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Avoiding Nuisance Callers
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# 1
Thenotsowyzewun
Old 28-06-2008, 7:06 PM
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Default Avoiding Nuisance Callers

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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# 2
gropinginthedark
Old 30-09-2008, 5:48 PM
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Join Date: May 2005
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Default stopping junk phone calls - beyond TPS

A free voip number is fine but you've still got to listen to the voicemail. How can I get some kind of premium rate number so they can leave a message but it costs them?

The TPS reduces the number of sales calls but I still get 1 or 2 a month BUT complaints to the TPS are a complete waste of time. They can fine up to £5000 per call but they have NEVER fined anyone. In 2008 so far the ICO has sent "please stop doing this" letters to a grand total of 4 companies!

So useless are TPS that there is now a commercial competitor trading on the failure of TPS. In their sales bumph they write: "Have you ever tried contacting the Telephone Preference Service? Have they actually stopped you from receiving nuisance calls? Whether they have or not - the Call Prevention Registry puts the needs of its customers first. You can expect to get attentive action from our company at all times." However I suspect they are merely charging £35.75 p.a. to register your number at TPS.

Rather than reporting calls how about inviting the salespeople to visit? At present I just say "oh you need my dad, I'll just fetch him" and leave them hanging on for 5 minutes but I think they're getting wise to that.
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# 3
kitekat
Old 30-09-2008, 6:13 PM
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A while back on here someone posted a site where you could get 0870 numbers for nothing,give these out to companies and it costs them to phone you and you make money from each call.Maybe someone here can help.
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# 4
Thenotsowyzewun
Old 25-10-2008, 6:08 PM
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I haven't heard of that company, but SIP Gate will happily give you an 0845 or 0870 number instead of a geographical number if you select that option on the registration page.
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# 5
Dazzler_4u
Old 28-08-2009, 10:46 AM
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Default

TAKE DIRECT ACTION

I'm registered with the TPS and my number is ex-directory, yet I still get these calls.

I used to wait and ask to be taken off their database, but it didn't seem to work.

So I decided to take direct action

I have got a spare smoke alarm near my phone now, and, I'm not sure why, but when these people call me, I have an uncontrollable urge to put the phone next to my smoke alarm and press the test button.

The smoke alarm starts emitting its high pitched noisy beeps. Suddenly the people on the other end seem to disappear!

I hope they're not wearing ear pieces - wouldn't it be awful for them if they bust their eardrums - and wouldn't it be awful for their employers if their employee sued them for their busted eardrum!

so come on everyone, get a spare smoke alarm and start fighting back and let's all of us bust a few eardrums!!
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# 6
Dave101t
Old 28-08-2009, 11:07 AM
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Default

my mum keeps getting a dodgy call for me, i happened to be in so i took the call.
'are you mr .... ....?'
yes.
'im from talk talk, can you confirm you are the owner of this line?'
no.
'erm...oh' *hangs up*

ps. i find just pressing a number on the pad is useful, because they hear a loud beep which isnt distorted by being transmitted audio, whistles etc can just break up in the line.
Target Savings by end 2009: 20,000
current savings: 20,500 (target hit yippee!)
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# 7
MrC-117
Old 28-08-2009, 11:13 AM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazzler_4u View Post
TAKE DIRECT ACTION

I'm registered with the TPS and my number is ex-directory, yet I still get these calls.

I used to wait and ask to be taken off their database, but it didn't seem to work.

So I decided to take direct action

I have got a spare smoke alarm near my phone now, and, I'm not sure why, but when these people call me, I have an uncontrollable urge to put the phone next to my smoke alarm and press the test button.

The smoke alarm starts emitting its high pitched noisy beeps. Suddenly the people on the other end seem to disappear!

I hope they're not wearing ear pieces - wouldn't it be awful for them if they bust their eardrums - and wouldn't it be awful for their employers if their employee sued them for their busted eardrum!

so come on everyone, get a spare smoke alarm and start fighting back and let's all of us bust a few eardrums!!
Careful with that. I think that sort of thing is illegal.
Mortgage overpayments since November 08: 32,500 - balance is now 81,200
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# 8
Laz123
Old 28-08-2009, 11:26 AM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrC-117 View Post
Careful with that. I think that sort of thing is illegal.


Pardon, what?
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# 9
Volcano
Old 28-08-2009, 1:35 PM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazzler_4u View Post

I hope they're not wearing ear pieces - wouldn't it be awful for them if they bust their eardrums - and wouldn't it be awful for their employers if their employee sued them for their busted eardrum!

so come on everyone, get a spare smoke alarm and start fighting back and let's all of us bust a few eardrums!!
Completely idiotic.
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# 10
fwor
Old 28-08-2009, 7:39 PM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thenotsowyzewun View Post
if you want to return the call do so with your number withheld (as is the default if you're ex-directory).
One point of accuracy: it's not true that your number will be withheld by default if you are ex-directory. My number has been ex-directory for several years, and I still have to dial 141 before an outgoing call if I want to withhold my number.

This probably varies from network to network. With BT you can choose to withhold your number by default at no cost, but it's a separate thing from being ex-directory.
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# 11
davidlizard
Old 28-08-2009, 8:12 PM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcano View Post
Completely idiotic.
Agree. Whilst highly tempting, a sizable number of people working for these telemarketing companies are there solely because they need the money, not for the love of the job. Its the company owners/bosses that need the smoke alarm treatment.

