The figures revealed today have prompted calls for the banning of “predatory and infuriating” company cold calling.

John Robertson MP has been looking into the issue after having received a number of cold calls himself. He said: “Companies have been calling me up with their sales pitch – but when they find out I’m an MP they quickly backtrack. It would be funny if it wasn’t such predatory behaviour.”

Mr Robertson, who sits on the Energy and Climate Change committee, is particularly worried about vulnerable people being pushed into changing energy tariffs, for example, without having all the information in front of them. He said: “Many offers from companies are hard enough to understand as it is, without a hardlined salesperson pushing you to take it over the phone. Sadly, I think the most vulnerable people will find it difficult to deal with these types of people and may even end up paying more, thanks to these infuriating calls.”

“We also have no idea of the extent of this sales tactic – I find that very worrying.”

Over half of all landline numbers in the UK are currently registered with the Telephone Preference Service Ltd (TPSL), a service which allows customers to opt out of receiving unsolicited sales calls. With so many people opting out of the practice, the Labour MP for Glasgow North West is calling for it to be banned completely.

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