A Birmingham MP is claiming victory in a long-running campaign to end silent phone calls from firms touting for business.
John Hemming (Lib Dem Yardley) welcomed plans to fine companies up to £50,000 if they breach new regulations.
The tough restrictions, to be introduced by telecoms watchdog Ofcom, are aimed at firms using automated call centres. Computers dial up potential customers, who are put through to a salesperson when they pick up the phone.
But if no sales staff are available, the computer simply hangs up.
Householders hear nothing but silence and have no way of knowing who has called them.
Now, Ofcom has ruled that residents must be told who the calls are from, via a recorded message. Residents will have access to the caller's number by dialling 1471, and will then have the option of blocking calls from that number in future.
Mr Hemming raised the problem with the Prime Minister in the House of Commons in June - when he revealed a vicar in his Yardley constituency had complained about the problem. Mr Blair promised at the time to look into the issue.
Mr Hemming has also asked Ministers to act in a number of written Parliamentary Questions, and addressed industry representatives at a conference at the NEC.
He said: "All telephone users should welcome Ofcom's action that will finally end the nuisance of the silent call.
"The use of an informational message will eradicate the worry caused by silent calls. Hundreds of thousands of people have been harassed by these nuisances."
Ofcom wants to cut the permitted number of "abandoned" calls to 3 per cent made by a company within any 24-hour period. The industry code currently sets the cap at 5 per cent.