Consumers receive an average of two nuisance calls a week with most of these calls being made by Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) claims companies.
According to the new research from Ofcom, they make up more than of half of identifiable unwanted recorded sales calls.
The study, which asked over 800 consumers to keep a diary to record all unwanted calls received on their home landline over a four-week period, found 82% of respondents received an average of 8.4 unwanted calls over the period.
Claudio Pollack, Ofcom’s consumer group director, said: “Two nuisance calls a week is too many and this detailed research will help us understand the root cause of the problem.
Calls about PPI claims made up 22% of all nuisance calls, where the panellists were able to identify the product or service, rising to 51% of identifiable unwanted recorded sales calls. Energy (10%), market research4 (10%) and insurance (8%) were also among the most commonly cited reasons for unwanted calls, the figures showed.
The independent regulator identified the most common types of nuisance calls as being live marketing calls (38%), followed by silent calls (34%) and recorded sales calls (14%).
Commenting on Ofcom's findings, Mike Lordan, chief of operations for the Direct Marketing Association, said: “Ofcom’s latest findings on nuisance calls isn’t unexpected given the rise in the number of companies operating outside the law although 82% is slightly higher than previously reported figures.
“Companies cold calling people registered with the Telephone Preference Service are causing serious harm to the reputable telemarketing industry. The regulators must use enforcement action to protect the consumer, as well as the interests of the vast majority of companies that comply with the law and adhere to the highest standards of best practice."
Ofcom released the findings at the same time as announcing an investigation into suspected abandoned and silent calls made by companies within the claims management sector, and called on other authorities to help address the problem.
Pollack added: “We will use the full range of our powers to tackle abandoned and silent calls, but this is a complex area that requires joint action from a number of different agencies and Government. We are therefore working with the Government and other regulators to help drive a coordinated and more effective response to nuisance calls.”