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  • FIRST POST
    • Former MSE Andrea
    • By Former MSE Andrea 28th Dec 05, 9:20 AM
    • 9,418Posts
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    Former MSE Andrea
    Fuming about sales calls to my Grandma Blog Discussion
    • #1
    • 28th Dec 05, 9:20 AM
    Fuming about sales calls to my Grandma Blog Discussion 28th Dec 05 at 9:20 AM
    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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Page 1
    • Mark7799
    • By Mark7799 28th Dec 05, 10:32 AM
    • 4,681 Posts
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    Mark7799
    • #2
    • 28th Dec 05, 10:32 AM
    • #2
    • 28th Dec 05, 10:32 AM
    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.
  • flashman_62
    • #3
    • 28th Dec 05, 11:07 AM
    Tps
    • #3
    • 28th Dec 05, 11:07 AM
    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).
    • skylight
    • By skylight 28th Dec 05, 11:15 AM
    • 10,424 Posts
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    skylight
    • #4
    • 28th Dec 05, 11:15 AM
    • #4
    • 28th Dec 05, 11:15 AM
    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!
    Last edited by skylight; 29-12-2005 at 8:51 AM. Reason: Boo-boo
  • Dora the Explorer
    • #5
    • 28th Dec 05, 6:25 PM
    • #5
    • 28th Dec 05, 6:25 PM
    Clever Charlotte

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

    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_Mum
    • By Smiley_Mum 28th Dec 05, 8:27 PM
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    Smiley_Mum
    • #6
    • 28th Dec 05, 8:27 PM
    • #6
    • 28th Dec 05, 8:27 PM
    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
  • fiferjim
    • #7
    • 29th Dec 05, 5:19 PM
    • #7
    • 29th Dec 05, 5:19 PM
    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.
  • moorett
    • #8
    • 29th Dec 05, 6:09 PM
    • #8
    • 29th Dec 05, 6:09 PM
    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.
  • DirtyDes
    • #9
    • 29th Dec 05, 11:01 PM
    Telephone Sales Calls
    • #9
    • 29th Dec 05, 11:01 PM
    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
    Last edited by DirtyDes; 29-12-2005 at 11:04 PM.
  • swillyburger
    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.
  • music facer
    TPS is the way!
    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...
  • archived user
    This practice makes me spit blood, as my own mother has been the victim of it several times. She suffers from a bipolar condition and has twice agreed to switch utility supplier "because they said it would save me money" whilst at her lowest stage of the month.

    It's so frustrating for anyone with a vulnerable relative when this happens. I've told my mom that people are just out to fleece her for money and to believe instead what her own son says, but she believes these callers when they offer to "help" her.

    I've finally registered her with TPS and the calls are dropping off thankfully.

    We live in a bizarre society that rightfully condemns those who con their way into a pensioner's house and then steal their purse, but turns a blind eye when respectable businesses do something similar over the phone.
    • Wings of Ambition
    • By Wings of Ambition 30th Dec 05, 7:03 PM
    • 1,665 Posts
    • 1,363 Thanks
    Wings of Ambition
    Whenever I get called (usually from some call centre in India), I tell them I'm VERY interested, but that I'm in the middle of my dinner. If they give me THEIR PERSONAL number, I'll call them back later this evening. That I really DO want a loan or a new mobile but I'm busy at the moment. I persist with this for a minute or two, and usually end up being passed onto a manager, who actually understands english, who promptly thanks me and hangs up. I'm rarely called back.
  • innovate
    TPS is a god-send...but why doesn't it work the other way round - i.e. all phone numbers should by default be barred for all sales (and "marketing" or "survey" !!!!!!!) calls, and only people who have made the effort to confirm that they would like to receive sales/marketing calls by registering with an organisation such as the TPS will be on the "allowed calls" list?

    Of course it would take an awfully brave government to cull what must be quite a lucrative income source for quite a few companies, incl. the Blue Chip ones. And any UK legislation/regulation wouldn't prevent calls from outside the UK, and obtaining a global agreement on the matter is as likely as me winning the lottery. But a national ban on unsolicited sales calls would be a great step in the right direction.

    Similar issue applies to salesfolk who make door-to-door calls, IMO - unless people display a "sales people [and Jehovah's Witnesses, Tarmacers, Kleneeze agents etc] welcome" sign at their front doors, nobody with intent to get a signature and/or money should be allowed to knock at peoples' doors.
  • Queenie
    .... TPS is a god-send...but why doesn't it work the other way round - i.e. all phone numbers should by default be barred for all sales (and "marketing" or "survey" !!!!!!!) calls, and only people who have made the effort to confirm that they would like to receive sales/marketing calls by registering with an organisation such as the TPS will be on the "allowed calls" list?
    by innovate
    Ah but that facility *used* to exist - in the form of "Ex-Directory" But then, in those days, numbers were culled from phone books for cold-calling.

