky Talk Shield also does a few things that CallSafe can’t..

      * Choose to send a call to voicemail
      * Keeps your blocked and approved numbers if deactivated

  2. Cliff Blaken says:

    I receive calls from my consultant, cancer specialist, St. Davids hospices, when I receive them at the moment they come up as private caller, because they are on a Hospital extension. What will happen in these circumstances.

    1. Alexis Colby says:

      Private caller is CID with flag “Restricted” which means that telecom company can see that number.

  3. Foosan says:

    Just another way of conning you into signing up with talk talk be aware it doesn’t work as food as they say you still get crank phone calls

  4. Web Dude says:

    In the past I used Caller Display and manually decided what to leave for answerphone but for the majority of the last 6 years have switched the ringer off, so the phone is here and rings but rarely if ever gets answered.

    I sometimes leave it off hook for months at a time (as an engaged tone probably lets people know they just won’t get an answer that way… I can see that having something automated like this would assist as the telco gets the number of the caller anyway… apart from some from overseas.

    Meanwhile for business calls on the incoming side, I am using a firm which provides the caller’s number and voice recording (via e-mail) whether the call is answered or not, and withheld numbers are provided as Caller ID without me knowing if they tried to withhold the number. Handy when some nuisance caller rings for the 20th time in a day and I decide to leave it to ring and go to voicemail, so I can take some other calls in the meantime.

  5. Web Dude says:

    Oh, looks like there will be a level playing field in the not-too-distant future…

    I started looking around before I went to bed, to see if there were any sites comparing the features from different telecom providers, as some say “loads of providers don’t charge” which didn’t ring true, to me… True, some “bundle” offerings include free Caller ID, but I doubt smaller services like AAISP, IDnet, Origin, and Zen, offer free Caller ID for all… Post Office may (as they rent from TalkTalk Wholesale), plus TT and Sky, but the whole “who still charges for Caller ID” seems academic (or will be)…

    “Landline providers will be banned from charging for caller display facilities from 1 October 2018.” seen on https://is.gd/FreeCallerID ( Cable.co.uk )

    As I have just initiated a switch to Plus.Net line rental, I may as well take Caller Display too, and pay their 99p (?) fee for the next few months, and remind myself it goes free in the Autumn.

  6. Ian Mendoza says:

    I have also used several call blocker apps since years ago, but I don’t think it helps much regarding these nuisance calls. I still got 5-10 calls from them each and everyday at that time. Now I don’t use any blockers. I just ignore unfamiliar calls. I sometimes look up the number on Google or sites like http://whycall.me to see if people have reported the number as scam, so that I can just block the number.

  7. John says:

    I switched “Callsafe” on several weeks ago after becoming exasperated by the frequency of spam and scam calls.
    So far I haven’t received a single scam call which means I’ve gone from average 15 a week to zero. Well done Talk Talk, life feels much more normal again.
    The other Talk Talk free offer I’m using is “Supersafe” which has also turned out to be the best internet security software I’ve used. In the past I’ve tried various other offerings but all appeared to slow my internet speed down and all were quickly removed. This one (which is powered by F-Secure) only activates when you visit a sensitive site such as a bank or other finance website where it springs to life and and immediately blocks any other active web connections from accessing your secure page. It feels good anyway and appears not to have any impact on general surfing speeds.
    All in all, these features confirm Talk Talk as the best buy in town in my opinion.

  8. Breakfast says:

    I might be a bit cynical but CallSafe has probably been introduced because of all the various scam calls in the name of TalkTalk – the only scam calls I ever receive on my land-line.

    Notwithstanding, it does appear to be a pretty good system operating at the network level. It means I should never get a scam call again unless scammers get wise and actually decide to give their name and press ‘#’ before the call is connected.

    I have been using trueCall for several years but will be disconnecting it in favour of TalkTalk CallSafe.

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