Telephone Preference Service is failing to cut out cold calls

Tony Levene
by Lovemoney Staff Tony Levene on 11 August 2012  |  Comments 48 comments

I'm signed up to the Telephone Preference Service yet still get plenty of calls from Indian call centres. More needs to be done.

Telephone Preference Service is failing to cut out cold calls

Over the past seven days, I have had four very similar phone calls at home – three of them in one day.  All come from India, and all are voiced by someone claiming a very English sounding name. I live in a London area with one of the highest concentrations of people of South Asian descent anywhere, but I have yet to meet an Indian Arabella or Robert.

Each one starts with the same script: “You have been specially selected to take part in a marketing survey of consumer interest. Can you spare just a few minutes?”  I have been down this road before and know that the “few minutes” stretches to more than 20 minutes of total tedium where you are asked questions about well-known UK brands and charities.

The “special selection” is the computer choosing my name, address and phone number. And the so-called survey ranges from asking me to give money to charity to buying conservatory accessories.

Nevertheless, I go through the first one (27 minutes) with non-committal answers.

Wait... I'm registered with the Telephone Preference Service

These calls were all on my home phone number which is registered with the Telephone Preference Service. And when I last wrote about Indian sales calls – some are more targeted such as touts for ambulance-chasing personal injury lawyers or intermediaries pushing personal loans – the TPS contacted me.

It wanted to proclaim it was doing a good job but also chide me for my criticism of how easy it seems to be to get around its legally enforceable ban on sales calls To be fair, since I signed up to TPS some years ago, I receive zero calls from home improvement companies, the previous bane of my life.

But that has been outweighed by more calls from India, silent calls, and recorded messages telling me I have won a Florida cruise (all I have to pay is the fare to Miami and my food on board).

The TPS tells me: “It is a legal requirement that all organisations (including charities, voluntary organisations and political parties) do not make such calls to numbers registered on the TPS unless they have your specific consent to do so.”

The tickbox loophole

Companies can use “specific consent” to call customers. But a gaping loophole is ticking a box to allow calls from “carefully chosen partners of interest to you” (or similar wording).

Earlier this month, I bought a pen online. The company itself was brilliant – next day delivery as promised. But it had a tick box. Why?

Given my purchase, I might want ink and paper. The really nice pen firm would want sell me these – it would be insane to hand over my details to competitors. So had I agreed to calls, emails or texts, these would be from random companies.

I did not give specific consent to any company involved in the call centre “survey” that I took through to conclusion.

The difficulty is that the law in this respect is largely circumvented. Overseas calls centres are outside the TPS regulatory reach. So why not go for the “famous name” companies which use them?

The defence here is that most, if not all, do not know what is being done in their name. They don't contract with an overseas call centre – this is usually done through several layers of intermediaries, based both here and abroad.

The TPS insistence that the law be obeyed is understandable although I can't find evidence of prosecutions on the scale that my experience (and that of many others) would suggest is needed.

Nevertheless, the TPS says I should report these instances. It states: “There are some companies that ignore the TPS legislation.  These organisations are breaking the law, you can complain to the TPS about unsolicited sales and marketing calls via our website (which is www.tpsonline.org.uk) or by calling 0845 070 0707 for a complaint form.  All we need is the telephone number, the name of the company and the date and time of the call.”

All we need?  That's a tall order. Indian call centres leave no numbers (1471 says “withheld”) and no usable names (try tracking down “Marketing Services”  or “Consumer Surveys”).  I can do dates and times but I don't think that would get regulators very far.

The TPS knows this. It says: “We are aware that some companies break the law further by withholding their telephone number and not making it clear who they are when you answer the phone making it difficult to contact them to investigate a complaint.  You can pass information about these calls directly to the ICO (Information Commissioner's Office) by visiting their website www.ico.gov.uk."

Maybe I have missed something on the ICO site. But I can't find anything to report an unnamed firm from an unlisted phone number. And if I could what is the point telling anyone?

More on scams and rip-offs

The 'get rich from your sofa' scam

The scam that makes you feel special

The rare earth scam

The scammers that tried to sue me

Enjoyed this? Show it some love

Twitter
General

Comments (48)

  • vallaw
    Love rating 1
    vallaw said

    The link you give (www.tps.org.uk) takes you to the Transport Planning Society. What you need is http://www.tpsonline.org.uk. And no, it doesn't work.