    These days, computers randomly generate numbers so you can still be ex-dir but that no longer means you won't be pestered with sales calls.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  • music facer
    TPS is a god-send...but why doesn't it work the other way round - i.e. all phone numbers should by default be barred for all sales (and "marketing" or "survey" !!!!!!!) calls, and only people who have made the effort to confirm that they would like to receive sales/marketing calls by registering with an organisation such as the TPS will be on the "allowed calls" list?

    Of course it would take an awfully brave government to cull what must be quite a lucrative income source for quite a few companies, incl. the Blue Chip ones. And any UK legislation/regulation wouldn't prevent calls from outside the UK, and obtaining a global agreement on the matter is as likely as me winning the lottery. But a national ban on unsolicited sales calls would be a great step in the right direction.
    by innovate
    In some extent, I agree - and in terms of people calling individual customers, I think you're certainly on to something - BUT lots of small companies get their first customers this way: By calling another company, letting them know they're out there, and arranging to met up to discuss things further.

    Also, some people don't mind telemarketing; it depends what the call is about. eg. if you're a season ticket holder at your local football club, and they have a special offer for season ticket holders: If they call you to let you know about it, that qualifies as a cold call... if you register with TPS, they are not allowed to phone you to let you know about the offer... but then that kind of TM is a rare bird indeed, so it's up to the individual - hence needing to choose to opt out of sales calls. At least there's now a choice!

    Telemarketing is a legitimate marketing tool that can work incredibly well for all concerned - but it's being abused by unscrupulous companies (and I count British Gas among these) - but then Southern Water have been sending us letters about needing to insure our pipeline (from the front door to the thingy outside) at £10 a month, and have been sending increasingly assumptive letters, with DD forms attached, to enable us to "protect" ourselves from the unlikely occurrence that the pipe bursts and it costs us money...

    To me, the aggressive sales tactics of large companies, in particular utilities companies, is the main issue that needs addressing here - their choice of medium is up to them, and if it's not done over the phone, it'll be done some other way: There's a whole host of direct marketing undertaken in the UK, by post, email, through websites and over the phone - and companies, who exist to make money for good or for ill - make the best use of it that they can.

    Telemarketing is viewed and often practised as an un- or semi-skilled stop-gap, not as a profession - which is why it's usually the source of these aggressive sales messages - but getting rid of telemarketing won't stop companies from behaving in this manner, it'll just send them to your inbox, or your letterbox... it certainly has in my case.

    A quick note though - registering with TPS has pretty much stopped me getting calls from outside the UK, too - and if I get them, I just tell them I'm on the Do Not Call list, ask them to take me off their database, and politely request that they don't phone me again... it seems to work.

    Also, you can effectively put yourself on an 'allowed' list with companies after registering with TPS - you can call them, let them know that you are TPS registered, and tell them expressly that they are allowed to call you. The same goes for MPS (mail preferencing service)...
  • Mal27
    It's worse when they come around the door. They hire these third party sales companies that have no problem lying for the commission. I was at my mum's place when two sales people from npower turned up at the door, initially pretending to be TV licensing they eventually presuaded her to let them in. A ten minute sales pitch followed with them continually asking why she wouldn't sign (I've told her never to sign things without me checking them after British Gas did the same) and it was only when I made an appearance that they eventually gave up and left.

    The older generation don't realise most sales people are liars and are there simply for commission. They have a respect for the old fashioned brand names that no longer deserve it.
    • doberryfirkin
    • By doberryfirkin 2nd Jan 06, 10:13 AM
    • 278 Posts
    • 36 Thanks
    doberryfirkin
    The worse example of cold calling I know of was experienced by my mother. My father went to hospital after an accident at home and the day after he had an operation she received a 'cold call' from a firm of accident claim solicitors seeking 'business'. As a backdrop to this I should point out that we had to make a complaint at the hospital due to the fact that my Father had an bad fall whilst there and wasn't attended to for ages.
    I challenged the caller as to why the called at that particular time but they claimed it was purely coincidence. I can only conclude that there was some flow of information from somewhere in the emergency services / hospital to this firm.
    Next time you see one of those accident claim adverts remember this - they are sharks.
  • eponymous
    I think that in theory, suggesting to nearest and dearest crumblies that you could do a money makeover for them would be good, although so many of them would be embarrassed to talk about money -even if it costs them a packet from otherwise lost interest in their Liquid Gold accounts and loyalty to 'the gas board' because they were good to their Uncle Bert who lost a leg in the Somme etc...
    • Martinslovechild
    • By Martinslovechild 4th Jan 06, 12:06 AM
    • 1,544 Posts
    • 1,646 Thanks
    Martinslovechild
    My favourite response to cold callers is to pretend to know them, e.g. 'Mohammed - is that really you? Wow! I thought we'd lost touch forever!! How are you doing matey?'.

    The caller at the other end is usually scared to death wondering how the devil he could possibly know me!!!

    Another favourite is to ask them who they want to speak to. When they say your name, tell them that you'll go and find that person. I then just put the phone on the side. After about 5 minutes of being 'on hold', they usually hang up and never call back.
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