End User nuisance calls and messages Regs security

The Telephone Preference Service seems no longer to be effective

We used to get junk phone calls, I’m talking years ago now. Double glazing, that sort of thing. My favourite was from people trying to call “Service Washing Machines”. These weren’t trying to sell me anything. The company had misprinted an advertisment with our number instead of theirs so we would get their calls. It did get a bit tedious after a while though.

Once (and you might not like me for this) I was at home during the day showing a builder around to get a quote. The phone rang and I said “watch this” – there was  no way that call was for us as we were never in during the day.

I answered “Service Washing Machines, how can I help you?” and blow me down it was one of their customers – a little old man who had just taken delivery of a brand new washing machine. These things are heavy – it took two burly blokes to haul it off the back of the van and into the old boy’s kitchen.

Anyway apparently when he was buying the appliance in the shop the door had a fault but the customer was reassured that it was just a problem with the display model – the one being delivered would be ok.  Blow me down if the one just hauled by the two big lads didn’t have the same problem – a chance in a million I’m sure.

I clucked sympathetically and told the man that I’d heard of this problem before and that there was nothing we could do but if he brought the machine back to the shop we’d give him a new one on the spot – no questions asked.

Of course the old man nearly fell off the purpose built seat next to the telephone table in his hall. There was no way he could get the machine back to the shop himself. I bid him a cheery farewell and told him my name was Peter if he ever needed to call back for anything else.

It was my small way of getting back at the unwanted nuisance calls but I guess after all these years I hereby make an official apology to the old man for causing him stress over and above that he must already have been suffering with the faulty washing machine.

That was a bit of an aside really. Sometime after that incident I found out about the Telephone Preference Service, registered our home number and for years now have not had any unwanted cold calls.

However in the last few months this has changed and we get them with seemingly a growing frequency. This afternoon I had an automated call from someone purporting to provide loft insulation services subsidised by a government scheme. I pressed 2 to “speak to an advisor” – I wanted the details of the company so that I could complain. This turns out to be a mistake as I got music on hold and will now probably be hit somehow with a premium rate call though I’m not sure how that works though if it was their originating call and server but we shall see.

Anyway my point is that the TPS is clearly no longer working. Someone needs to sort this out. It is rubbish.


Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

13 replies on “The Telephone Preference Service seems no longer to be effective”

Spot on, they are getting worse. And they always call when I am at the end of the yard or at the bottom of the garden. I do try to be polite because the poor sods making the call need to make a living too, they have student debts to pay off or a multitude of children in a mud hut somewhere.
It really gets me mad though. Cold calling should be banned, and any business using it should be struck off. And hung drawn and quartered.
Anyway, its So Yesterday.

No, you can’t be charged for receiving a call. Worse is the call from a distant country where they are reading a script and you can’t understand much of what they are saying. And no UK CLI either.

Say ‘before we go any further, what’s your contact number?’ That confuses them.

Where is Ofcom when you need them…

It’s awful. We’re register with TPS, but it doesn’t make the slightest difference. Luckily we’re moving shortly and I don’t intend to let any company know the number. Not the utility companies, not anyone we buy from online and definitely not the county council! Why should they profit by selling our details and forever causing us a nuisance.

Cold callers are so unpleasant too. I’m too polite to be outright rude to them or hang up. My usual excuse is “can’t talk, the baby is crying”. That doesn’t put many off. “This will only take 5 minutes” or “I wouldn’t want you to miss out” or “This survey is important” are a few of the responses I’ve had…

Anyway, that’s my Friday rant over! Have a great weekend 🙂

Of course, I get the scam calls too! Usually it’s a call from India about a problem with my computer… I try to keep them talking for a while and waste their time…

“Just a minute, I’m waiting for my girlfriend to get off the computer.”

“No, she’s still on there.”

“Well do you want to tell her to hurry up because I daren’t?”

“What do you mean the start button? I don’t think there’s one on the Wiimote!”

It certainly is increasingly frustrating especially from a company perspective, as our company has a range of 1000 DDI numbers and we have had a couple of occasions where a company was progressively calling through all DDI’s spamming PPI claims services… Turned out to be a case of finding the originating NGN provider and they thankfully did the rest but it shouldn’t be like this.

Now it’s too easy for anyone to register a NGN or a short code text number and just start spamming away 🙁 I’m sure that we’ll find services similar to email scanners being put onto phone lines in the near future!

I’m regularly getting them now (Cold Calls) despite TPS registeration and being Ex Directory. But that has it’s plus points. These companies phone constantly looking for a Mr and Mrs Clements who obviously had my number in a previous life and that of course will have their address not mine associated to this. Now when they phone I pick up the call and when asked “Hi is Mrs Clement’s there” I reply with, Nope she’s dead.

“Dead? says shocked cold caller.”

Er, yeah I can see her here at the foot of the stairs and she definitely looks dead as a dead thing could and I only pushed her lightly in her wheelchair at the top of the stairs (I live in a Bungalow) but I think she bashed her head, or it may have been when I jumped on her chest with my DM’s on when running downstairs to get to her.

I often wonder how many times the police have been out to the real Mrs Clements address.

It appears Mr and Mrs Clements owe money to people as it’s mainly debt collection agents and Barclay card who phone and the odd loft insulation for over 50’s.

Another one I use when they try and flog me something is to ask them to send out a salesman at an unsuitable time. Again I often wonder how many times they have turned up at whatever address they have for my ex directory number. This trick actually stopped a Leeds based double glazing firm calling after they had sent a bloke out three times over successive weekends at different times. Took them a while to realise what was going on before they took the hump and stopped calling me – Hooray!

I know, I know I’m a bad lad, but you get so fed up of asking to be taken out of their database which is always ignored that it becomes table turning time.

I reserve the right to inconvenience them as much as they seem to like doing to me 😉

I have just changed my number and this has led to an increased number of unwanted calls so changing your number wont always help. I have only jsut registered my new number though so fingers crossed it will make a difference.

I have the same problem despite being registered with Telephone Preference Service. I have stopped being polite and just put the phone down. I could perhaps do with getting Caller ID but not sure if my old phone could cope with it.

Would I be right in saying if they are ringing from outside of the UK they do not have to follow the Telephone Preference Service?

usually they have number withheld so a caller ID would only tell you that – you could of course decide that if someone was impolite enough to withhold their number they weren’t worth talking to anyway

I’m getting an increasing volume of calls which begin “Hi I’m blah blah blah, I’m not trying to sell you anything”. I don’t give them enough time to find out what it is that they are ‘not selling’.

As said by many others, the TPS used to work but is now is completely ineffective waste of time. Also, very interesting to note that you cannot actually contact them directly – you can only register (for all the good that does anyway) online, or by an automated telephone registration line. Yes, that’s right – THE TELEPHONE PREFERENCE SERVICE ACTUALLY HIDE ALL THEIR CONTACT TELEPHONE NUMBERS (apart from the registration line, where you can’t speak to anyone)- THEY DON’T WANT TO SPEAK TO THE PUBLIC. Wonder why that is? – It’s because they are useless and quite clearly they know it. The TPS is just a sop to the public to try to pretend that something is being done about nuisance marketing calls. It isn’t!!! They are doing nothing – just another con against the paying public.

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