Panorama has been investigating companies that ignore rules on cold calling. I have signed up to the Telephone Preference Service and, like some of the cases mentioned, still get cold called. Not often to be fair, but it does happen.
It’s worth pointing out here that any organisation calling for the purposes of a survey is exempt from the TPS requirement – despite it being as irritating as a sales call. We do get them from time to time and they all get short shrift. Of late, most of the calls have been to try and sell us some sort of energy grant arrangement – despite it not being applicable to us – or to make a claim for mis-sold PPI that we never bought.
My approach is always the same, to proffer a firm refusal and to hang up. If the caller has left a number on the system, then my phone has a blocking facility and I use it. The company in Swansea trying to get me to take out a government grant for insulation that I don’t need still tries every so often and they still get an engaged tone. Indeed, upon checking my phone to look up the number, I see that they tried calling just five minutes ago and I heard not a thing…
One solution to cold calling is to use a more sophisticated blocking device. And, should the calls become enough of a nuisance, then I will certainly consider buying a Truecall. At present, however, it isn’t enough of an irritant, so I’ll muddle along blocking these people retrospectively – providing they are not international callers or withholding their number.
All of that said, I do despair at some people:
Pamela Warner, a retired lecturer, was cold-called by a firm in India that claimed to be approved by software giant Microsoft. The man said he had spotted a problem on her computer which he would fix, for a fee.
“He just kept on and on intimating that he knew there was something wrong with the computer and he got quite bullying actually and sort of saying that he was trying to help me all the time,” she said. The experience left her £120 out of pocket – plus an extra fee to a legitimate firm to make sure her computer was safe to use.
For crying out loud! All you have to do is hang up. There’s nothing they can do about it. I mean just how much thought does it take to ask oneself just how this person could see her computer? Sometimes, people are their own worst enemies.
Much as I detest the cold callers, they are relatively easily managed even if you end up having to invest in a bit of technology to do so.