Forum

Those annoying telephone calls (updated)

Eversince somebody here recommended repeatedly pressing the hash key (#) when you get one of those calls, I have been doing it in preference to my old approach. Today I had something new happen.

An oriental sounding voice wanted to know if I was a British Gas customer. So I pressed #, and got the start of a recorded message, and pressed # again, and got the start of a different message. At the next press, the line went dead.

It does seem that # does interfere with some of the (really annoying) auto-dial mass phone-call systems, so if they want to invade my privacy, then I want to mess with their systems. Give it a try.

Geoff

Well joining that site BT recomended and it didnt work I am still getting these calls.

i got a call the other day from a foreign lady called jessica (as if) she said she was doing a survey, no sales involved, so i thought i would play along. it soon became obvious that fuel suppliers were involved in this survey. she asked a few personal questions such as age (she complimented me on how young i sounded for a 50 year old) as the call ended she asked for my favorite colour. i told her, then she said this was my security code and i must use it when someone phoned me as a follow up. the next day i got a call from british gas telling me they could make my fuel bills cheaper if i switched to them. she had no idea what tariff im on but insisted they were cheaper.

i said i wasnt interested and i thought it was about time everyone paid the same rate like in the olden days before thatcher came along and messed up our country. she actually argued with me, telling me that if it hadnt been privatised and different tariffs set many people would be out of work. not much logic there.

anyhow i said send me through the post an actual piece of paper so i could look over this great deal and then make my mind up and get back to her. not possible she said as that increased costs (how much did the call cost).

as if im going to accept a deal without it written down on paper!

oh well, it passed half an hour while i waited for the esa man to call.

x

Two thoughts - just because someone speaks with a ‘foreign’ accent doesn’t mean they aren’t British or calling from the UK.

If you provide people with your phone number you are letting them call you, and possibly sell you contact details on. As long as the initial information was provided by you basically. Which is why reputable sites ask you to voluntarily provide personal data provide boxes for you to click saying you don’t want unsolicitated into from them, and another box allows you to make sure they don’t pass you info on.

[quote=EllenC]

Two thoughts - just because someone speaks with a ‘foreign’ accent doesn’t mean they aren’t British or calling from the UK.

If you provide people with your phone number you are letting them call you, and possibly sell you contact details on. As long as the initial information was provided by you basically. Which is why reputable sites ask you to voluntarily provide personal data provide boxes for you to click saying you don’t want unsolicitated into from them, and another box allows you to make sure they don’t pass you info on.

[/quote

Hi. Like a lot of people in this country, i am constantly invaded by these public nuisance callers. The vast majority of these calls are coming from abroad, from people who say they have typically English names. Hard to believe, but I feel something for them, as I know they are only trying to make a decent living.

But these calls often come at a most inconvenient time…were just having a meal, I am in the loo and hubby is in the garage, so he breaks his neck trying to get into the house to answer the call. We dont ignore calls as we have family, who may be ringing.

I try to be polite and patient with these calls, but thats not always easy and I end saying a curt NO THANKYOU` and put the phone down on the caller.

We are registered with the TPS, but BT say they cannot do anything to stop calls from abroad…so we are stuck with an awful situation we can do zilch about!

luv Pollx

Hi, I ger around this problem with caller display on my phone, I only answer it when I recognise the number. Anything important they can leave a message, hence I don’t have to speak to these nuisance callers. Karen

If anyone rang me offering double glazing or any sort of home improvement, I’d tell them I’m living in Local Authority housing (I’m not but it did the job!) Another trick is to ask them to hold the line for a moment, turn some music on then put the phone beside the speaker and leave it there. They soon get the idea and take your number off their list! I’ve also heard that if you try the “I like you, will you be my friend” is very effective!! We were being so badly harassed by sales calls at one point, we had no option but to go ex directory with number withheld. I just have to remember to be very careful who I give the number to (online forms etc.)

I too find it very annoying, especially as Im supposed to be EX DIRECTORY. Seems it means nothing now.

Got one asking if I had applied for my grant - SAID: I DONT WANT A BLOOMIN GRANT, WASNT ENTITLED (I perhaps was), and would she please GET OFF MY PHONE, AS i ONLY GET WHAT I WANT AND NOT WHAT SOMEONE WANTS ME TO GET.

Ive tried not answering but they sometimes drive me nuts. I do feel for those companies wanting to make a fast buck on the back of government grants however Ive always stuck to the idea that if I want something Ill get it, if I dont, then there is no need to chase me cos theyll not win.

Phone abuse as I call it can be very distressing for the elderly, sick/disabled who have enough to cope with. I seriously think something needs doing about this. It would seem the only way is to have the phone cut off, but then we need it for the internet dont we, otherwise far too expensive to run by using other ways.

bren

x

i just say “thank you for your call but i dont want it”

carole x

It’s worth registering online with TPS (Telephone Preference Service), you can find their website through a search engine. It provides a free service allowing UK consumers to opt out of receiving telemarketing calls.