    Report on 11 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  1 love
  • elcadobes
    Love rating 10
    elcadobes said

    Although I registered with TPS several years ago it does not seem to work any more. I have calls for PPI, my Sky box (which I don't have), compensation for an accident (I haven't had), government grants for loft insulation and solar panels. I also get the Windows scam where you are told your computer is full of viruses and they get you to update your computer (with a virus) and also charge you for it. I have a phone which tells me who is calling and ignore INTERNATIONAL, NUMBER UNAVAILABLE and WITHELD. Although if I am bored I do sometimes answer them for a laugh.They often put the phone down on me including the Windows scammer when I asked them what Windows was.

    Report on 11 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  1 love
  • Markulous
    Love rating 4
    Markulous said

    The best response I've ever had when challenged after an unsolicited call on my mobile "I can't give you the name of the MD or address of our company because of the Data Protection Act"

    Report on 11 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  4 loves
  • Justkeepgoing
    Love rating 28
    Justkeepgoing said

    It should be a legal requirement for all commercial organisations to display their telephone number when making a call so that they can be traced and reported if they breach any rules. It should also be a requirement on the telephone service provider to log and provide to relevant authorities the routing information for all calls. If overseas call centres are used to avoid the cold calling regulations then the telephone providers must bar their access using this routing information.

    I am sure that the telephone companies will continue to shout that they couldn't possibly do this but all telephone calls are routed by packet switching networks where the routing information is carried along with the data whether it be computer data or voice calls. All communications can be traced and malicious use of the telephone service can be blocked.

    I may have chosen to buy a telephone service so that I can make and receive calls, I have yet to receive any offers of payment from any company that wishes to use my telephone as a marketing device. Having said that when I am asked to take part in a telephone survey I always state that I charge £50 where upon the line usually goes dead.

    Report on 11 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  3 loves
  • clayman21
    Love rating 4
    clayman21 said

    I have been registered with TPS for over 10 years, and find this a universally ignored control service.

    Our TPS number gets daily calls from companies including telecom companies, major Gas and Electricity suppliers, financial services, and a three month daily telephone harassment from commission agents working for one of the national music rights licensing agencies.

    When I ask "Why are you calling a TPS number? " the standard response is "Oh, terribly sorry, we will remove you from our database", in other words, these companies know full well about the TPS service and its failure to prosecute, so they simply ring everybody anyway, realising that if the are caught out by the tel no owner, an apology suffices to stop a complaint back to TPS, or that TPS does little or nothing anyway.

    I also get a regular comment saying " You do know you have to re-register every year" when they ask how long I've been on TPS and I reply over 10 years. I've been into TPS and cannot find that this is true, seems an urban myth the tele-sales companies are using as an excuse for the call, trying to blame the TPS subscriber for not "updating" their registration.

    I also have considerable numbers of smaller companies desperate for business who seem to have no awareness of TPS or what it means. They have just got the local business directory out and are ringing down the lists there. When I attempt to educate these companies that they may be breaking the law, the typical response when I ask for the manager or supervisor is to terminate the call, and as its usually number withheld, its hard to obtain any info to pass on to TPS.

    I've yet to see any National Press or TV advertising highlighting the existence of TPS, what it means and the potential consequences of tele-sales companies abusing the TPS principles.

    From an end users of TPS service's point of view, it currently seems totally wet and toothless. When will a Minister shake up what is a very good idea and get it actually working by publicising its existence? Highlighting some nice fat fines and even criminal convictions amongst the thousands of companies who seem to abuse the TPS principle with current impunity would be a good move.

    Report on 11 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  4 loves
  • barbarapm
    Love rating 2
    barbarapm said

    I've had TPS for many years and up until about 3 months ago all was well then we started to get these PPI calls saying that we needed to claim etc etc, I told them I didn't but they were adamant we did - i'm disabled so asked them to call back when my husband was in they did, and after discussing it with my husband he said if we did need to claim we'd go to the bank, and asked them tot ake us off their list.. Since then they have called probably 5-6 times a week some times silent calls, we have contacted our sservice provider who has put caller id on on our phone which has helped a bit.. but when I ask them for their number or company name they hang up. I did try TPS company who said they could stop it for a payment of £35 a month !!!! i thought now who's scamming who - i'll stick to what i'm doing. they explained they needed 1000 complaints to one company to take them to court, BUT if the company was registered abroad then no one can touch them - so what was I going to pay £35 for so think carefully before paying out to this one .

