11th February 2021
Emily Rosenorn-Lanng and Stevie Corbin-Clarke were honoured to be invited to speak at the National Trading Standards Call Blocker, Wellbeing and Telco Launch Event on the 4th February 2021 to present their research which assessed the impact of the use of a call blocker on wellbeing. The event was very well organised by the NTS Scams Team and we would like to thank them for inviting us along.
The launch was attended by almost 200 trading standards officers from across the country, which has led to us making some further connections, and we are very excited to see where these links might take our research. Some other attending speakers included Louise Baxter, Melissa Dring and Richard Clarke, from the NTS Scams Team, James Perry from Project Doorstep and Chris King from Dudley County Council Trading Standards.
The event provided us with a fantastic opportunity to showcase the findings of our call blocker research project and to and discuss the recommendations from this research.
A short 7-item well-being assessment scale (The Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale) was included in the online application process and then applied three months after installation via a telephone questionnaire, allowing for a comparison. The whole question set was answered by 181 respondents (both at application and 3 months after) and we found that:
- The proportion of respondents receiving scam or nuisance calls reduced from 99% to 8%.
- Those who did still receive calls received significantly less.
- The number of participants concerned about losing money in the future had decreased from 77% to 17%.
- 75% of the respondents felt happier, 73% felt more confident and 72% felt safer.
The SWEMWBS defines three levels of well-being, low, medium and high:
↑ The percentage of those scoring as high on the scale increased from 8% to 37%.
↓ The percentage of respondents scoring as low on the scale reduced from 39% to 11%
Here is just one of the positive responses provided in the open comments section after 3 months of having the callblocker:
“Amazing! I was getting so many calls it was so bad. Before I was beginning to doubt myself and feel uncomfortable and now, I feel myself again it’s really made a difference.”
Recommendations from the research:
- Greater recognition of the impact that scam and nuisance calls have on well-being, regardless of whether there is actual engagement or any financial loss.
- All regular landline users are likely to benefit from call blocker technology.
- Call blockers should made available to vulnerable individuals to support them to live independently.
- Older people, those who self-identify as vulnerable, and individuals who live alone are most likely to benefit from the installation of a call blocker.
- Building on the previous work of The NTS Scams Team, further signposting would help provide clear guidance regarding the application for and the potential benefits of installing a call blocker.