I had a double glazing company (a national one that pops up on here from time to time) phone me three times over a weekend. So I agreed they could come round, and when they did I pointed out that my double glazing and facias were perfectly fine, and as they have now seen first hand that I have no need for their wares, perhaps they would stop phoning me.
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# 12
before hollywood
Old 29-08-2009, 9:15 AM
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Default

''hello are you mr xxxx''
''no, i'll just go and get him''
and then hang up

they get the hint soon enough
things arent the way they were before, you wouldnt even recognise me anymore- not that you knew me back then
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I trust BH even if he's from Manchester..
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# 13
augustsmummy
Old 29-08-2009, 1:33 PM
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Default

I regularly get phone calls from these companies, so now I have started to pass them over to my "PA" or "events manager" or "Accountant" to deal with these calls! (Yes, that's right my 2 year old daughter!)
She will happily answer any questions they may have.
And it's not a lie on my behalf, she does generally decide what we are doing each day, and what my money is spent on (usually Smarties!) so I have just instated her with a job title - Well she has to earn her keep .

It's amazing how quickly they stop calling after 5 minutes on the phone with her.
The best one was when she informed them that she had just "Done a wee wee like a big girl!" Classic!
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# 14
Paul Varjak
Old 09-11-2009, 10:21 PM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitekat View Post
A while back on here someone posted a site where you could get 0870 numbers for nothing,give these out to companies and it costs them to phone you and you make money from each call.Maybe someone here can help.
The most expensive number to call - that you can get for free without registering with the premium phone regulator is a PERSONAL NUMBER. These numbers are of the format 070 xxx xxxxxx.

At first glance they appear to be mobile numbers but the '0' after '07' indicates they are personal numbers. They can cost up to 50p/minute to call from a BT landline.

You can get an 070 Personal Number from many providers...

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en...ntryGB&aq=f&oq=
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# 15
brettcta
Old 19-11-2009, 12:09 PM
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i've just had one of these 070 numbers ring my house.

it's someone sounding in distress on the phone asking 'hello...can you hear me..can you hear m...' and the line goes dead.

alarm bells rang when i returned the call and was redirected immediately. i hung up during the first ring.

i wont be charged for hearing 'please wait while we redirect your call & one ring will i?
helpful tips
it's spelt d-e-f-i-n-i-t-e-l-y
there - 'in or at that place'
their - 'owned by them'
they're - 'they are'
it's bought not brought (i just bought my chicken a suit from that new shop for 6.34)
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# 16
d-seven
Old 23-11-2009, 11:25 PM
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Default

I've had a telesales rep hang up on me a few years ago. I told her I was on the TPS and asked for her companies name, which she wouldn't tell me. Then asked for her and her line manager's names and she hung up.
I have caller display on my phone so if I dont recognise the number, I leave it to go to answer. If they cant be bothered to leave a message, they are normally telesales.

The poster who asked about calling 0870 numbers cheaper.. there is a service that allows you to do this.. it was in the news last week I think, to do with the x factor. Cant remember what the URL was tho..
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# 17
timmmers
Old 24-11-2009, 4:07 AM
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If you really wish to avoid incoming callls and don't mind a small BT fee.

http://www2.bt.com/btPortal/applicat...esc=2345969193

And explained by a non BT human

http://www.dooyoo.co.uk/telecommunic...ervice/441451/

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# 18
geordieracer
Old 24-11-2009, 8:47 AM
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There was that machien on dragons den a while back that lets you filter all calls before you decide whether to answer or not.. And then in the future it will not forward on to you any numbers that you have barred and tells them you dont want to speak to them!!
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# 19
missile
Old 24-11-2009, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geordieracer View Post
There was that machien on dragons den a while back that lets you filter all calls before you decide whether to answer or not.. And then in the future it will not forward on to you any numbers that you have barred and tells them you dont want to speak to them!!
My Panasonic phone has call barring option.
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# 20
DavidP24
Old 02-06-2010, 4:13 PM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gropinginthedark View Post
A free voip number is fine but you've still got to listen to the voicemail. How can I get some kind of premium rate number so they can leave a message but it costs them?

The TPS reduces the number of sales calls but I still get 1 or 2 a month BUT complaints to the TPS are a complete waste of time. They can fine up to 5000 per call but they have NEVER fined anyone. In 2008 so far the ICO has sent "please stop doing this" letters to a grand total of 4 companies!

So useless are TPS that there is now a commercial competitor trading on the failure of TPS. In their sales bumph they write: "Have you ever tried contacting the Telephone Preference Service? Have they actually stopped you from receiving nuisance calls? Whether they have or not - the Call Prevention Registry puts the needs of its customers first. You can expect to get attentive action from our company at all times." However I suspect they are merely charging 35.75 p.a. to register your number at TPS.

Rather than reporting calls how about inviting the salespeople to visit? At present I just say "oh you need my dad, I'll just fetch him" and leave them hanging on for 5 minutes but I think they're getting wise to that.
My VoIP provider gives free 0870 numbers for the service so that can deter them or at least cost them money, but you are missing the point.

You setup the VoIP with voicemail for use by these providers, you never have to listen to the messages. Most will NEVER leave a message, WHY, because they are on commission and if you call back you don't connect to them. Besides most offer an outbound service only.

Most companies who make these nuisance calls make a note that they got voicemail and when they get it 24/7 they eventually delete it.

As I said you never need to listen to the messages and you can always have more than one number, I have about 6 for different purposes.
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