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Cold calls

johpal
Grafter
Posts: 550
Registered: ‎20-04-2008

Cold calls

I know this is an "old chestnut", but maybe something has changed and I've missed it; I do hope so!
For years, my home telephone number has been registered with the Telephone Preference Service, that I do not wish to receive "cold calls". This seemed effective until this year. Perhaps it is an effect of the credit crunch and firms becoming desperate for business, but these calls have now reached a nuisance value of 5+ per evening!
We have tried (the expensive) "Anonymous Call Reject", but the caller display ID shows either "Out of Area", or "International". When a relative was desperately ill in hospital, this also delayed a number of urgent calls getting through. The option was removed. Anything "Witheld" we now put straight through to answerphone for screening, but it is intrusive and irksome! My mobile phone has the option to "screen" calls from specified numbers; I receive no notification of the call, unless I look through the "received calls" log. Useful if you know the numbers you wish to avoid, but not the solution I am seeking.
I really want to stop these "rogue" callers dead in their tracks. Does anybody have a definitive answer, short of giving up my telephone?
19 REPLIES 19
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Cold calls

If it is an International call you can do nothing, I cant block then As I have a son in Aus, a cousin in Perth and friends in France and America.  I have had a few "we are just doing a survey" who claim that they are exempt, dont know if that is true.  My Mother in law and Stepson both have number withheld, so I suppose I could block there calls  Grin Grin
paulgul
Rising Star
Posts: 614
Thanks: 3
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Cold calls

I have a feeling the telephone preference service only applies to calls being made from this country. If your problem is like ours (we are also registered) all the spam calls are international.
If the calls are being that much of a problem I suppose you could try changing your phone number and keeping it ex- directory (if that option still exists).
If you have the time you can play them at their own game, lead them on until they think they are making a sale and then tell them you haven't got a credit/debit card or make some other excuse - doesn't help a lot but gives you a warm feeling thinking you've wasted some of their time and money  Crazy
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Cold calls

that OK but a majority now say push button 3 or 5 or 6 or etc to get more info, whatever you do ignore then, as it will cost you a fortune
jelv
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 26,786
Thanks: 990
Fixes: 10
Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Cold calls

http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&hl=en-GB&v=J5z4Vs26-TI
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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paulgul
Rising Star
Posts: 614
Thanks: 3
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Cold calls

I bet that was the last cold call he made for a few months  Grin
johpal
Grafter
Posts: 550
Registered: ‎20-04-2008

Re: Cold calls

My "nuisance" calls are a mix; "Out of Area", "International", "Witheld" and actual numbers. I too have relatives abroad and screening via the answerphone can be frustrating when they ring off before you have time to catch the call!
Thinking long-term, going ex-directory seems a good idea. I've been searching the Members' Area for the option, but gave up chasing my own tail and decided to "Raise a ticket" (30640976) and received the message "Current average response time 48 hrs 1 min 23 secs". I'm in no rush PN, but Blimey!, Things appear to be slipping a bit!
alanf
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,931
Thanks: 78
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎17-10-2007

Re: Cold calls

Being ex-directory may reduce the problem but it will not solve it. Some firms just dial numbers in sequence until they find ones that ring.
198kHz
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 5,590
Thanks: 2,577
Fixes: 37
Registered: ‎30-07-2008

Re: Cold calls

Quote from: pierre_pierre
that OK but a majority now say push button 3 or 5 or 6 or etc to get more info, whatever you do ignore then, as it will cost you a fortune

An oft-quoted urban myth, p_p. If they have called you, pressing digits can't incur any charge - it merely confirms that a person, not an answering machine, has answered the call.
If you want the best seat in the house, move the cat
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Mand
Grafter
Posts: 5,560
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re:Cold calls

Changing your number and going ex-directory should fix it.
Alternatively you could go for Choose-to-refuse, which allows you to block numbers at exchange level, but this doesn't work on international numbers (will block withheld and anonymous though).
jelv
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 26,786
Thanks: 990
Fixes: 10
Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Cold calls

My tactic is to say nothing, press no buttons and just put the phone on the desk without hanging up. It costs them time and money until they give up and hang up (that's when you hear the continuous tone) - I then hang up. I think doing that gets a black mark against your phone number because the calls dried up after I started doing this.
Or say "you need to speak to my wife/husband" and do the same.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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198kHz
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 5,590
Thanks: 2,577
Fixes: 37
Registered: ‎30-07-2008

Re: Cold calls

Good tactics, jelv. I usually say I'm putting them through to the manager, then press 'Internal' on the DECT phone, which gives them 'Greensleeves' or somesuch for as long as they care to hold.  Smiley
Don't seem to have been bothered too much lately.  Wink
If you want the best seat in the house, move the cat
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artificer
Grafter
Posts: 1,850
Registered: ‎11-08-2007

Re: Cold calls

i've used your tactic jelv and it works a treat.  i haven't been bothered by nuisance calls in quite a while, except for bt, but they seem to have got the message now.
Kazbah
Grafter
Posts: 158
Registered: ‎24-02-2009

Re: Cold calls

Quote from: johpal
My "nuisance" calls are a mix; "Out of Area", "International", "Witheld" and actual numbers

I keep getting these and whenever i answer i get a very similar response... Are you struggling to pay off your debts, Do you need a load but can't get credit, Have you had an accident and need to claim, Can you reclaim all your credit card interest blah blah blah. TBH i'm getting sick of it now, they too are either withheld, international or out of area, is there anything we can do? I once went all the way through one call and pressed the button number 5 to speak to someone and a very polite lady on the end got a shock when I replied "Get me your manager or p**s off and never ring this number again"...she hung up  Grin
joharris
Newbie
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎04-08-2007

Re: Cold calls

A further alternative is one of the 'magic boxes' that you can buy to screen your calls automatically I have just bought a 'Truecall' box from Amazon and it's brilliant.
It lets through all calls from numbers that you have told it are OK (friends, familly etc), but intercepts all other calls.
For numbers it doesn't recognise, 'number withheld', international etc, it plays a message asking the caller to say who they are and what they want 'after the tone', just like an answerphone.. Most cold callers and nuisance callers give up at this point.
If the caller is genuine, they give their name, the machine detects that they have said who they are, and rings you. It plays the recording of their voice, and you can choose to speak to them (and add the number to your OK list). Alternatively, if you are not interested, a key press makes the machine play them a message telling them politely (or less politely if you choose), to 'b****r off' and don't call again'.
It works a treat for those silent or 'fax' calls in the middle of the night!!
Hope this is useful - and in case you are suspicious, I have absolutely no connection with the company that makes it - it is just a brilliant idea, well executed.
Jonathan