Nuisance phone calls, ways to stop them

Evenings are the working person’s quality time. You’ve had a hard day at your job, and you’re just about to tuck into your meal and enjoy Eastenders or the Big Match.

The phone rings… and if it were friends or family, you’d ask them to call back… but when you answer the call, the phone goes dead. “Hello? HELLO!??!?!?”. Nothing. And you sit back down to your meal feeling slightly less relaxed.

The nuisance call No.1 of 2005 must be the ‘International’ calls (if you’re lucky enough to sport Caller ID on your telephone). It’s a horrible pre-recorded message along the lines of “Hi! You’ve won a luxury widget for four in the beautiful moonlit islands of Pago-Pago… etc.”. I’ve nothing against our Friends Across The Ocean, but even Uncle Sam would be horrified if he realised how much misery these calls are causing.

Your telephone has become a marketing tool, intent on home invasion. But it doesn’t stop there. I am sitting in our pastoral office surroundings and this week alone to our work number… (it’s only Tuesday lunchtime)

  • 3 calls from International numbers, competitions
  • Numerous calls from companies wishing to speak to the MD about our company mobiles
  • A couple of calls regarding our phone system
  • A call regarding debt collection

Annoying phone calls… the tip of the iceberg
The law against these unsolicited is sketchy, but unethical tele-marketing campaigners faces fines of up to ¨£5000. The Direct Marketing Associated is employed by Ofcom to operate opt-out services for email, mail, phone and fax, but it is seemingly growing beyond control.

Included on the unsolicited lists are emails, postal mail and faxes tooǃÓalthough the unsolicited telephone calls are by far the most annoying.

So how to get rid of them?
Luckily, help is at hand, although it’s not 100% guaranteed, but it IS free.

The Telephone Preference Service is a very simple to use ‘take me off the list’ registry. Also see the website for links to the Fax Preference Service and the Mail and Email preference services.

OptOutUK is another service offering a slightly different approach.

As an unbiased individual opinion, I will let you make your own mind up about them, but I will suggest that you at least give one of them a go if you are pestered with unsolicited calls.

Please feel free to add your comments on this subject below. I will also be periodically adding a ‘rogues gallery’ of telephone numbers which call during the day and leave no message.

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