Follow this topicFollow this topic Knowledge » Landline phones

BT6500: new phone that automatically blocks unwanted calls

Cliff D'Arcy
by Lovemoney Staff Cliff D'Arcy on 08 February 2013  |  Comments 8 comments

BT has launched the BT6500, a home phone with automatically blocks nuisance phone calls, from PPI claims to double glazing salesman.

BT6500: new phone that automatically blocks unwanted calls

Every day, millions of Brits are bothered by unwanted telephone calls, text messages, email spam and other junk.

One way many of us try to prevent them is by signing up to a free facility known as the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). This official central opt-out register records your preference not to receive unsolicited sales or marketing calls. UK law requires all organisations (including charities, voluntary organisations and political parties) not to make calls to TPS-registered numbers without your prior, express consent to do so.

From about four weeks after registering with the TPS, the flood of unwanted calls should reduce, but won't stop altogether. Organisations with which you have an ongoing relationship can still call you, as can those conducting genuine market research.

What's more, the TPS is ignored by organisations operating outside of the UK, from where most of these unwanted calls (such as the dreaded PPI mis-selling messages) originate. Also, shady UK-based businesses operating on the fringes of the law routinely ignore the TPS.

In my experience, the TPS doesn't stop calls from debt collectors, as I am sometimes called by a firm trying to track down a debtor who never even lived at my current address.

The BT6500 call-blocking handset

The good news is that BT, the UK's biggest provider of landlines, has listened to its customers' complaints about nuisance, malicious and silent calls.

BT -- which takes over 670,000 calls a year to its Nuisance Calls Advice Line on 0800 661 441 -- has launched a new landline phone called the BT6500. BT claims that this new handset will automatically screen out and block around four-fifths (80%) of unwanted calls.

The BT6500 works by allowing customers to bar unwanted calls from overseas callers and withheld numbers (those with no caller ID), as well as up to ten specified numbers. You can also opt to block calls from payphones.

In addition, the handset includes a 'Do Not Disturb' mode to block calls when you wish to remain undisturbed. This function switches off the ringer, while still allowing specified VIP contacts (such as friends and family) to get through. This sounds great for when you're watching a film or working on an important project at home.

To allow genuine callers to contact you, all blocked calls (except those from your ten specified numbers) are silently directed to the answer machine, enabling your contacts to leave you messages. The BT6500 also includes parental controls via a PIN code, so as to prevent calls being made to specified numbers, such as premium-rate lines and mobile phones.

Unfortunately, I was unable to establish whether the BT6500 will blocks sales calls from BT's own call centres!

Controlling your calls

Given the irritation, frustration and anxiety that unsolicited calls cause, this BT phone is long overdue. Indeed, it could be a real stress-buster for people who spend a lot of time at home, such as home workers (like me), pensioners and disabled people.

Of course, this newfound silence and peace of mind costs money. A single BT6500 handset sells for £44.99, while a twin costs £69.99, a trio £89.99, and a quad-set will set you back £109.99. Some retailers will undercut these recommended retail prices, while BT does offer discounts to its own customers.

This handset comes in two different designs with identical functionality, the BT6500 and the BT6510 models. They are available from today from BT, Argos and Amazon, at Tesco and Sainsbury’s from the end of this month, and at John Lewis and Currys from early March.

What are the alternatives?

Before you rush off to buy this call-screening phone, check out these four alternatives:

Call-blocking services

BT and other landline providers offer their own call-screening services, but these come with monthly fees.

For example, BT's Choose to Refuse service costs £3.55 a month (£42.60 a year) and allows you to block certain numbers getting through. Likewise, BT's Anonymous Call Reject services blocks callers with withheld numbers for a monthly fee of £4.30 (£51.60 a year).

CallBlocker

CallBlocker is a hand-sized unit that plugs into your phone line. It intercepts all calls made to your landline with a short message (pre-recorded or customised) explaining that unwanted calls are not welcome, but personal callers should press five to proceed. Only after a caller presses five will your phone ring. For more information, call 0800 988 0210.

CallBlocker costs £54.99 plus £4.99 for delivery.

trueCall Nuisance Call Blocker

trueCall is another call-blocking device that goes between your handset and phone socket. Said to be the best by far on the market, it has 117 five-star reviews on Amazon and was described by entrepreneur Peter Jones as "the best idea he'd ever seen on Dragon's Den". The trueCall device costs £97.50, reduced to £94.95 on Amazon.

