Ways to stop overseas sales calls discussion

edited 29 May 2012 at 9:20PM in Praise, vent & warnings
541 replies 285.7K views


  • blossomhill_2blossomhill_2 Forumite
    1.9K Posts
    We take over the call and politely but firmly insist they give me the company name - guess what - they are ringing from the Philipinnes but insist it is a UK company and give me the full company details, and we are in TPS
    You never know how far-reaching something good, that you may do or say today, may affect the lives of others tomorrow
  • TourerTourer Forumite
    3 Posts
    These suggestions won't stop nuisance calls but every little helps.

    1. We use a phone that has a night mode. Hence all calls after 10.30pm and before 08.30am cannot be heard but are answered by the answering machine. No more ungodly wake-ups!
    2. If they ask for the homeowner tell them you rent.
    3. A whistle buy the phone helps.
    4. If they ask for Mr or Mrs so-and-so say hang on a minute and put the phone to one side or on hold if you have that facility. As one person suggested putting the phone down next to a radio playing awful music is a good idea. They'll soon get fed up with waiting!
    5.Call screening does work as does caller ID.
    6. Whatever they're selling tell them you already have one.

    I agree that the TPS is essentially useless. We are on their list but of late this service is in the chocolate teapot category.

    Happy Days!

  • NonGeographicalManNonGeographicalMan Forumite
    1.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Tourer wrote: »
    I agree that the TPS is essentially useless. We are on their list but of late this service is in the chocolate teapot category.

    Not true. It stops you receiving calls from almost all UK based call centres of any size or significance.

    I know someone locally who was not TPS registered in their 70s (some how they had not heard about it or been sold it by BT) and they were getting 10 to 20 calls a day from companies asking if they had debts and wanting to lend them money and from paypment protection insurance types. Now they are TPS registered (with my help) they only get the couple of calls a week from Indian or Philippines based call centres like I do.

    The only recent abuse I have had from UK callers is from a new breed of scammers trying to sell carbon offsetting credits as a form of investment. They try and claim it is a sure fire way to make 35% a year compared to the boring old stock market and only ever goes up. Whereas in fact they are selling you a piece of paper in something with no established second hand market where you may not be able to sell at all, especially if global warming is one day unmasked as being a myth.

    I am making direct reports on these two firms as share fraudsters to the Financial Services Authority using their reporting form at www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/doing/regulated/law/alerts/form.shtml

    Regarding overseas call centres TPS does not stop them because by being non UK domiciled they are essentially beyond the reach of UK law on this matter, especially if they are not trying to sell you a product for a UK company but merely trying to scam you of your money directly as with the "I'm a Microsoft Technician and I Want To Help You Fix A Virus I Am About To Install on Your PC In Return For Money With Menaces" scam. If you can pinpoint a UK based company for which the Indian call centre is making the calls then you can still report them to the Information Commissioner's Office.
  • notablenotable Forumite
    2 Posts
    I use the 'music on hold' method (usually Radio 4), and it works well.
    Sadly I get bored easily, so I'm trying out a new script (got to love the irony).

    You: "Just pause there for a second. I need a break so I'm happy to give you 5 minutes, but first would you mind telling me what you think of a joke I just wrote for a local comedian?"
    Caller: OK (if they say anything else, it's Radio 4)
    You: Thanks.
    Three men went into a bar and sat down.
    The first man went up to order the drinks.
    Before he had a chance to order, the barman said "if I tell you my favourite joke and you don't laugh, your order is free". The customer says "OK, go ahead".
    The barman says "What's black and white and read all over?".
    The customer says: "I don't know".
    The barman says "A newspaper".
    Without laughing, the customer says: "I've heard it".
    The barman says "Sorry for wasting your time" and, as promised, pours him the free drinks.
    He tells his friends what happened, and after enjoying their drinks the second man goes up to order three more.
    The barman makes the same offer as before, the customer says "Go ahead".
    The barman says: "How can you tell there's been an elephant in your fridge?".
    The customer says: "I don't know".
    The barman says "Footprints in the butter".
    Without laughing, the customer says: "I've heard it".
    The barman says "Sorry for wasting your time" and, as promised, pours him the free drinks.
    He tells his friends what happened, and after enjoying their drinks the last man goes up to order three more.
    The barman makes the same offer as before, the customer says "Go ahead".
    The barman says: "How do you get four elephants in a Mini?".
    The customer says: "I don't know".
    The barman says "Two in the front, two in the back".
    Without laughing, the customer says: "I've heard it".

