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TalkTalk has launched a free service that screens unwanted calls to landline numbers.

According to research by the company, 61 per cent of Britons regularly ignore their landlines to avoid unwanted sales or scam calls.

This, it said, means about 300 million calls from friends and relatives could be going unanswered in a single year.

However, the survey showed 70 per cent of people would answer their landline if they had a feature that blocked unwanted calls.

Meanwhile, more than half said they do not believe their landline provider does enough to stop unwanted calls getting through.

TalkTalk has therefore launched CallSafe - a service that screens unwanted calls, so customers no longer have to worry about answering their landline phone, and hopefully save landlines from "extinction".

CallSafe works by automatically checking the number, with regularly dialled numbers being put straight through.

If a call is from a new number, CallSafe will check to see if it is on a list of unwanted callers, in which case it will be automatically blocked and the phone will not ring.

Other callers will be asked to record a short introduction before the recipient's phone rings, so they can hear the message before picking up the phone and choose whether to answer, ignore or block the call.

TalkTalk customers simply need to dial 1472 to activate the feature, while they can view and manage approved and blocked callers either via their online account or by calling this number.

Tristia Harrison, Chief Executive Officer at TalkTalk, commented: "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."

Ms Harrison added that CallSafe gives TalkTalk customers a "free and simple" way to avoid unwanted calls, enhance their call security and "take back control" of their landlines.



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