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Changing my phone number

culluding
Grafter
Posts: 66
Registered: ‎20-07-2011

Changing my phone number

Just a few questions before I go ahead with paying £35-odd to change my phone number. I want to make sure this is the best solution.
The reason for changing is to stop nuisance calls. When I first received my new number from Plusnet I kept getting calls from lovely old ladies thinking I was the sewing club. They stopped after a few months. More recently I'm receiving all kinds of weird calls from Indian sounding accents, ranging from asking me questions about my computer to dead lines (nobody on the other end). A large number of the calls ask for a Michael somebody-or-other, to which I have tried answering in many different ways but they hang up as soon as I tell them my name isn't Michael. I've tried to ask them to remove my number from their list but they just hang up. I have no idea what they are calling about. Anyway, after about six calls already this morning, I have had enough. They show up as international numbers that can't be shown. If I didn't have family and friends overseas I could just ignore them, but it's most annoying today because I am expecting a call from family in Australia.
I can't think of any way of stopping these calls other than changing my number. The only problem with that is do I then inherit somebody else's 'dirty' phone number or is there some way of getting a number that hasn't been active for a long while? I don't want to spend out £35-odd if it doesn't solve my problem.
I do have caller display, my number is withheld and not listed in the phone book so these callers are either just guessing my number or getting from some supposedly reputable company I have given it to. As much as I try to avoid doing any business with non-uk call centres there still doesn't seem to be any guarantee that my information wont leave the country for other reasons.
One thing I have done is get a 0844 number to give to businesses from now on. It redirects to my home phone and I earn money when they call it. Not bad 😉  The only complaint I got about it was from JD Williams, which I thought a bit of a cheek considering their 0871 number is more than twice the cost of mine! What's good for the goose...
It's a pity phone numbers can't be operated like email addresses. I have a different email address for each website I have ever signed up to, so when I get spam I know exactly where it has come from. There are some companies that seem to pass on their database of ex customers, ie. Igot spammed badly after leaving a couple of companies. Thankfully I just deleted the email addresses and problem solved. Most of my spam comes from email addresses I have given out to friends. Interesting 🙂
Anyway, enough waffling from me, is changing my number the best solution for me, do you think? Can I be guaranteed a clean new number?
TIA
Carl.
12 REPLIES 12
Anotherone
Champion
Posts: 19,107
Thanks: 455
Fixes: 21
Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Changing my phone number

I'd stick with it. Most of these nuisance International callers just go through a set of phone exchange numbers sequentially and keep going to find all the suckers. That computer one is scam to rip you off and also turn your computer into a bot for spam or porn. The 'Michael' one was International was it?
Even with a new clean number, they'll get you after a while. Are you registered with TPS, it won't stop the International ones but will keep you off a few more lists that might get hacked or passed on.
Good on you for the 0844 number- how much does/did it cost you? A few friends of mine did it a few years ago with 0870 numbers.
culluding
Grafter
Posts: 66
Registered: ‎20-07-2011

Re: Changing my phone number

Thank you for your reply Anotherone. Yes, I am registered with TPs but all the calls seem to be international. Some show a number as 0020... I did try dialling one but told me no such number. Starting with 00 it looks international but obviously fake if the exchange is telling me there is no such number. My phone shows up withheld numbers as "Withheld" but these calls just come up with a row of dashes, the same as I get when receiving calls from overseas. All the calls for 'Michael" have never shown a number, ie. overseas calls. The weird thing is that so many calls ask for that particular name. If they are all from the same company then surely they would have tried a different name by now, unless my number was given out in error by Michael himself.
I have heard about a system that only lets through calls from certain numbers. I think it's a box that plugs into the phone line. Pity my overseas friends & family can't show their numbers because they could be useful. Or a system that could filter out certain countries. If enough people complain I'm sure telephone companies will come up with something eventually. I need a screen up on the wall to show me who's calling to save me hunting for the phone if it's not who I am expecting.
The 0844 number is free from http://www.skycomuk.com/fixed_rate_numbers_0844.php. Look for one starting with 0844 330... You need a certain number of calls before you actually get any money out of it but if you don't receive any calls there is no maintenance charge or anything, just the time it takes to set up. You can redirect it to any UK landline number. I also have a free 0845 number for friends to get hold of me when I'm not at home. I just forward it to where I am going if I will be away for a few days 🙂  (That's free to own, not free to call).
If these marketing companies and scammers are going through numbers sequentially then I don't suppose that using the 0844 number is going to help. If they had any sense they would mark numbers with hostile people answering as a waste of time to generate a list of numbers to not bother with. Maybe they could even sell that on to their comrades! They must be making some money out of what they are doing or they wouldn't bother.
elkieluca
Grafter
Posts: 225
Thanks: 7
Registered: ‎21-08-2010

Re: Changing my phone number

If you are changing your number to prevent scam callers, then I'm afraid you are wasting your money.  I have tried everything to prevent them and get at least two calls from International Indian sounding people every single day. Maybe not weekends. I don't think it can be stopped.
Nibiru
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,797
Thanks: 424
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Registered: ‎11-08-2007

