Fuming about sales calls to my Grandma Blog Discussion

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Martin's Blogs & Appearances & MoneySavingExpert in the News
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This is a Chat Forum discussion on Martin's 'Fuming about sales calls to my Grandma' blog that you can read here.
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  • Mark7799Mark7799 Forumite
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    Have to agree with Martin's comments - I'm in a similar situation. My parents are both in their 70s/80s and regularly receive calls of this nature.

    I don't keep as tight a grip on their affairs as Martin seems to do with his grandmother but I'm always concerned that they may fall victim to a conman one day. In fairness, I found British Gas quite amenable one day when I phoned on their behalf to ask if the sales calls could be cancelled and so far, my dad hasn't commented about them since. I've also done similar things with their bank (and got myself a signing authority on their accounts) and (touching wood) things seem to be going OK.

    I haven't bothered with the TPS, I found that going to the company in these two cases seems most effective.
    Gwlad heb iaith, gwlad heb galon
  • Telephone Preference Service TPS Online

    to quote from their site...

    The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, it is unlawful to make unsolicited direct marketing calls to individuals who have indicated that they do not want to receive such calls.

    If I ever receive such a now call I politely ask for the callers name and their company then explain to them that my telephone number is registered with TPS and I will be reporting them.....(click...brrrr....hello?...are you still there?).

    I have also registered my in-laws after they where getting auto-dialing calls (phone rings but nobody there).
  • skylightskylight Forumite
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    My Nan has been getting these for ages. I told her about TPS but she did nothing! (Granddaughter and I know no better!)

    After one last argument where she got very angry with a caller, I had enough and registered her at TPS without telling her.

    The calls stopped and she boasts to me about how thats the way to deal with these types of people

    I haven't burst her bubble!
  • Clever Charlotte :beer:

    I registered with TPS as I wasn't getting a minute's peace and the silent calls were driving me up the wall :mad: .

    Martin - why not suggest to your Gran a three month trial of TPS which you'll set up for her if she wants? If she doesn't like it she could swop back at the end of the trial or during it. On the other hand we used to joke at a well known charity for older people that cold callers served a useful social purpose as sometimes they might be the only individual an older person spoke to all day ;)
  • Smiley_MumSmiley_Mum Forumite
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    I just leave the internet plugged in, not on, and then if any calls come through they can get picked up on 1571. Anyone really wanting to leave a message does, most of them just hang up. Someone mentioned silentguard at a thread on the debt free wannabee thread. They make you blinking mad though, my parents are in their early sixties. My dad gets pretty hacked off with them calling, so he just gives them a mouthful as they are so persistent and hangs up, they soon get the message.
    “Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.” - Oscar Wilde
  • Have had the same problem with my grand parents for the last few years they get calls from various gas and electrical supplier and end up agreeing to switch. I then have to come at the back of them and switch it back as they are not used to the method of payment etc.. I try to tell them that if someone calls give them my number or even better just hang up. Telewest were a real pain in the backside for a while and took a lot of angry phonecalls before they got the message.

    I think cold calling should be stopped period if you want something you won't wait at the end of the phone on the off chance a sales person shall call.
  • I agree totally. My dad has mild dementia but can just about manage to speak to me on the phone. I found out that BT had got him to sign up to 1571 when we got the bill. I registered with TPS and think that most of the calls have stopped, although I did get one from BT after registering! I have asked them not to phone again.

    One other thing that made me really mad happened about 12 years ago when my mother was 69 and dad in his 70's. An insurance man persuaded them to reinvest the proceeds of a matured policy for 10 years in my mother's name in case my dad died in the meantime. I had wanted them to spend the money on themselves - get a new car, bed, etc. When I phoned the insurance agent to complain he told me that I shouldn't be worried, after all he was protecting my inheritance! This way he was stopping my parents from spending. I was so furious that I put in an official complaint but got nowhere. I sincerely hope that regulations since then have meant that this blatant mis-selling has stopped. At least they did live until it matured and this time I made certain they spent it on themselves. A happy ending. :xmastree:
  • I don't know why they seem to latch on to us old timers (78) but they get a rough ride when they call my number, I had five one day, three from a guy in Canada trying to sell me an investment.

    First time I told him no politely but firmly and hung up, he rang again then we discussed what part of no he did not understand and hung up once again the third time I let him discuss it with the answering machine untill he eventualy got fed up.

    The next call was from a gent in Holland, who at least understood the word no albeit reluctantly.

    Finaly while I was at lunch the answer phone won a vacation in Florida from a delightful young American lady and I am sure if it had not been fastened to the wall it would have gone.

    If she calls back I will make sure I get to the phone first!

    Happy New Year to all, DirtyDes
  • When they phone me I just put the phone next to the TV & sit back down to watch it (TV that is) leave it for about 5 mins then see if they are still there .surprisingly they have hung up. I think if i change my phone number to a 0870 number i could make some money out of them.
  • I work in telemarketing (B2B for small companies, so a rather different ballpark) and the behaviour of some of these companies, especially business to consumer, and most of all those who are selling rather than marketing, sickens me - it gives a bad name to the industry, to everyone who works in it, and unfortunately, most people's experience of cold calling is someone trying to flog them something they don't need or want, and who won't listen - or take no for an answer. It's outrageous that this can pass for a professional standard of conduct.

    The sad truth is that the ONLY way to stop these calls at the moment is to register with TPS - it's free, so that can't be a bad thing - and all databases MUST be checked against the system before calling commences. It can take a month or so to filter through - so you won't be able to go after someone who calls in the first 30 days - but all B2C call centres clean their data regularly, so you shouldn't get called after that.

    I found it rather ironic when persistent calls to my mobile at 8.30am saw me registering my personal numbers - but until there's an improvement in the industry as a whole (and it's LONG overdue) the only way to knock this pestilent practise on the head is to register: Perhaps those companies will then get the message that this is not acceptable behaviour - but by then, will anyone know that things have improved?

    Only one way to find out...
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