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... to not want to be phoned by firms pretending to represent the government

(26 Posts)
Elegran Mon 24-Feb-14 17:16:27

Just had a phone-call from someone who asked for me by name, told me his and where he was calling from (Hothouse Energy) and then launched into telling me it was about a Government Renewable Heat Incentive and his call today was to check whether I was eligible.

Then "You own your house, do you . . .?"

At this point I recapped to get the name of this Incentive and said I must look it up online, thanking him profusely for letting me know about it, then put the phone down on him.

Why must they put it so that they give the impression that they have been sent by a benevolent government to make sure that we are getting all that we are "eligible for" when they represent a commercial firm who wants us to become one of their customers?

Am I too cynical?

MamaCaz Mon 24-Feb-14 17:29:47

Elegran: the moment I hear that question, about being a homeowner, I put the phone down. Well, sometimes I can't resist telling the caller first that I'm not prepared to hand out personal information to a stranger on the phone. There are so many of these calls, nearly always at really inconvenient times, that they really make me sooo angry.

newist Mon 24-Feb-14 18:15:15

I find this very invasive, if anyone asks for me by name and I do not recognise who it is, before they get a chance to start their patter I ask them "who gave you my phone number"? This usually results in them apologising for bothering me

harrigran Mon 24-Feb-14 18:33:32

We get at least one a day to house phone and one a day each to our mobiles. We have managed to block some of the numbers and I don't answer my mobile unless I recognise the number. Nearly always when you are in the middle of lunch or preparing dinner, confounded pests.

FlicketyB Mon 24-Feb-14 18:43:29

I always say 'I live in a Listed building', which happens to be true but needn't be. I recommend this ruse to other Gransnetters.

sunseeker Mon 24-Feb-14 18:53:31

Depending on the mood I am in I ask them why they are calling me and that they are breaking the law by calling when I have had no previous contact with them or given my permission to be called. That usually results in an apology.

kittylester Mon 24-Feb-14 19:42:08

I've got a listed building Flickety - well actually it's in a conservation area but that's too complicated. angry

felice Mon 24-Feb-14 22:33:42

At the moment here we get phone calls from, Windows Service Centre. Indian accents, and telling us that they have found a problem with our computor connection. they ask you to switch on your PC and then would take you through a system which would give them acess to all your details. It is of course a scam, and targetting all those with British manes in the phone book here, our local Xpats site warned about it a while ago.
In the last 6 days i have had 29 calls from these people, I do not have an internet connection here, use DDs Wifi, my language at 6.45 on Saturday morning would have made most of us blush, well maybye not!! I do tend to lead the lad on at times, is he so thick that I recognise his voice but he still doesn't realise he is talking to the stroppy Scots lady!!.
A couple of friends who have called just after them have needed an apology,, ooops.

rosequartz Mon 24-Feb-14 22:47:53

I sometimes tell them I am registered with the Telephone Preference Service ( we are, but it is no use at all) and they put the phone down. Sometimes I pop the receiver down on a handy chair or somewhere, walk away and let them carry on talking to themselves until they realise and give in.

Someone I heard of handed the phone to their 2 year old to chat with the caller.
My DB doesn't answer any number he doesn't recognise on the screen.

durhamjen Mon 24-Feb-14 22:58:23

I tell the ones who tell me they can fix my computer that they would be very clever as I do not have one!

Anne58 Mon 24-Feb-14 23:19:58

Much as these calls are a complete pain in the nether regions, I do try to bear in mind that it is someone, possibly a student working part time, but just trying to earn something (the companies/people they work for are another matter!)

I have phones that to tell them I am actually a tenant on a short term lease (not true) usually does the trick with insulation/double glazing etc.

Anne58 Mon 24-Feb-14 23:22:30

PS Tying them up, either by talking to toddlers or leaving the phone "open" so that they are talking to themselves is interfering with their ability to earn, as often they are working to targets and unless they make x number of calls per shift they may get penalised.

Eloethan Mon 24-Feb-14 23:33:20

I agree with you phoenix - what a horrible job. I generally try and be polite, but sometimes they are so insistent - and occasionally rather rude - that I just have to put the phone down.

absent Tue 25-Feb-14 00:53:56

phoenix That's true about the ones selling something but not about the ones who want to "fix" the "problem" with your computer.