Re: Changing my phone number

[quote=Carl]I have heard about a system that only lets through calls from certain numbers. I think it's a box that plugs into the phone line
Was it this -  http://www.truecall.co.uk/
While that will filter your calls, it probably won't help with your wanted calls from Australia.
Have you considered getting you Australian caller to use either VoIP or Skype ?
If they were calling using a different method then you could filter your landline with the TrueCall device.
If you chose to use VoIP, then you will get a new phone number for free (see https://portal.plus.net/support/phone/broadband_phone/), and both you and your caller will be able to make free calls to each other using your broadband connection.  To activate this feature on your account use this link -  https://portal.plus.net/plustalk/index.php?page=activation
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Anotherone
Champion
Posts: 19,107
Thanks: 455
Fixes: 21
Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Changing my phone number

The trouble with Truecall is it's an expensive box. If you were really being pestered badly you should be able to get something done under the Nuisance Calls procedures.
I don't think the scammers bother with 0844 etc, but if say you're on a London exchange e.g. 0207 234 xxxx, they will go throught the xxxx from 0001 to 9999.
The advantage of the 0844 (or 0870 as it used to be) numbers is that when you have to deal with a company, because you need their products, such numbers tend to put them off pestering you with sales calls, even if it doesn't you get soemthing back. A friend of mine specifically set one up for dealing with his bank becasue he had to ring an 0870 number to get them, so he thought sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander!
Thanks for the info Carl.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Changing my phone number

when I was at work our Siemens coms system was large and redirected calls showed both numbers on the phone display, so dont kid yourself that you are hiding your home phone number

Basildon Hospital phone system is another peculiar on, the extension number comes up on caller display and not the main exchange number
jelv
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 26,786
Thanks: 990
Fixes: 10
Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Changing my phone number

Quote from: Carl
A large number of the calls ask for a Michael somebody-or-other, to which I have tried answering in many different ways but they hang up as soon as I tell them my name isn't Michael. I've tried to ask them to remove my number from their list but they just hang up

That's not the right way to deal with those calls. When they ask for him just reply that you'll go and get him and put the phone down on the table without ringing off. Go back in about 10 minutes and check if they've rung off, if they haven't give some excuse and leave them hanging again. When they got the idea that calling your number is going to cost them time and money they'll remove it from their lists.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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culluding
Grafter
Posts: 66
Registered: ‎20-07-2011

Re: Changing my phone number

Quote from: purleigh
[quote=Carl]I have heard about a system that only lets through calls from certain numbers. I think it's a box that plugs into the phone line

Was it this -  http://www.truecall.co.uk/

Yes, that's the one.
Quote
While that will filter your calls, it probably won't help with your wanted calls from Australia.
Have you considered getting you Australian caller to use either VoIP or Skype ?

Yes, I do use Skype but it isn't always convenient unless I am near the computer and the computer is switched on. Our Skype calls are usually planned.
If you chose to use VoIP, then you will get a new phone number for free (see https://portal.plus.net/support/phone/broadband_phone/), and both you and your caller will be able to make free calls to each other using your broadband connection.  To activate this feature on your account use this link -  https://portal.plus.net/plustalk/index.php?page=activation

Thank you, I will look into that. My Australian family aren't very good with computers, just getting them to use Skype was a mission in itself! If they can call my Voip phone from their home phone then that would help as long as it doesn't cost them any more. What stops spammers from calling a Voip number?
Carl.
culluding
Grafter
Posts: 66
Registered: ‎20-07-2011

Re: Changing my phone number

Quote from: Anotherone
The advantage of the 0844 (or 0870 as it used to be) numbers is that when you have to deal with a company, because you need their products, such numbers tend to put them off pestering you with sales calls, even if it doesn't you get soemthing back. A friend of mine specifically set one up for dealing with his bank becasue he had to ring an 0870 number to get them, so he thought sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander!
Thanks for the info Carl.

I recently had a catalogue company refuse to deliver an item to me because I used an 0844 number as the contact number on my account. The only way I can get hold of them over the phone is via a 0871 number. Maybe I should get myself one of those just to make things fair, it's twice the cost of my 0844 number 😉
MisterW
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 11,137
Thanks: 3,415
Fixes: 260
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Changing my phone number

Quote
If they can call my Voip phone from their home phone then that would help as long as it doesn't cost them any more.

They will be able to call your voip number just as they would a normal UK landline and it will cost the same.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

culluding
Grafter
Posts: 66
Registered: ‎20-07-2011

Re: Changing my phone number

Quote from: pierre_pierre
when I was at work our Siemens coms system was large and redirected calls showed both numbers on the phone display, so dont kid yourself that you are hiding your home phone number

Interesting to hear that because I had a company tell me that they could se my number on their equipment yet the phone company promised me that wasn't possible. I can't remember if it was Plusnet or my previous provider but I believed the phone company. Can a member of the Plusnet support team shed some light on this?
culluding
Grafter
Posts: 66
Registered: ‎20-07-2011

Re: Changing my phone number

Quote from: jelv
Quote from: Carl
A large number of the calls ask for a Michael somebody-or-other, to which I have tried answering in many different ways but they hang up as soon as I tell them my name isn't Michael. I've tried to ask them to remove my number from their list but they just hang up

That's not the right way to deal with those calls. When they ask for him just reply that you'll go and get him and put the phone down on the table without ringing off. Go back in about 10 minutes and check if they've rung off, if they haven't give some excuse and leave them hanging again. When they got the idea that calling your number is going to cost them time and money they'll remove it from their lists.

Thank you, I will give that a try 🙂