WITH regard to the recent discussion on telephone harassment, I am signed up to the telephone preference service but I am concerned that it is only targeting genuine companies drumming up a bit of business, and does little or nothing to prevent the real problem calls.

It has been broken a couple of times by regional home improvement companies, who have been extremely polite and taken no thank-you as an answer — I have no problem with these genuine marketing calls.

I have had more than one conversation with the British Telecom nuisance calls line and whilst they are very polite and sympathetic there’s nothing they can do either — the line is purely cosmetic.

I received a call from an 0131 number (that’s Edinburgh) and reported it but it turned out to be an out of service line which had been hijacked. I asked about the recorded announcement calls which you cannot hang up on — again there is no technology available to stop it, you just have to let it run its course.

All this begs the question what development, if any, is being undertaken to improve telephone technology to assist in the prevention of these nuisance calls.

More worryingly, I did at one point receive some calls from what appeared to be a dodgy finance company presumably trying to sell exorbitant loans — on this occasion it was a domestic line still in service. When I contacted the nuisance calls line, I was advised that not only was the anonymity of this company fully protected under UK data protection laws but also that BT were unable to advise me who to contact if I wished to take the matter further.

Given all the above how on earth will any new legislation be enforcable — it won’t.

Unless I am expecting a call, I now screen all calls to my home number, the vast majority of which do appear to be scammers.

Dave Carter Campbell Street Farnworth