Totally agree about registering with TPS. It cut the junk/marketing/scam calls by about half - but too many UK companies have found out how to get round it. When you get to the TPS website, start to make a complaint, and when you get to the point where you have to identify which type of call, just try every choice and see how many they do NOT handle - it’s a long list!

Right now, the best thing about the TPS is that you can register a mobile phone number, and that cuts down on the number of scam/spam text messages. It will not stop them all, as it is too easy to write a computer program that will guess valid numbers when given one or two valid ones as “seeds”. I am already getting the odd one or two, and I have only given my mobile numbers to a very small group of family and friends (like less than 10 for each phone).

As for land-lines, BT did try to stop other people from publishing complete UK phone listings on CD, but it did not work. You can even buy such a CD from Amazon (just Google 118 Phone Directory) for less than £20. Again, to write a computer program that will sort those into any order you want is rather simple - that is how you get the recorded message that tells you that “You have not yet claimed your free loft insulation”, targeted at the areas where all the government grants have not yet been taken up.

In the past, both Chris R and I have advocated something that makes a loud noise down the phone-line; and my local Town Cryer keeps his handbell by the phone for just that purpose - but to me, pressing the # key seems to have had more effect.

Geoff

[quote=“DoctorGeoff”]

In the past, both Chris R and I have advocated something that makes a loud noise down the phone-line; and my local Town Cryer keeps his handbell by the phone for just that purpose - but to me, pressing the # key seems to have had more effect.

Geoff [/quote]

Actually, I think it is an offence to intentionaly risk harming ear drums of someone on the phone. I remember reading about a case where someone blew a whistle down the phone and they were prosecuted. I don’t recall the details but I do remember thinking it was ridiculous there is a law for that but not for nuissance callers.

There seem to be more laws to protect us from spam emails then there are to prevent nuissance calls. Whoever decided it was acceptable to have marketing calls invading your home uninvited and disturbing you need their number sharing with everyone.

Thanks Dr. Geoff… I’ll do that from now on. In fact wish I’d get a call so I could do it…

Frostpaws… my eyes are playing up and I read your post as THOSE ANNOYING FROSTPAWS… and I thought oh yes I get that… hands feel frozen numb and what a good name for it… Frostpaws!

Pat x

First off, lets take a look at the TPS.
On their web-site, they list 12 types of nuisance calls - guess what, they do not deal with 10 out of those 12.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that they are useless, only that there is a lot that they do not cover.
Needless to say, the scammers and spammers have found out how to fall into the categories that they do not cover.
One in particular is the “Recorded Message”. So the phone rings, you pick it up and a voice says "This is a recorded message about … ". You press 1471 and find that it was a UK 0845 … number. TPS? Sorry, the TPS do not handle recorded messages. You have to report that to the Office of the Information Commissioner. Try doing that!

1471
Not always a lot of help.
“Caller witheld their number” can mean just that, or it can simply mean that it is a legitimate call, going through a large switchboard system that does not have a human operator.
“We do not have the caller’s number …” usually means that it is a call coming from overseas. We all know that this usuallt means scam or spam, but it could be the family overseas.
Wow, it is a UK number - so we can complain to the TPS. Oh dear, it comes into one of the categories they don’t want to deal with.

Mobile phones.
Ok, so I have two. The normal one is a flip phone with big buttons, so that my tired old fingers can text - usually just within the family. The number has never been given to any outside organisation. My bank keep prodding me for it, and I keep ignoring them. Give it out once and you do not know who it has been sold on to. Of course, it is registered with the TPS as well, but if it is a text, they do not want to know.
The second one is a phone that will talk to the bluetooth hands-free system in my car - very few people have that number. The good thing is that the car display tells me who an incoming call is from, so I get the option of not answering.

The problem is that even if you take precautions - like goodtotalk, or like me, there is always the call that come at a time when you are expecting a call that you do not want to miss (for a hospital appointment, say) so you hurry to answer it, and find out it is a junk call - to me that calls for some sort of retaliation. Of all the things that I have tried, the # key seems the best (even had one caller say “Stop pressing the hash key!” - so it must do something they do not like.

Geoff

We’ve had a couple of those calls about a survey, all asking personal questions. I always say I don’t answer questions over the phone because of the Data Protection Act, I’m not allowed to. They soon hang up.

We have caller display but also have family overseas and sometimes it can take a second or two to conect, just like with those computer generated ones, I’ll try to remember to press #,thanks.

More on the hash key.

Now, I have two calls this morning.

  • The first one had thedistinctive delay/sound/getting the name wrong of a far eastern call centre.
    I only had to press # once, and I heard a recorded voice say “Transferring” and the line wend dead (and the dial tone returned).

  • The second was an English voice offering me a free comparison on house insurance. It took two hashes to kill that one. A quick 1471 gave me a “We do not have the caller’s number”, so I think it must have been routed through an overseas exchange.

The spam/scam callers will soon catch on to the #, but while it works, I will use it.

And if you really want your eyes opened, look up “Call Center Software” on Google. There is a lot available, and so many suppliers seem to think that they are doing the consumer a favour by enabling these calls.

Geoff