    Report on 11 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  2 loves
  • guardian1
    Love rating 9
    guardian1 said

    @barbarapm TPS is free if you go to the official website. Calls about PPI were the bane of my life until I registered with TPS - I would often get half a dozen calls in one day and although often the recorded message would invite me to 'unsubscribe' (I'd never subscribed in the first place) the calls continued, from the same companies until I registered TPS. The PPI compensation firms, when my daughter decided to speak to them direct to complain about their behaviour which had begun to feel very much like harrassment - were extremely aggressive and rude. Their calls would be at all times of day and evening and it was driving me round the bend. Since registering for TPS, I have only received two calls about PPI, both a day after I'd registered and haven't had any other 'junk' calls since. I've just been reading that many companies are getting round this, using loopholes but - fingers crossed, I've not had any problems recently. I hope you get yours sorted out because I know how infuriating it can be.

    Report on 11 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  1 love
  • g1ng3rcat
    Love rating 12
    g1ng3rcat said

    Brilliant - what is Windows?

    I usually refuse to answer such calls, but am struggling to educate my daughter who thinks I am being rude not to answer the phone (not realising that, if I did, I might be provoked into saying something very rude indeed!).

    Next time she forces me to try and be polite to the caller I will moan about the drafts my Windows let in!

    BTW I once worked in a call centre. We were unable to remove numbers from our computer-generated lists and the supervisor was deliberately never around when we tried to pass an unhappy customer onto them. I was forbidden from writing the number down to pass on later. I was also forced to stay hours late at very short notice and (ironically) not allowed to make a phone call to my family to explain this - the last of many straws, so I left. I don't know anyone who has lasted long in such employment.

    Report on 11 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  1 love
  • dyoucopy
    Love rating 0
    dyoucopy said

    i despise TPS and its lack of clout

    Report on 11 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • Tanni
    Love rating 92
    Tanni said

    Couldn't agree more some of the posts. As a young lad ( good times" ) I worked in a few call centres. These are sales environments with a slight splash of customer service with a pinch of regulation. We could not remove your details from the list, nobody knew how. When a customer did complain, people would just pass the phone over to a friend next to them who'd pretend to be a manager and say yes yes yes to whatever the customer wanted.

    Nowadays nothing has changed. I have provided some training to a call centre or two in my time and I can assure you all that the management do pretend to take the TPS and customer service seriously, only in front of the regulator's and auditors. On the sales floor the staff and management do not give a monkeys about the TPS so long as sales are made.

    Recently I have been bombarded with calls and texts to my mobile from claims and PPI companies, singles networks, insurance quotations, payday loans, mobile companies etc. Do they stop when you text back saying stop or cancel; no as most companies will not make a sale on the call or text but will continue selling your data and details to other companies, so more texts and calls. Many are from self employed canvassers just sat at home calling and texting people off the list.

    Best way to get rid of these companies is to waste their time, give them bogus details about yourself and any claim. Let them send out letters/forms to fictious addresses. Let them send out sales reps and waste their money. The more you waste, the less they can spend on doing people's heads in. Hard ball is the only way when the regulator is toothless and blind.

    Do not forget that most industry regulators are paid/funded via the industry they regulate, they cannot afford to bite off the hands that feed them. They will of course nip at the odd company here and there just to keep the figures looking good..talk about conflict of interests.

    Report on 11 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  2 loves
  • simongrenshaw@yahoo.com
    Love rating 2
    simongrenshaw@yahoo.com said

    Has anybody heard of (The Nuisance Call Registry) They say they guarantee to stop all these calls for a one-off charge of £35. If it works it might be worth it. Anyone got any feedback on the company please?

    Report on 11 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • old fan
    Love rating 0
    old fan said

    I know the TPS has its failings and is virtually toothless but it only covers UK calls - not from overseas.