    (Now pause - 2 seconds should do it...)

    Now, if YOU can tell me what the barman says next, I'll be happy to listen to your reason for calling me today.
  • I tell the caller I am deaf and ask them to hold on while I pass the phone to my wife. She then tells the caller I am deaf and recent experience has been that the caller misundersands and thenks she has told them "my husband is dead". Just for the record I really am deaf!
  • 1196rachel wrote: »
    Lots of call centres use technology which automatically dials you first and only connects you to a person if you answer and speak. It allows them to avoid "wasting reps' time" on unanswered calls and answerphones.

    This leads to a slight delay after you pick up the phone and say "hello" where there is no-one at the other end (when you think about you regularly have to say "hello" twice with these types of calls).

    I use this gap to hang up. My friends and family would have greeted me immediately.
    Doesn't stop the phone from ringing but you don't need to get out of a difficult conversation.

    I always thought that calling ex-directory numbers was illegal anyway and the use of auto-dialling computers (which dial numbers sequentially and thus find the ex-directory ones) are also illegal to use. This fact I once told to a caller, they hung up and didn't tell me anything! and I never get anymore calls from them. One annoying call system says "Congratulations, you have won....." I just hang up as inevitably to claim I would have to call a Premium rate number, so "Congratulations..." = hang up. I also use the answerphone technique. :T
  • I recently started to speak a few words in Welsh at them and then get increasingly infuriated when they don't understand and ask if I can speak Englsih to them.
  • kinmelkinmel Forumite
    5 Posts
    I have always just asked for character 3, 5 and 6 of their security password.

    Of course there is none and eventually they write you up as an idiot and blacklist you.
  • Dave_C_2Dave_C_2 Forumite
    1.8K Posts
    Azari wrote: »
    I disagree.

    I related a story earlier which tends (it could have just been a coincidence) to demonstrate that certain behaviours can make a difference.

    I'd been getting called several times a week for some weeks and it was the same two or three individuals wanting to talk about energy.

    Initially, when they said: "Could I speak to Mr Azari" I simply said "no" and put the phone down. This had no effect on the frequency of the calls.

    Then one day I tried the "Hold on, I'll call him" technique and the guy stayed on the phone for nearly two minutes. The next day he called and I did the same thing. This times he only waited about 10 seconds before hanging up. Since then I haven't had a single call.

    If you think about what they are trying to do, it does not make any sense for them not to remove numbers where the occupant is clearly determined to waste their time. They are not completely stupid. If they are going to repeatedly spend a minute calling someone who is not only not going to engage with them but will actually waste their time as well, then they are throwing away time they could be using to make money.

    I think that technique and the one where you pick up the phone but do not say anything and just wait for them to hang up are the ones that will work.
    Mmm ...
    It all depends on how the Indian call centre is making its money. If it's making its money just by the number of calls made then it's in their interest to keep (not blacklist) the short calls because a "hangup straight away" number is a nice little earner for them. As you say a "waste their time" number should be blacklisted.
    If the call centre is making its money purely on the number of positive leads then the "hangup straight away" and "waste their time" should be blacklisted.
    In either case a positive lead will be whitelisted.

    The call centre business model is probably somewhere between these extremes.

    If the Indian Call Centres do have blacklists then the best course of action will be to "waste their time" as it leads to your number being blacklisted and you don't get repeat calls.

    What we need is someone with inside knowledge of Indian call centres. Do they have black/white lists?, what is the minimum time to keep them hanging on? etc, etc.

  • CHP47CHP47 Forumite
    11 Posts
    Many phone calls from overseas are computer generated.British phone companies won't or can't block them even if you are on the TP list.

    You can buy phones which list phone numbers,if you don't know them don't answer although some computer generated systems will keep ringing back until you answer.

    I tend to sing to people in welsh and as I cant sing that seems to work.You could also tell them they have the wrong number/person.

    If the same number keeps calling report it to your service provider.Keep a record of the dates and the person you spoke to.This is classed as nuisance calls and your service provider must do something.Be persistant and don't give up and you will succed- don't let them win.
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Fans demand refunds from Leeds Festival

...after Rage Against The Machine pulls out

MSE News

The 'Ask An Expert' event

Check out last week's energy-themed Q&A with MSE's experts

MSE Forum

Free museums & galleries

Where to get your culture fix across the UK

MSE Deals