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    Avoiding Nuisance Callers
    • #1
    • 28th Jun 08, 7:06 PM
    Avoiding Nuisance Callers 28th Jun 08 at 7:06 PM
    What’s this all about?

    Fed up of receiving sales calls at home? There are several ways to reduce the number of sales calls you get, leaving your telephone number solely for the use of family and friends.

    Although it's been slighly edited by MoneySavingExpert, this special guide to setting up a free VOIP telephone number which you can then give to businesses wanting to call (and potentially sell to you), has been written by MoneySaver Thenotsowyzewun. Thanks for the top tip.

    How to avoid nuisance calls?

    If you're the sort of person who dislikes their telephone number being "bought", stolen or otherwise obtained without your proper consent, which generally leads to nuisance calls, then here's how to avoid this ever happening.

    Firstly, ensure you're ex-directory.

    Secondly, register with the Telephone Preference Service.

    Thirdly, and this works better than either of those, give companies your brand new, free VOIP (better known as Internet Telephone) number.

    Note from Martin: More info on what VOIP is and how to make free calls worldwide via your PC in my VOIP article.

    How does this work?

    Once you’ve set up an account with certain VOIP providers you’ll be given a new telephone number to use alongside your existing telephone number. Giving the new number to potential sales callers, or entering it when completing online forms, means your existing telephone number is saved for more important calls.

    You don’t need to answer any calls to the VOIP number, instead anyone calling leaves a voicemail which you can then listen to, and if you want to return the call do so with your number withheld (as is the default if you're ex-directory).

    How to get a free incoming VOIP number?

    There are plenty of VOIP companies around but many charge for incoming calls and/or require you to make a minimum number of chargeable outgoing calls. Sipgate does neither of these. Note from Martin: If you know of any others please reply/discuss in the thread below.

    How to register:
    • Click 'Sign up for free now' and select your area code of choice (for example 020 / 01992 / 0870) from the list of available areas - your local area code should be available.
    • Enter details to set up and account and activate your registration.
    • Go straight to the ‘voicemail’ settings, ignoring everything else, and select a memorable 4 digit PIN number for accessing your voicemail.
    • Tell it where you'd like to receive notification of any voicemail received - which e-mail address, that is. You’ll then be sent a reminder to this address to login and check your voicemail if anyone leaves you a message. You can receive reminders to a mobile but this is NOT free.
    Personally I also tick to receive a copy of the voicemail direct to my inbox, but these come in the form of WAV files, but each minute of voicemail requires about 12MB - and this can quickly clog your mailbox. If you automatically receive e-mail with attachments to a mobile device such as a Blackberry or smartphone do not select this option.
    • Set the ‘call forwarding’ settings to immediately forward to voicemail.
    If you get lost, just go to the login page to get back on track.

    You’re now ready to give this new telephone number to callers. As you’ve provided an e-mail address to receive notifications, you can listen to the voicemails at your leisure, return calls you want to via your normal landline/mobile, and ignore those you don't, and you'll never have to swear down the phone at anyone, well, not a salesman anyway (not that any of us would ever do that).

    Hope this helps, I wrote this guide at the personal request of Martin, having sent him a PM in response to a recent post on his blog, and I must say, despite having spent best part of an hour attempting to write something half-decent, I feel like I've been given a great opportunity to give a tiny bit back, thanks everyone.

    Final note from Martin

    Thanks to Thenotsowyzewun for the quick guide. One word of warning from me folks: This note is about how to avoid nuisance incoming calls. However, please don’t use Sipgate to make any outgoing VOIP calls until you have checked my VOIP article for the cheapest providers.
    Last edited by MSE Wendy; 23-09-2008 at 4:46 PM.
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