    I usually find that if I get a UK call and complain to the caller they withdraw quickly with an apology - I do get quite a lot from India claiming that my computer has faults!

    Report on 11 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • culluding-fool
    Love rating 60
    culluding-fool said

    Saying that the TPS is failing implies that it used to work once. Did it? I think the best solution is to force businesses to register phone numbers to be displayed, even if they use overseas call centres. I can't see an organisation like TPS being able to do much to help unless they can tell the telephone providers what to do.

    Report on 11 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • trafford100
    Love rating 2
    trafford100 said

    I joined the TPS months ago but I am still getting numerous unsolicited marketing calls from companies within the UK. One company, Weathershield Solar, rang several times a day everyday for weeks. I tried asking them to stop, they hung up, when I asked for a manger, they hung up and when I asked for a contact number (they with held their no) they hung up. I found them online and called them and was spoken to very rudely. I complained to the TPS - I have heard nothing other than the standard "we are dealing with your complaint" e-mail. I had another call from another comp and had a full on argument about whether my ex-directory no was on "the national database"! When will something actually be done!

    Report on 11 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  2 loves
  • SuttonW
    Love rating 7
    SuttonW said

    I got a call once purporting to be from my electricity supplier, offering "free" home insulation and asking me to take part in a "5 minute" survey. At first they sounded genuine, but when they asked for my name I smelt a rat. I gave them a fictitious name.

    Now whenever I get a call for that Mr 'X', I say, "just hold on while I get Mr 'X'" and I leave the line open (at their expense, and wasting their time) for about half an hour.

    It amazes me how many organisations my Mr 'X' and my details have been passed to.

    One dangerous caller to watch out for is the one from your ISP that says you have a problem with your Windows PC, and they try to talk the unwary into allowing them to remotely take over your PC. (This is surprisingly easy to do!). To dissuade this sort of caller I now say I use and Apple computer and don't use Windows. That's reduced the number of unwanted calls.

    I agree with the other commenters about the uselessness of the TPS service. Surely something can be done...

    Report on 11 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  3 loves
  • catswin
    Love rating 5
    catswin said

    Would love to know the average time an employee works for one of these wretched companies - I cant imagine anyone wanting to do this job.

    The problem of junk phone calls has got so bad that I cannot help myself when it comes to being rude or at best abrupt when a call comes my way. My husband is even less sympathetic!

    We have been registered with tps for more years than I care to mention, and no, you don't have to re-register - ever - as long as you keep the same phone number. I tried to re-register once (after a particularly busy junk call period) and the website politely told me the number was already registered.

    I too have been on the receiving end of Weathershield and their antics - they reckoned they had 3 vehicles in the road all day - hadn't we seen them? What a load of twaddle.

    I used to feel sorry for the callers thinking it may be their first job etc. etc. but now the calls are so prolific I really cant be bothered to wait to find out if it is PPI, double glazing, claim for accident I never had, sky box, money saving clubs, British Gas thinking I still live where I moved from 17 years ago - the list goes on - and besides I just don't have the time in between all the holidays I have won and yet to take. :-)

    Tip: If you ever complete a questionnaire that asks if you want to save money - make sure you say a BIG FAT NO. A yes answer to this question will open the floodgates to all and sundry.

    Report on 11 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  1 love
  • snowchick
    Love rating 12
    snowchick said

    I've been registered with TPS for years. In fairness it does stop a lot of the calls but I still get those 'Our computer has told us you have been mis-sold ppi, had an accident which wasn't your fault yadda yadda yadda type calls. If I get a marketing call asking me to do a 30 second survey, I say 'You have 30 seconds' by the time they have asked me how I am (as if they care) and managed to say my name it is usually 20 secs. At 30 secs I say '30 seconds are up - I'm bored now'. and hang up. Job done.

    Report on 11 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  3 loves
  • albbu
    Love rating 15
    albbu said

    Is it not beyond the limits of technology for someone to produce an app that would transfer any "withheld numbers" via conditional forwarding to a high rate answering service (where of course the number is registered to you and also you collect the profits!!)

    I would happily chat away to these characters and happily clock up a pound a minute, hows that for a new earn money from your sofa scam!!!

