BT BT6500 landline phone blocks cold callers, sadly unlikely to be very effective

BT's BT6500 landline phone blocks cold callers, unlikely to be very effective

We’ve been driven insane by spam calls – usually of the pre-recorded nature – offering ‘urgent and important’ news about PPI accident insurance or some other annoying rubbish.

BT and the curse of phone marketing spam. Not their problem, apparently


BT’s response, to date, has been absolutely useless, with the telecommunications giant preferring to shrug their shoulders and either insist that customers learn to live with it, or pay up for their ineffectual blocking services.

However, it seems that someone, somewhere  has been listening to the growing tide of public complaints (their Nuisance Call Advice Line received a staggering 50,000 calls last month), as BT has now launched a new landline phone range that claims to block out  “up to 80 per cent of unwanted calls”.

The BT6500 range lets users block calls from international and withheld numbers, or up to 10 specific numbers. Blocked calls go straight to the answering machine – so you’ll still have to listen to at least part of each message.

“We know from talking to our customers that nuisance calls cause huge frustration and even anxiety at times,” says John Petter, managing director of BT’s consumer division. “When people feel as though they are being harassed in their own homes they need to be able to take action and block the offending callers.”

A telephonic drop in the spam ocean

BT insist that their new handsets will  block the majority of  dodgy calls, but we’re not even slightly convinced. Our spam calls come from a wide range of numbers, often with with  083**  or 084** prefixes, so  just blocking ten numbers is unlikely to make much difference.

There are two variants of the phone, the BT6500 and BT6510. They look different, but they’re basically the same phone, although the BT6500 handset comes with a Do Not Disturb mode, which lets users turn off the ringer either manually or via a timer.

None of these phones will actually address what people want, which is one click blocking of new spammers, and the ability to block entire ranges of numbers if they so desire.

In fact, what we imagine most consumers really want is BT getting off its arse and getting proactive on these spamming customers and banning them off their network altogether , or at least have the option to block numbers for free.

Why should folks have to buy a new phone or fork out for new BT services  just to get a bit of peace and quiet?

Some silence – for a price

The BT6500 can be bought now from BT, Argos and Amazon, with Tesco and Sainsbury’s following at the end of the month.

The single handset plus base station costs £44.98, with other options  up to £109.99 for a quad set, one base station and three smaller stations for other rooms. The BT6510 has been made for John Lewis and Currys, and will be out the end of March.

Useful contacts to help banish spammers:
If yoyu’re
Complain to Ofcom
Ofcom Advisory Team – 0300 123 3333
BT Nuisance Call Advice Line – 0800 661 441
Carphone Warehouse/Talk Talk – 0870 444 1820
Kingston Communications – 01482 602 555
Post Office – 0845 600 3210
Sky – 08442 414 141
Tiscali – 0871 222 3311
Tesco – 0845 300 7080
Virgin Media’s Sensitive Information Bureau – 0800 953 3333

Telephone Preference Service
TPS Registration Line: 0845 070 0707
Tel: 0845 703 4599
Fax: 020 7323 4226


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4 Comments on “BT BT6500 landline phone blocks cold callers, sadly unlikely to be very effective”

  1. Ideally you should have an option to block everything except 01,02 and 07 numbers- ie ordinary landlines and mobiles.

    It ought to be possible to do this at the exchange, without any need for specialist hardware at the consumer end. Failing that, look out for cheaper clones from other manufacturers. What this handset does isn’t rocket science really so someone else should be able to make one for not much more than a standard cordless phone costs.

  2. The BT6500 claims to Block those calls and after buying this phone last week I found all that the phone can do is to Silence the calls. The only real way is to subscribe to BT and add the service to your line for £4.50 per month.

  3. I have the 6510 and it has stopped all nuisance calls – they go directly to the answerphone without ringing. Generally these numbers do not leave messages. It has the option to block International calls, and calls with no caller number. It does need development to the software though. It should be possible to block groups/types of numbers, and it should be possible to allow certain numbers through a block. It also has the Do Not Disturb function. I do appreciate that I do not get a lot of nuisance calls and that if I did (from 084* numbers) this would not stop them until each number is blocked individually.

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