FlicketyB Tue 25-Feb-14 07:08:26

DH gets a lot of calls from 'boiler rooms', a scam selling dud shares to the greedy and gullible. These calls are almost all from outside the UK or are 'number withheld'.

So if we get an unexpected call and the caller is given as 'international', or occasionally 'number withheld' We just press the 'end call' button so the call is aborted.

kittylester Tue 25-Feb-14 07:08:27

Has anyone noticed that these callers come up as 'withheld' rather than 'out of area', lately? We have to answer those as my brother, mum's home, mum's GP and at least a couple of friends all withhold their numbers too.

JessM Tue 25-Feb-14 07:16:00

Just got MIL a Truecall blocker, as it transpired she was getting several calls a day. Not safe for a vulnerable and very unsteady person who feels she "ought" to try to get to the phone if it rings. And a bloody nuisance.

There is funding for improving energy efficiency but the government never advertises any of these schemes. They "rely on the market" -that is, private insulation installers etc - to get people signed up. The funding is not "from the government" it is from the so called "green taxes" - i.e. a small levy on fuel bills.

rosequartz Tue 25-Feb-14 09:28:07

You are right, of course phoenix. I had a cold call one day when DD2 was home, I stayed on the phone tying the caller up in knots so that he had to go and check details with his supervisor. DD2 was cross with me as she had worked in a call centre for a while after she was made redundant and she said how hard and disheartening it is. I usually use the 'telephone preference' line on them, but DH will chat for ages as he thinks its rude not to have a conversation! (He gets more like MIL every day)

rosequartz Tue 25-Feb-14 09:31:38

And is it possible to update the lists of which households have been 'improved' so other firms do not keep calling after the insulation has been done.

dollie Tue 25-Feb-14 09:58:30

best way to deal with these calls is to put the phone down on them and not engage in a conversation... the person thats cold calling is only doing a job to earn money and i do think its unfair at all the flack they are grandaughter did it for a while between jobs and some people she called were so downright rude they had my grandaughter in tears!!!

Anne58 Tue 25-Feb-14 11:04:09

absent I completely agree with you re the "scam" ones, but as I said there are other ways of dealing with the sales cold calls.

lefthanded Tue 25-Feb-14 11:33:33

When I retired we gave up our landline and now we use only mobiles. I divert ALL calls from unknown numbers to voicemail. If they leave a message (most do not bother) then I decide whether or not I want to ring them back.

seaspirit Tue 25-Feb-14 12:00:33

most of my land line calls are from cold call or robots, I usually just put the phone down as soon as I realise it is a robot, some I tell to post the information, which costs them money and bin it which gives the caller their per call wage, but just costs the firm more money. the ones that really annoy me are the multi calls ones, that just cancel, The computer ones I tend to wind up, as I live alone, sometimes it is nice to just chat, if I have nothing to do. I don't do the on line surveys, as they bring a flood of mail. The same firms use the junk mail drops as well and if there is an s.a.e. I post it, am amazed our address and phone number isn't black listed

mcem Tue 25-Feb-14 12:17:32

After a spate of computer scam calls , I had one from a very pleasant young lady who told me her company was in the business of blocking the international calls which bypass the TPS. She sounded very plausible but when it got to 'for a small monthly sum on a direct debit' the alarm bells rang. Is this a variation on the theme? First establish the nuisance then jump in to offer a solution! Perhaps it's a genuine business but I'm still being asked to give bank details to a cold calling total stranger. I declined her offer and explained why!

GillT57 Tue 25-Feb-14 12:38:45

As a small business owner I get a lot of calls offering to improve my business in some way. I always thank them politely then hang up swiftly. That way the poor staff can get on to their next call. I feel sorry for the staff working in these places, it could be any of us or our children having to do it. I never answer calls on my mobile where I dont recognise the number; if it is genuine they will leave a message on voice-mail. It must be an awful way to spend your working day, picking up the phone, being all chirpy, being sworn at.....The people pretending to be from Microsoft, or the boiler room people selling dubious shares are not the same thing, they are crooks and deserve all the abuse they get!