    Comon techno boffs get working!!

    Report on 11 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  4 loves
  • jedi44
    Love rating 43
    jedi44 said

    I note several posts here ask that companies are forced to display the number calling. One of the main reasons for 'withheld' numbers is that the call is being made through a company switchboard. This would mean that calls from any employee of the company, possibly hundreds, would display the same number, that of the switchboard. If replies are made to that number, the switchboard operator would be inundated with calls, having no idea of who in the company the reply should be routed to. For this reason, I feel compelled to answer the 'withheld' numbers. It could be any friend or family member calling me from work. I do tend to ignore the international numbers, though, unless I am expecting a call from abroad.

    Report on 11 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • Leapfrogger
    Love rating 11
    Leapfrogger said

    Whenever I receive these calls from India, I just repeat "Hello" until they hang up, assuming I can't hear them! Today the Indian voice eventually said "Sod off" and hung up!

    Report on 11 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  4 loves
  • LastChip
    Love rating 92
    LastChip said

    TPS? Toothless, gutless waste of space.

    One the one occasion I did manage to get a number, I found it impossible to report on-line without a load of hassle.

    If they're that hard up for a decent report form, I'll knock them one up in about 15 minutes and they can have it free with my complements.

    Report on 11 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • ericbenda
    Love rating 5
    ericbenda said

    I have a technique that I noticed leads to less calls from these kinds of companies, and I think, after a while my name is removed their list.

    When I receive unsollicited calls, I don't let them go ahead and explain me why they are calling.

    I politely request for the caller's credit card number.

    He/she is always disoriented a few seconds, and before they finish explaining me the purpose of the call, I reply, remaining with a very serious voice, I am sorry but I need your debit or credit card number now please. For 1 hour consultation it is £1500 but if you take 3 hours we have a promotion and you can save 20%... Hurry up it is limited. The caller is so far from expecting this situation that I feel their surprise (it's hilarious and I refrain from laughing).

    So I continue, I am sorry but cannot keep you on the phone any longer, other people are waiting, for the last time please provide me your credit card number or I hang up!

    Most of the time the caller hangs up.

    Report on 11 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  5 loves
  • fenemore
    Love rating 251
    fenemore said

    The one obvious question that nobody has asked "Why do these companies WANT to circumnavigate the TPS?" Surely if someone has registered - they are going to be the LEAST LIKELY to respond positively! Or am I missing something here?

    You would think they would concentrate on those who HAVE NOT registered, as clearly that will be more productive.

    I am not registered - I use cold calling as a form of entertainment - seeing how long I can string out a call before the penny finally drops. The most recent was from an Asian call-centre, offering me a loan secured on my car! Apparently up to £50k was available - yeah right! It was so funny - they guy couldn't understand it when I said I didn't need a loan - you could almost hear the cogs in his brain grind to a halt. He obvously had no concept of someone "not needing any more money".

    Report on 11 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  2 loves
  • NatFeerick
    Love rating 25
    NatFeerick said

    I am registered with TPS for all the good it does. I am plagued by calls telling me thousands of pounds is waiting to be claimed by me for missold PPI's, or marketing surveys supposedly from my bank, or conservatory companies (I live in a flat) - though I can at least have some fun with those!

    I once complained to the TPS who sent me a form to fill in & send back, after which I heard no more from them except that they had my form.

    So, I agree, the TPS is as toothless as an OAP who's lost their dentures! It needs to be easier to report unwanted calls & the TPS need the powers & the resources to follow through. Great idea, lacking in application!

    Report on 11 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  2 loves
  • mac-101@tiscali.co.uk
    Love rating 4
    mac-101@tiscali.co.uk said

    I find the line "I think I'm obliged to tell you that this phone call is being recorded as part of an ongoing investigation by Ofcom, into illegal cold-calling" gets rid of them.

    Although telling the 'scam' caller claiming to be from Microsoft that he must be mistaken as "under the Prevention of Terrorism Act I'm not allowed access to the internet" was rather satisfyingly effective ;o)

    Report on 11 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  4 loves
  • mbaker5375
    Love rating 0
    mbaker5375 said

    Latest regular call I got claimed to be from the Windows Service Centre suggesting that my PC was infected. This was the 5th call from these people who previously claimed to have received error messages from my PC and to have my details from when I bought the PC. Normally they end the call when I ask why they are calling me again though the last caller did suggest he was in London (rather than an Indian Call centre) and was offering a free check though he admitted there was a product after that before I told them not to ring again. There is never a disclosed number.

