Broadband Guide - What you need to know
Irritating cold callers

The first step in stopping cold calling is to register your phone number with the 'Telephone Preference Service' (TPS). The TPS hold a central opt-out register which consumers can request they be added to if they do not wish to receive unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls. It is a legal requirement that companies do not make unsolicited calls to numbers registered on the TPS database. Once registered it can take up to 28 days before you will notice a reduction in cold calling. It takes less than a minute to register your preference with the TPS and it's free! (Don't forget to register your mobile number too!) Join here

If you're a BT customer you might also like to sign up for 'BT Privacy at home' BT Privacy with Caller Display costs £1.75 a month, but you can sign up to get it free for a year Join here. (a new 12-month line rental contract applies).


Unsolicited text messages appear to be on the increase. The most common type of texts received relate to debt management, accident claims and mis-sold PPI insurance. To report unsolicited text messages, forward the SMS to your mobile phone provider - see details below. EE customers, and other providers not listed below: Forward the SMS text to 7726 Three customers: forward the SMS text to 37726 Vodafone customers: Forward the SMS text to 87726


If you're receiving nuisance calls or text spam you can report it to the 'Information Commissioner's Office' (ICO). They are an independent UK body set up to uphold information rights. It only takes a few minutes to report a call via the online form. ICO will not respond directly to individual cases but by submitting your nuisance calls to them they can use this data to help investigate and take action against those responsible. Report nuisance calls to ICO


There are many reasons why you may wish to stop direct marketing material (i.e. junk mail) landing on your doormat. For some people, it's environmental principles, others may be receiving mail for a previous occupier or deceased family member. Registering your marketing preferences on the 'UK Mailing Preference Service' (MPS) website will help to reduce junk mail. This service is also free and registration only takes a minute to complete. It can take up to 4 months to notice a reduction in junk mail. Register with the MPS here


There is a separate mailing preference database that covers baby-related mailings. Whilst many new parents are happy to receive marketing material and free product trials, this is not always the case. If you wish to opt out, the service is effective, sympathetic and free! Register online here


Unaddressed mail - Royal Mail are legally obliged to deliver all addressed mail, which includes mail that is addressed “To the Occupier” (or with any other generic recipient information) as well as mail that is personally addressed to you. It is not possible for Royal Mail to separate material you don’t want from material that you do want, such as advertising offers or leaflets from Central and Local Government. Opting out of Royal Mail 'Door to Door' stops all unaddressed items from being delivered by Royal Mail. Election material is not delivered by the 'Door to Door' service and is therefore unaffected. Opting out means that nobody at the address should receive unaddressed mail items. The opt out will not cover any other distributors, who will continue to deliver unaddressed mail items. If you would like to opt out of receiving unaddressed items delivered by Royal Mail, you can email your details to: optout @

If you would like to opt-out from deliveries from other unaddressed mail distributors who are members of the Direct Marketing Association, you may wish to register with the 'Your Choice' preference scheme run by the Direct Marketing Association. The contacts details are as follows:

'Your Choice'
Preference Scheme Direct Marketing Association
DMA House
70 Margaret Street
London W1W 8SS

Telephone: 020 7291 3300
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.