Hot news in the telecoms arena over the past couple of weeks has been the launch of BT’s newest 6500 model – a handset that BT says can block up to 80% of nuisance calls. Offered at a recommended retail price of £69.99 for a single handset and £129.99 for a set of four, this certainly isn’t the cheapest cordless phone on the market. But as consumers become increasingly frustrated by an onslaught of unwanted sales calls, is it worth this one-off expenditure to enjoy a more peaceful life?
Nuisance calls and how the BT 6500 can help
Unsolicited sales calls have been a fact of life for many years now – but in recent years a new breed of call has proven immune to the Telephone Preference Service. According to Ofcom’s Consumer Experience Survey 2012, 71% of UK residents regularly receive unwanted sales calls. The number of silent calls has risen by 47% year on year since 2011, and 68% of us have experienced pre-recorded calls that we do not want.
The crux of the problem lies mainly with the rise of PPI claims firms, who have adopted the tactic of calling from withheld or international numbers. That’s because the TPS isn’t capable of blocking these numbers, meaning that even if you’re registered for the service these irritating interruptions to your day are still likely to creep through. BT has been quoted as saying they receive more than 50,000 enquiries seeking advice on nuisance calls every month. Especially in the case of vulnerable or elderly people that’s a real concern – and the predominant reason for the launch of BT’s latest handset.
How does the BT 6500 work?
The BT6500 is a nicely presented handset available as a single model or in sets of two or four. It offers all the standard functions consumers expect these days, including a phone book that can be shared between handsets, a hands free function, and 30 minutes of message recording.
In addition there’s some clever new functionality that will be appreciated by anyone who has had enough of having their day interrupted by pre-recorded messages, over-zealous salesmen or disturbing silences.
Crucially, the handset blocks all international and withheld numbers, accounting for a vast proportion of today’s nuisance callers. But you can also set a list of VIP numbers, to ensure that the people you really want to hear from can always get through. Plus, you can divert blocked calls to voicemail, so that you never miss a genuine message even when it comes from a number you don’t recognise.
In addition the ability to block up to 10 specific UK numbers means that if you’re being pestered by a UK sales team – or even just by somebody you don’t want to speak to - you can quickly eradicate them from your life as well.
The phone can be set to do not disturb mode – but VIP numbers are always recognised by the handset and will still ring, so you can really kick back when you’re looking for some uninterrupted time, safe in the knowledge that if your nearest and dearest need to reach you in an emergency they can.
Finally, there’s a nod to the cash strapped bill payer by equipping the handset to block outgoing calls to premium rates (as you choose). That’s a massive benefit for anyone who might have an errant teenager, curious toddler, or even an unscrupulous lodger in the house.