    Also, regularly get no answer then Goodbye from an automated response which is annoying.

    Most callers sign off when I mention TPS registration but I still get Energy Grant firms and recently PPI. If I have signed up for anything I give a mobile number rather than home number since I can ignore numbers I don't recognise (withhelds are often shown as private number) and it is frequently switched off for long periods. I am in the telephone directory so maybe I should consider ex directory.

    Report on 11 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • charles125
    Love rating 53
    charles125 said

    Unfortunately the telephone preference service does not filter calls. But if you inform callers, they should stop the call immediately and not call you again. I even had one UK woman caller claim she had never heard of this. I told her she had better find out pretty darn quick!

    If you do get repeat calls get their name and the company details and tell them you are reporting their company to Ofcom. Works every time.

    If it's about home insulation, tell them you have lined stone walls and a fully insulated box room in the attic!

    More of a problem if the calling company is not based in the UK, in which case simply say to callers "This is a private line and I do not accept any business calls on this line" and put the phone down. They usually get the message!

    Wish there was legislation though to prohibit recorded calls to private lines.

    If they tell you they are calling about your Skybox or PC, tell them their call is fraudulent and you will be reporting them to the Police!

    Report on 12 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  1 love
  • Aitken B
    Love rating 146
    Aitken B said

    If I get one of these calls and I have time or a bit of fun I tell them

    "I'm retired now you know and I'm so glad you called, it's so boring, I havn't spoken to a soul all day. Now! What's the weather like in Bombay - Ooops no you call it Mumbai now, please accept my aoplogies but how is . . . . . . . and on and on and on . . . . . . . and on and on" until I hear the dial tone.

    Surprisingy it take much less than 25 minutes.

    Report on 12 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  2 loves
  • robby
    Love rating 3
    robby said

    The answer is Truecall, a small electronic box that intercepts all or chosen calls and diverts them to an answerphone or tells them you are not interested, downside it is £99 but since installing one a few weeks ago I have not had any cold calls put through to my phone. They are monitored and shown on the list of calls and timed etc, together with their number if not witheld

    A bonus is that with an upgrade and memory card when you are told 'we are recording this call for training and fraud prevention', you can say 'so am I', in the event of any dispute you have a record of the phone call recording to refer to

    Report on 12 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  2 loves
  • yocoxy
    Love rating 152
    yocoxy said

    .I'm plucking up the courage to ask the next one what colour underwear he or she is wearing since I assume I can't be accused of making obscene calls if they call me illegally?

    Report on 12 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • tommills
    Love rating 23
    tommills said

    Useful replies -

    1. This is Detective Inspector Y & Mr X has been murdered. We are currently tracing all calls to his number. What is the reason for the call?

    2.I live in a council house.

    Also, if you have the time, they hate being kept on the phone & finally not getting anywhere. I once had someone accuse me of wasting 20 mins of his time until I pointed out that he had rung me & it was him wasting my time

    Report on 12 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  3 loves
  • tony the otter
    Love rating 2
    tony the otter said

    I recently "refreshed" my registration with TPS and also signed up for a service provided by BT which does not accept calls from withheld numbers. It costs £3 or £4 a month but it's worth it for the peace. If any calls get through, I simply put the phone on the table for an hour or so without breaking the connection. I hope that

    a) they can't make any calls for the duration and

    b) it costs them a fortune

    Report on 12 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • Stickofrock
    Love rating 10
    Stickofrock said

    Another way to annoy them is to catch their first name a nd pretend to know them. A few minutes from an aged lady saying "Oh Janet or Julian ... I haven't heard from you for ages ... thanks for ringing. How is your Mum . Where are you working now? Have you heard about Uncle Josheph's lastest illness ? " Just rattle on ... they soon give up.

    Great fun for bored pensioners !

