Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Nuisance calls

In the absence of a sponsor for my Grand Tour with Hats, I must settle back into the reality of November. I am a little grumbly - not ranty, but grumbly - because it's cold and the days are dark and that brings me out in grumbles.

Nuisance calls. I've had one too many - and am beginning to lose my sense of humour. So this is a post to ask how everyone else deals with them.

They fall into distinct categories:

The computerised call suggesting I press button whatever in order to claim compensation for my mis-sold PPI. What cowards, not even putting a real person on the end of the phone! So there's not even the satisfaction of answering back.

Then there's the personal approach, my name in Fred and I'm just calling from SuchaCompany - and here I ask him or her to repeat the name and the company, and get a phone number, and then remind them that I've registered with the telephone preference service and so I'll be reporting them. Responses to this vary from, 'I'm sorry, I'm amend our records to make sure we don't contact you again,' (which is a lie) to, 'You do that, and see what good it does you.'

Then - recently - and at the most inconvenient times of the day, have come the calls that claim to be 'lifestyle inquiries'. 'How are you?' I was asked. 'What business is it of yours how I am?' I said. 'I am not selling anything,' said the voice, taking no notice of my questions, launching into a script.

For me, these calls are an irritant, and inconvenience. Occasionally I put the phone down. Sometimes, I tell the caller I'm putting him/her on hold, put the phone on the side and walk away - and wait several minutes until whoever has rung me had completed his/her spiel and realised I'm not there. I report as many as I can - but it's a faff, turning the computer on and fiddling about with forms. (You can find out how to do this here.)

But what really worries me - these calls must work, often enough, to make it worth while for companies to keep making them. While the majority of us are irritated, there must be enough people who are vulnerable or gullible enough to be taken in by them.

How do other people deal with them? (And if anyone has clues how to stop them altogether - that would be truly wonderful!)


  1. They drive me crazy too! In Australia we have a 'do not call' register, which covers 'selling' and I am on that. However lately the calls have increased, as they find ways to sell indirectly, and as you say, they quickly state 'I am not selling' - but they are. After years of attempting to be polite and let them down nicely, I have given up and I hang up on them now, without comment.

  2. One of my pet hates Jo. The telephone preference service only covers UK calls so if they are calling from call centres in India there's nothing we can do about it., and most calls are from abroad. They never get my surname right so I just say no one here with that name and hang up. It annoys me when they are so friendly but I suspect that's a ruse to keep you holding on. I have caller display so can usually tell if its a cold but but the Gp surgeries and hospitals in their great wisdom are now showing up as 08000 numbers so I can't ignore them,it's a pain and hospitals are finding that people are not answering their calls as they think it's someone trying to sell something.

  3. I hate those phone calls, too. They always say the same thing. I am not trying to sell you anything, then, launch into their sales spiel. Great post.

    Greetings from London.

  4. Jo, it must be a seasonal thing because I'm getting them now as well! I was free of them for ages and now they've started up again. I'm registered on a 'do not call me' service here, but after a time, it seems to fall away, and I have to remind them that I've asked not to be called by anyone, even companies with whom I have a contract. I don't want them phoning me to sell me stuff. To make matters worse, our Chamber of Commerce here sells our numbers to companies, which I think is outrageous. If you want them to stop, you have to write them a letter with an original signature and post it! It's maddening.

  5. Oh, so you get them over the pond, too, hey? We are also on a Do Not Call register, but it doesn't seem to do any blinking good. We're probably going to get rid of our landline altogether as it's only ever solicitors that seem to call us on it! And I also hate the complicated call menus when you try to call customer service. I find myself yelling at an automated person and getting angrier and angrier when they don't respond appropriately!

  6. Very hard, isn't it. As soon as I realise it's a nuisance call, I usually just say "I'm not interested" and put the phone down before they can say another word. So far none of them has rung back. There's sometimes a clue because it comes up as "number unavailable" or "out of area call" or some such but that doesnt work for me because someone I often like to hear with does not disclose their number. Still thinking about that one......

  7. Thank you all - seems this is a world-wide grumble. There's some comfort in knowing I'm not the only one.

    But these calls but work often enough or they wouldn't keep coming. We've got the wherewithal to ignore them, but there must be enough gullible or vulnerable people around who are taken in.

  8. Hey Jo. You're allowed a grumble now and again. When we receive nuisance calls in Oz, there is always a time delay when you answer. Then you know it originates in Malaysia or India or wherever. I just hang up and block future calls from the number.