Nuisance telephone calls
Unwanted telephone calls
We all get them from time to time, usually just when you're either settling down to dinner or are at a crucial moment in a movie or something else you're watching.
Sometimes, they're even more inconvenient and you wonder what you must have done in a previous life or even this one to deserve this infringement on your privacy.
Such is what has happened to us over the last year.
Our rented house belonged to an overseas family, who had evidently signed up for cheap calls to India or some-such country and as a result of them moving out, we were getting quite a large number of calls asking to speak to the owner, despite the fact that it had been over two years since the family was last in residence here.
When I politely informed these people that the person they wished to speak to had long since moved out, they tried to sell either myself or my wife their services and some of them could get quite assertive, requiring us to simply put the phone down or in my case, offering advice on sex and travel in that order.
Those phone calls thankfully dried up, but were replaced instead by people phoning on behalf of T-Mobile.
I wouldn't ordinarily point the finger at a specific company, just as I hadn't above, but after taking countless calls over the last six months or so from people 'calling on behalf of T-Mobile ' , we began getting rather distressed. There is another reason too, which will become apparent in due course.
Three days ago, I received another call from T-Mobile's agent company. I simply told them to take our number off their call list as I had done countless times before and put the phone down, hoping that would be an end to it - as I always have.
The day before yesterday, I got another and was astonished that they would have the audacity to call again just a day later. I didn't hold back this time and simply told the caller to f*** off.
I know, it's a really bad thing to do, but when you've taken as many calls as we have from the same company and they simply refuse to take no for an answer, I figured that perhaps a more direct course of action was required.
Yesterday I got another one.
I demanded to speak to a supervisor, but was told that the supervisor was at lunch.
I demanded to speak to the manager, but he too was at lunch.
I pointed out that they were breaking the law and would be liable to legal action should they not desist forthwith and the rather frightened sounding man on the other end of the line assured me that they would call back as soon as they returned.
They didn't ring.
So three phone calls in three days, never mind those that came before. I'd call that nuisance.
Now naturally enough, I wanted to make a complaint to T-Mobile, preferably to speak to someone about a company apparently in their employ who has flaunted the TPS regulations and refuses to cease their phone calls.
Sadly, there's nothing on T-Mobile's website that allows for this.
Whilst they do provide a telephone number, unless you're a customer or about to become a customer, there's no way in.
There is a suggestion box where one can write one's complaint - sorry, suggestion to them, though sadly, there is no feedback from this form. So to fill it in and write one's displeasure at having been called daily on their behalf, would have no guarantees of having any effect whatsoever.
Other than that, we are simply provided with a link to TPS and told to register with them.
7th January 2011 midday...
Unbelievably, I have just this second put the phone down from another call from T-Mobile. That's four in as many days, which I class as a nuisance.
The man on the other end of the phone told me that he worked for was actually T-Mobile.
He knew about the TPS, yet was still calling our number.
Telephone Preference Service or TPS
Now this is a free service that has been in effect since 1999 and is financed by the government to allow people to register their phone number - no names or addresses, just the number.
The Telephone Preference Service or TPS is a simple enough system. It's a list of numbers which companies are legally obliged to honour. They must check the list before calling any number to ensure it's not recorded on that list. It is supposed to be a simple way of being able to stop unsolicited phone calls; to stop unwanted sales calls.
According to the TPS, even if a company uses call companies from other countries, because they are phoning the UK, they MUST conform to UK rules, which means the TPS list is still in effect.
It must have been a blow for cold-calling telesales companies, but I can understand the general public's annoyance as it was getting out of control.
So where did I find out about it?
T-Mobile's website under their FAQ on how to stop nuisance calls, that's where. Talk about irony.
A sympathetic ear
I would have preferred to have sorted this out with T-Mobile; after all, it's their people who are calling on a daily basis and annoying the hell out of myself and my wife, but they just don't have the facilities.
It has meant - especially after today - that I have had to register an official complaint against them with the TPS. Right now, it's made me feel much better knowing that there's someone out there who can do something about this, after all, it is a problem.
It's nice to know that TPS is there to provide people with some recourse - a sympathetic ear as it were - and best of all, it's free! In years gone by, the only way to stop these people would have been to have their number blocked, which often proved an expense the phone owner had to foot themselves.
It looks as though we really are winning the war against nuisance calls.
Check out these websites if you too are receiving nuisance calls