    Report on 12 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  2 loves
  • mambach
    Love rating 37
    mambach said

    Since the home line is now the business line, we've found we've got a few B2B cold calls, but all of these have accepted "thankyou, we have no need for your product at this time. If we do we will look you up. Pls remove etc..."

    The couple of times I've received home calls of this sort, I've gone with "this is work, therefore I will have to charge you.." No-one has yet registered for my Telephone Consultancy Service...

    Report on 12 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  1 love
  • Jeremey23
    Love rating 2
    Jeremey23 said

    I've discovered a really useful button to deal with these sorts of call: I simply hang up.

    Report on 12 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  1 love
  • Speedy69
    Love rating 2
    Speedy69 said

    At my works we get these 0843 numbers up to four times per day. When pressing #9 on the keypad to 'opt out' it does anything but that.

    One answer is: I have one of those electronic cat 'miaows' on the end of a pen and when these people come on the the line I tell them I'm passing them over to someone in authority......... about four miaows later the phone goes dead.

    Really childish I know, but great fun.

    Now where's my Thrash metal soundtrack gone to......................

    Report on 13 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  2 loves
  • driver67
    Love rating 26
    driver67 said

    Have some fun by talking back in a fake Indian accent 'Who is this (Your name) you are wanting, isn't it?'

    As a telephone engineer of 43 years, God help me, I have seen a enormous leap in technology, but a corresponding drop in QoS.

    Shame, isn't it...?

    Report on 13 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • Luniversal
    Love rating 54
    Luniversal said

    Keep a ref's whistle by the telephone. As soon as you hear unfamiliar voice asking impertinent question, take deep breath and blow very hard and long.

    Works every time.

    Report on 13 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  2 loves
  • Stargazer
    Love rating 11
    Stargazer said

    When I'm at home during the daytime I just don't bother to pick the phone up if no number is displayed.

    Unfortunately when my wife's family call from Ireland their number isn't displayed either, so we have to pick up evenings and weekends. So a box like the Truecall probably won't be much use to us.

    Report on 16 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • nickthecrip2
    Love rating 17
    nickthecrip2 said

    I had a call today asking if I kept getting unwanted calls. They claimed they could get my name etc. off any database used for this sort of thing. There was no cost except for a £4 admin charge. I declined! I wonder where my card details would have ended up?

    Report on 16 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  1 love
  • quarrybanksurfer
    Love rating 5
    quarrybanksurfer said

    As a carer,last night I was able to get a rare 'treat'. an early night I was fast asleep at 11pm when my phone went off, having to get out of bed to answer, my mind was racing, it must be an emergency, were my family safe. A male caller with a very foreign accent informed me he was from Microsoft and that there had been an emergency and I had to access my computer immediately, for the first time in my life my reply was not printable. Are they trying the elderly hoping they will come across someone who is slightly confused with being disturbed and fleece them. I hope this is a warning to others.

    Report on 16 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  2 loves
  • g1ng3rcat
    Love rating 12
    g1ng3rcat said

    Oh, and has anyone else come across this - when you put down the receiver, if you pick up the receiver immediately afterwards to check the number, either the caller is still there, or they are playing you a recorded message? So you can't even use your phone to call people you actually WANTto speak to!

    Report on 16 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • Arblaster
    Love rating 43
    Arblaster said

    Luniversal wrote:

    Keep a ref's whistle by the telephone. As soon as you hear unfamiliar voice asking impertinent question, take deep breath and blow very hard and long.

    Works every time.

    No, it doesn't. I have worked on the other end of the phone cold calling. Someone tried blowing a whistle at me once. The intention is to damage the other guy's eardrum, and you think you are being clever. Fortunately for you, the speaker in the handset is so small that it just sounds like an idiot blowing a whistle. I say "fortunately for you", because if you did deafen someone, you would get sued for every penny you have, or a carload of heavies would turn up at your house. Try acting like an adult. You might even get to like it.

    Report on 17 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • JRAY100
    Love rating 66
    JRAY100 said

    Use TRUECALL which intercepts your calls:

    www.truecall.co.uk/

    it's £99.99 from them, cheaper elsewhere...

    ...I'm waiting for one in the charity shop! (long wait)

    ...I like to spend some minutes establishing unsolicited caller details... phone no., company name, is it a PLC, where's the registered office, is this a scam... when they cotton on they put the phone down... I also say that I charge £50 for surveys.

