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Nuisance phonecalls

(26 Posts)
HazelGreen Fri 04-Jan-13 09:10:23

My mother is in her 90's and in very good order. But I am very concerned at the amount of 'cold calls' she receives every day. I fear she will have a fall one of these days as a result of trying to catch a call. I have tried some years ago to 'register' her number as not to be called but feel the need to revisit this. Can anyone advise as to the best way to do this?
Also I have experienced a device when calling a person in America that said my number was not recognised and would not be put through but I had the option to leave a message. This seems a useful system but I have not seen in UK

whenim64 Fri 04-Jan-13 09:34:58

It's the Telephone Preference Service HazelGreen. You just register details and national calls should cease quite quickly, although foreign calls can't be controlled. You can also cut down junk mail with the Mail Preference Service - both are found online. Good luck.

Barrow Fri 04-Jan-13 10:01:00

You could try reporting the calls to the Information Commissioners Office. ( The advantage of the ICO over the Telephone Preference Service is that you can make a complaint even if you don't have the phone number of the person calling (most cold callers withhold their number). You can't actually register with the ICO but have to report each phone call as you receive it. If you have never consented to the company calling then they are breaking the law. Of course, like the TPS this only applies to calls within the UK.

Since I have started doing this the cold calls have almost stopped.

Kristof Fri 04-Jan-13 10:28:02

We have our home phone with Virgin and they have the option of letting you bar calls from withheld numbers, which filters out a lot of these 'cold calls'.

Of course if you have friends calling from withheld numbers than they can't get through either, but if they need to get in touch then they will find a way.

We find it cuts down a lot on junk calls.

whenim64 Fri 04-Jan-13 10:35:05

Barrow that's handy to know. I have just completed their online complaint form for unwanted cold calls, as despite TPS I have been getting almost daily calls from a charity number. It's always on my mobile, so I have tagged it with a different ringtone, and just ignore it.

Anne58 Fri 04-Jan-13 11:41:17

This was covered on a radio 4 programme recently, they spoke to a chap who had the call barring/message taking thing that "Hazel" mentioned. The chap had got it after receiving many calls about PPI, accident claimes etc etc. The man said how pleased he was with it and how well it worked.

I think it was You & Yours, presented by Peter White and it was very shortly before Christmas. Might be worth having a look at the Radio 4 website to see if you can get more info?

harrigran Fri 04-Jan-13 12:31:05

We are registered with TPS service and we still receive unwanted calls on a daily basis. The calls are from british companies but get round the system by making calls from abroad, TPS does not work outside of UK. Some real nuisances have a way of phoning that leaves seven zeros instead of a phone number. I had a scam call a month ago and realised it was one of those computer scams so I asked the caller to hold the line while I transferred them to the fraud department, the slammed receiver told me all I needed to know.
Worsed offenders are the PPI people who ring my mobile, only about ten people have this number so where do they get it from. I am no longer polite, I am way beyond that and the next step is a referees whistle.

Wheniwasyourage Fri 04-Jan-13 23:07:21

Since a friend suggested it, I have been Googling phone numbers of cold callers (when they show one, which, surprisingly often, they do). You get a number of sites where people post when they have found out who these numbers belong to, which gives you the chance to complain to head office or the TPS etc. Even if you don't take it further, it can be comforting to be able to put a name to some of these nuisances. Have fun with the referee's whistle harrigran!

HazelGreen Sun 06-Jan-13 09:28:40

Thank you all for helpful advice. I will try and find more out about the screening device and report back to you. Are we allowed mention commercial products?

HazelGreen Sun 06-Jan-13 10:39:26

The device is called TrueCall and is available on Amazon where there are many positive reviews.

Anne58 Sun 06-Jan-13 11:56:52

Glad you were able to find it, Hazel as I said it was reported on a radio 4 programme but I couldn't remember the name of it.

cheelu Sun 06-Jan-13 14:37:42

Hello Hazel green What you can do is give family members a code to calling your Mother and let your Mother know what it is and so she will then know the difference in who it is that is calling--we did just that as we had same problem and the code was if it is family the phone will ring three times then STOP and then will start to ring again immedatly..It worked for us...

HazelGreen Wed 09-Jan-13 10:27:17

The 'three rings' code is a good idea... we use it for doorbell. I do not think it would work with my mother as she has a good circle of friends/relatives and other people like clinics, dentist etc that call her.

She does use the 'caller ID' of last call facility if she misses a call or to check when she has been out of the house. This only gives UK numbers and she has quite a few non UK regular callers and the foreign cold callers would be mixed in with these. We deleted a message system as she was not bothered to know how to use it and few people tend to use it. I left a message asking people to call again rather than leave a message! We tried the cordless phone idea that she might take out into garden but that was not a success. The garden is steeply sloped and has steps down so I hated idea that she might hurry to get to answer phone. Lately I notice she seems to be becoming deaf at least to the shrill sound of the phone however loud I adjust it so that perhaps is a good thing! There is now an extra wired phone in her sitting room. She is getting used to the regular calls from 'your man in Bombay' and even had three weeks of fun stringing along some hoax guy after her bank account details! She can still deal with the cold callers so really it is the NUISANCE element that needs addressing.

Thank you again for all suggestions.

normski9 Fri 08-Feb-13 16:08:13

Hi Hazelgreen
Bt have just released a new phone the BT6500
available at Argos for £44.99 which blocks
all International and calls with number withheld,
it also has ten numbers you can choose to block
Might be just the job.

Elegran Fri 08-Feb-13 16:54:40

My phone (Panasonic) can assign different rings to different categories of caller numbers. I have one ring tone for family, one for friends, one for medical contacts (surgery, dentist, physio) and so on, so if anyone phones who is not one of the regulars, it is obvious from the sound of the ringtone.

