Updated on 19 May 2015.
Answering the phone to find that there is no one on the other end of the line is a nuisance that thousands of people across the UK accept as part of daily life.
However, there are a number of steps you can take to drastically reduce the number of silent calls you receive.
The vast majority of silent, or dropped calls, are made by companies using call centres to contact potential customers.
These companies use devices called predictive diallers to make vast numbers of calls which are then allocated to call centre staff when you answer the phone.
However, often these predictive diallers generate such a large number of calls that when you answer the line there are no staff members available to take your call and you are left with a silent line.
To check the number of the call, ring 1471 from your handset and you will either be able to make a note of the number or be told that the caller withheld their number.
If there is a number on record for your call, there are a selection of community websites including Who Calls Me? and Who Phoned Me? where you can check the details of the phone number and find out which company is behind the call.
While the Telephone Preference Service primarily exists to combat unwanted sales calls, registering with TPS should in turn help cut down the number of silent calls you receive too.
This is simply because most silent calls are made by companies looking to sell products through their calls centres. If you are no longer on their lists the number of silent calls you receive should also drop substantially.
Plus, if you are being harassed by a large number of sales calls, registering with TPS should put a stop to many of these too - although it won't stop all independent sales or spam calls.
It is free and easy to register with the TPS, simply enter your details on the TPS website and you should be added to their register within 28 days.
Ofcom, the regulator of the telecoms industry takes a dim view of companies that make silent calls to members of the public and in the past has fined major businesses six figure sums for doing just this.
If your silent calls from an identifiable company you should lodge a complaint with Ofcom so that they're able to investigate.
To complain about a silent call, visit the Ofcom website and enter details about when you received the call, what number it came from and whether there was a recorded message or silence on the line.
If Ofcom needs more information about your complaint they may contact you, but in most cases this is unnecessary.
While Ofcom has the power to fine businesses that make silent calls, if you believe the calls you're receiving are being made by an individual and that someone is deliberately trying to intimidate you, then you should contact the police.
To find contact details of your local police station or neighbourhood policing team visit the Police.UK website.
If you are receiving spam text messages there are a number of different ways you can report them and stop them dead in their tracks.
Read our guide: How to Stop Spam Text Messages for more help combating them.
Written by Martin at money.co.uk
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