    ...in the double glazing caller days I fabricated a reason for him that I was bankrupt... he sympathised and went!

    Report on 17 August 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • RenataLow
    Love rating 0
    RenataLow said

    It´s such a shame. I hate it when I learn that they´ve scammed my old mother again! 

    I can recommend everyone - in case you are receiving such a call - to look up the phone number on http://www.tellows.co.uk . It´s a community website where spam phone numbers can be commented and these comments are visible for everybody. It´s basically free reverse number search. Turned out to be most effective when it comes to preventing scam calls.

    Report on 04 September 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • sludgeguts
    Love rating 56
    sludgeguts said

    It was great at first. the number of cold calls dropped to zero for quite a while after I registered with TPS. Then one day I had a call from Fred, Fred Patel! who wanted to flog me a mobile phone contract - I was feeling somewhat mischievous that day so had him going round in circles for over an hour - at which point the battery on my home phone died. I then started getting more coming through in dribs and drabs, all from Mr or Mrs Patel, all wanting to flog me something. I realised that the TPS didn't control the lists that are sold to foreign call centres - old lists will still be worth money to a company outside the reach of the TPS. I now simply let my answering machine field the calls. Anyone who wants to talk will start to leave a message & I'll pick up the phone. I delete about a dozen dead messages each day, all from withheld numbers.

    Report on 04 October 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • slydogjonah
    Love rating 5
    slydogjonah said

    Had a similar call to some previous posters today from Privacy Protection UK who claimed they could 'do more' than the TPS and actually remove our number from marketing databases (including company databases), for the princely sum of £25/year. Fortunately they directed me to their website (which I won't post here to avoid directing more traffic their way or elevate their search ranking) so I was able to get all the details I needed to lodge a TPS complaint, for what that's worth. Presumably if you were to cancel in future (good luck with a credit card continuous payment authority!) they would re-register you details with various marketing lists.

    Funnily enough there is no such company registered with that name at the address on their website, and the postal address is a small generic industrial unit which has no company sign outside it according to StreetView (July 2012). The company that did their website appears to be registered with companies house (in another county), but is so busy doing client sites it's never had time to do it's own website, despite being registered with Companies House 2 years ago.

    They soon gave up when I pointed out they couldn't guarantee 100% that companies wouldn't call me, as they had no direct access to company's databases to remove my details.

    Report on 26 October 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • reallyfedup
    Love rating 0
    reallyfedup said

    Does anybody know whether the telephone companies become accessories to scams if they have been told that a number is being used for scamming and do not then block it? Surely if illegality is being committed, and this requires the implicit participation of a telephone company, then that company is participating in the illegal activity, because it can choose not to do so, but instead continues to provide the facilties by which the scam can continue?

    Report on 18 February 2013  |  Love thisLove  0 loves

Post a comment

Sign in or register to post a reply.

Our top deals

Credit card
company
Balance transfers rate and period Representative
APR
Apply
now

Barclaycard 31Mth Platinum Visa

0% for 31 months (2.99% fee) Representative 18.9% APR (variable) Apply
Representative example: Assumed borrowing of £1,200 for 1 year, at a Purchase Rate of 18.9% (variable), representative 18.9% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status. A Balance Transfer fee of 3.5% will be applied, then reduced to 2.99% by a refund (terms and conditions apply). Plus an additional £20 fee refund on balance transfers over £2000.

Barclaycard 30Mth Platinum Visa

0% for 30 months (2.89% fee) Representative 18.9% APR (variable) Apply
Representative example: Assumed borrowing of £1,200 for 1 year, at a Purchase Rate of 18.9% (variable), representative 18.9% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status. A Balance Transfer fee of 3.5% will be applied, then reduced to 2.89% by a refund (terms and conditions apply). Plus an additional £20 fee refund on balance transfers over £2000.

MBNA 30Mth Platinum Credit Card Visa

0% for 30 months (2.89% fee) Representative 18.9% APR (variable) Apply
Representative example: Assumed borrowing of £1,200 for 1 year, at a Purchase Rate of 18.9% (variable), representative 18.9% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status.
W3C  Thank you for using One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest