Research carried out by Citizens Advice has revealed that 32 million Brits, the equivalent of seven out of 10 adults, have received an unsolicited contact over the past 12 months.
Personal injury companies were revealed as the principal perpetrators, with 42% of respondents claiming to have been contacted by them in the past year.
One fourth of Brits said they were disturbed during a meal whereas one in seven said they were contacted during working hours.
Cold calls inform those with no online access
Energy suppliers E.ON and SSE both recently announced they would be putting an end to cold calling. The declarations were made following renewed pressure on the government to ban the practice.
British Gas, EDF, npower and Scottish Power are set to carry on cold calling potential customers. British Gas has defended this decision and stated that phone calls remain the most effective method to inform those unable to go online of new energy deals or offers.
A spokesperson for British Gas said: “Feedback from our customers shows that they want to know about the best deals in the market and many want to discuss this on the phone.”
‘People are sick of having their time wasted’
Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “People are sick of having their time wasted by phone calls that they haven’t asked for and don’t want.
“Our research has shown that energy suppliers are one of the most common cold callers. We see people who have been given misleading information about the amount of money they could save on their energy bills when they have been cold called in the past.
“Energy companies should be working hard to rebuild the trust of consumers. The recent decision made by SSE and E.ON to stop cold calling is the right one and now we’d like to see other energy firms do the same.”