And caller id is worth the very small monthly cost. It shows the number of the caller, and the name if they are in your phone-book list. It doesn't work for withheld numbers, or for "out of area" overseas callers, but it does identify a lot of callers.

FlicketyB Sat 09-Feb-13 15:06:22

Despite TPS we are rung almost daily by PPI companies, those trying to sell us solar panels, and DH constantly gets the 'boiler room' calls from companies who if they were given a fraction of a chance would try and sell him dud shares. We always recognise these because they use the full version of his first name, which he never ever uses.

DD was injured in a road accident a year or so ago. She shares my first name but like DH is always known by a short version of it. A couple of weeks ago we got an ambulance chaser company on the phone wanting to speak to me. They informed me that as I had had an road accident in the last three years I could claim damages. When I told them, quite accurately, that I had not been involved in a road accident for over 10 years they were quite confused. I realised that whatever information they had must have come from an official form where DD would have written her full name, but when they tried to chase up contact details I was the only one they could find with that name (our surname is relatively uncommon).

Galen Sat 09-Feb-13 15:12:40

With me it's the people telling me I haven't used my government grant for insulation? My loft is insulated and I have solid stone walls, ie. no cavity! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

grannyJillyT Sun 10-Feb-13 19:31:34

I have registered with TPS, still getting unwanted calls. Also, I was tricked into paying £35 to somebody who said they were the TPS! This was before I had contacted TPS but was thinking of doing so. I have reported this to TPS and they said they were aware. Just thought I would warn you all. smile

12Michael Tue 12-Feb-13 13:50:52

I have been bogged down with short number calls etc, I am with AOL as to phone until friday I then return to BT , most of the calls are from Asian sources and marketing.
One thing what makes me wonder is with electoral role as an option locally when registering to vote the form states an option 3 , which if excepted sells your details to 3rd parties, worth dropping this option as well.

Snowy1 Tue 12-Feb-13 14:51:03

Unfortunately the landline phone system is going to need rethinking.
We are moving to mobile and VOIP. Mobile for the UK and VOIP for international.

I look after someone who is ill, disabled, vulnerable and gullible and they need a phone.

We get 30 or more calls a week which come up as international or withheld.
We have friends abroad who call us and the NHS always call with the number withheld.
We found if we block International calls we will not get the calls from friends abroad and if we block withheld we will not get calls about appointments and medical necessities associated with disability and illness.

There are many silent calls which are used to find out if the number is live and this info is sold on. Also we get fraudulent calls from foreign criminals also.

I have found the best way to deal with the calls is to ask for their name, their company name and business. They normally hang up within 2 seconds if they are criminal.

I always wait for them to speak first so the silent calls will record no speech.

However it is a nuisance and the person I am caring for cannot walk well and might fall over when trying to get to the phone to receive a call which they think is important.

The best answer is to block all international and witheld calls and use a mobile phone and give out that number to the NHS etc. Landline calls are free from international locations if they use the right system which is why we get so many. However for International calls a voip phone is better sipgate and voipstunt are the services we use for voip sipgate for incoming and voipstunt for outgoing.
We actually have a VOIP phone (you can buy these from
you need someone techy to set it up.
We pay 12 pounds every 3 months for 100 free minutes a week to most landlines in many countries using voipstunt. Which is well over 1000 free minutes abroad.

Roseyk Tue 12-Feb-13 15:07:33

I think the main thing to rememer when being called is never to pay any moneys to them.

There is a web site called....who is calling me... and you can find out who it is that is making the annoying phone calls.

Also I think BT will allow you to bar certain numbers coming through.

It is such a pain and these companies pray on older people because they think we are all stupid!

HUNTERF Wed 13-Feb-13 16:25:23

I just have an announcement on my phone saying ''sorry I have had to turn my phone off due to the amount of junk calls I am getting. If you are not a junk caller please leave a message and I will call you back. If you are a junk caller then go away. I do not want to buy it.

I am now getting very few non genuine calls and I do pick up the phone before the announcement finishes most times when the callers number is displayed when I recognise it.

The only real problem I still get is my phone goes at times like 3am about twice a year,

I don't think it is anybody playing about as I think this would happen more frequently if it was deliberate.


Snowy1 Wed 13-Feb-13 17:51:46

Still a problem for the phone belonging to someone who is ill and disabled and gullible who is expecting number withheld from the health service and genuine international calls.

What is needed is Government legislation and fines to any cold callers from abroad. What we need is a new phone system where we can press a button and charge all cold callers say £1 per minute. Then most people would be only too pleased to get cold calls. It is about time we the consumers started making money from our phones.

annodomini Wed 13-Feb-13 19:22:06

While I was on cat-minding duty in the past week, I fielded at least two international calls per day for DS and partner. I just told them they'd left the country and they could make of that what they would. As they are both out at work all day, they are probably unaware of these calls. But, funnily enough, when one caller showed up as 'international' and asked to speak to Mr M..., I asked 'who is calling please?' Answer: 'His father'. Me: 'Oh hello, this is his mother.' That was the first time I'd heard ex's voice for twelve years and I hadn't recognised it.

Glassie Fri 22-Feb-13 16:28:42

Hi there. I have today received what I thought to be a `scam' call. The caller said they were from Virgin Media and had been looking at my phone bills and thought they could help reduce them was I interested, it would only take a few minutes. I said yes initially, they then went onto ask me to confirm the first 2 digits of my password (alarm bells began ringing), I replied no I would not. The caller then had the audacity to say " why have you forgotten it" ? Needless to say I cancelled the call. I then rang Virgin Media customer services to ask if they could trace the last time I was contacted by Virgin and sure enough it was a hoax/scam caller.