Published on April 18th, 2012 | by Tom Wake5
How to stop cold callers pestering you… for good
Long pause. Clicking sound
“Hello, are you the main bill payer in this household?”
“Who is this?”
“I’m calling to let you know about our latest offers on…”
Line goes dead
Sound familiar? At one stage I used to get 3 or 4 of these calls an evening. It drove me insane.
Admittedly cold calling is a pretty thankless job. Hundreds of souls packed into grey office cubicles given headsets and forced to bother complete strangers all day… often for a pretty miserable wage.
At the same time it’s horrible to be on the receiving end and the last thing you want when you’ve got home and flopped in front of the couch or started putting the dinner on, is to answer a pushy sales call. It can be quite intrusive and it’s the reason why in years gone by many chose to go ‘ex-directory’.
These days there’s a FAR simpler way to stop cold callers dead in their tracks. If you fill in this simple online form they’re legally bound to stop bothering you. It doesn’t cost a penny to do this by the way.
You can register here:
It takes about a minute to fill in and then you’re done. Should you get any unsolicited sales calls after you’ve registered, just mention that you’ve registered for TPS. You shouldn’t get any more calls but there might be the occasional straggler. Mention this and they usually panic and hang up.
– You can do this for both your home phone (or landline) and your mobile.
– It’s worth bearing in mind that it can take 28 days for it to fully kick in.
– While the telephone preference service will stop unsolicited voice calls it doesn’t cover SMS or text messages to your mobile phone. There currently is no service in place for this. If you’ve received an unsolicited text message, or subscribed to a text messaging service that’s overcharged you or not processed a complaint, then you need to contact these guys. They regulate these kinds of shenanigans: Phone Pay Plus
– The telephone preference service only blocks UK-based marketers and sales callers. Unfortunately international cold calls don’t fall under the same jurisdiction. However there is now a workaround for this… see the update below (it’s not cheap but it’s a one off cost and it works).
– Be wary of scammers claiming to be from the telephone preference service calling to request a fee to complete registration. It hasn’t happened very often but there have been a few isolated incidences.
UPDATE – A clever fix from the gadget world…
If you’ve tried all of the above and still had no joy you might want to take a look at this.
I’m afraid it’s not cheap but this device TrueCall (The Nuisance Call Blocker) has been getting rave reviews. I’ve just posted my own review of it here. It filters all calls except whitelisted numbers (for example friends, family and other numbers you specify) from the point of entry.
For unknown numbers it acts as a receptionist asking the caller where they’re calling from. You then get this information e.g. “It’s Sandra from the bank” and can hit ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Worth a look…
Alternatively BT have a service called ‘Anonymous Call Reject’ which is supposed to block all incoming calls from witheld numbers. It costs £4.30 a month, however I have heard reports from some disgruntled customers who say it doesn’t work as effectively as it should.