4. Charge for your time

Richard Herman got so hacked off with unwanted calls that he sued two persistent offenders, winning hundreds of pounds for his time. You can read about Herman's amusing exploits -- and how to charge cold callers £10 a minute for your time -- at Say No To Cold Calls.

How do you deal with nuisance calls? Let us know in the comment box below

More from Lovemoney:

Npower fined £60,000 for persistent nuisance calls

Ofcom to tackle nuisance phone calls

Cold calls: how to stop unwanted phone calls

Help us to stop spam texts

Spam text pair fined over £250k by Information Commissioner's Office

Eight ways to stop spam emails

Enjoyed this? Show it some love

Twitter
General

Comments (8)

  • David Hickson
    Love rating 0
    David Hickson said

    See the comments from the fair telecoms campaign

    New BT Phone - not the answer to nuisance calls - http://tiny.cc/ftmr_bt6500.

    Report on 08 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • Tog
    Love rating 6
    Tog said

    What's new about this? I have had a Panasonic phone for the last 2 years that does exactly that and more.

    Report on 08 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • Singe57
    Love rating 9
    Singe57 said

    I am with TalkTalk and with past nuisance unwanted calls I tapped in 1477 after I clicked them off and now I do not receive no calls from lovely Deli in India or anyone else. I have a very quiet phone now.:)

    Report on 08 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • MartinW
    Love rating 1
    MartinW said

    Some perfectly respectable companies, who are my business clients, appear as "international" or "withheld". How would I get this (or any) phone to accept those calls but reject the rubbish? I don't want to antagonise my clients and hence possibly lose business.

    Report on 08 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • johntee
    Love rating 0
    johntee said

    RE: Singe57 said ,

    What exactly does tapping 1477 do to stop such calls

    John

    Report on 08 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • JonoKFH
    Love rating 0
    JonoKFH said

    Whenever I answer the phone and detect that it's an unwanted call, I always say "I'm not Mr xxx - (whoever they are asking for) but I'll go and get them, please hold the line". Then I just put the receiver down quietly - but I don't hang up. After 2 to 3 minutes they disconnect the call from their end.

    I feel that this must at least be costing the caller something, and more than if I just hung up immediately, plus that it takes up 2 or 3 minutes of their time during which they could otherwise be pestering somebody else.

    Report on 14 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • Singe57
    Love rating 9
    Singe57 said

    When I receive such calls I tap in 1477 as opposed to 1471 which we all know. The recording says "this call has been recorded as a malicious call". I am with TalkTalk I do not think this facility is available for all.

    Report on 14 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • Stargazer
    Love rating 11
    Stargazer said

    Would love to be able to block nuisance calls, but unfortunately nearly all the nuisance calls we get are international with no number displayed, as are calls from my wife's family in Ireland. Some calls from abroad (from Belgium, for example) display a number - so I guess we just have to hope the Irish network eventually catches up.

    Report on 14 January 2014  |  Love thisLove  0 loves

Post a comment

Sign in or register to post a reply.

Our top deals

Credit card
company
Balance transfers rate and period Representative
APR
Apply
now

Barclaycard 31Mth Platinum Visa

0% for 31 months (2.99% fee) Representative 18.9% APR (variable) Apply
Representative example: Assumed borrowing of £1,200 for 1 year, at a Purchase Rate of 18.9% (variable), representative 18.9% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status. A Balance Transfer fee of 3.5% will be applied, then reduced to 2.99% by a refund (terms and conditions apply). Plus an additional £20 fee refund on balance transfers over £2000.

Barclaycard 30Mth Platinum Visa

0% for 30 months (2.89% fee) Representative 18.9% APR (variable) Apply
Representative example: Assumed borrowing of £1,200 for 1 year, at a Purchase Rate of 18.9% (variable), representative 18.9% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status. A Balance Transfer fee of 3.5% will be applied, then reduced to 2.89% by a refund (terms and conditions apply). Plus an additional £20 fee refund on balance transfers over £2000.

MBNA 30Mth Platinum Credit Card Visa

0% for 30 months (2.89% fee) Representative 18.9% APR (variable) Apply
Representative example: Assumed borrowing of £1,200 for 1 year, at a Purchase Rate of 18.9% (variable), representative 18.9% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status.
W3C  Thank you for using One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest