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Tuesday 1 February 2005 2.59pm
I'm currently being plagued by spam phone calls telling me that I've won cars/money/holidays etc. All I have to do - the various voices tell me in a way that's supposed to suggest that they're ringing me personally, even though it's a bloody machine - is: “write and claim - no, hang on - it would probably be quicker if you called us direct on this number”. They then give me a premium rate number to call, with no warning of how much this is going to cost me. Now I thought that this was illegal. Using call-back produces no results because the numbers are withheld/unrecorded. How do I stop them or, better still, find out where they live so that I can call them at all hours on their phones, before going to their homes and smashing their kneecaps with a sledgehammer? The best bit is, BT will get a share of the phone charges, so I would imagine that's why these people can operate the way they do. I'm getting at least 5 of these calls a day at the moment.
Tuesday 1 February 2005 3.10pm
For UK and European callers - you can register online with the Telephone Preference Service

It takes them a couple of weeks to update their records, but in effect it makes it illegal to make unsolicited direct marketing calls to you unless you've ticked one of those little boxes indicating that you do want to receive such calls.

The TPS is pretty effective in my experience, but unfortunately doesn't do anything to put off calls made from non-EU numbers (an increasing trend now that VOIP is taking off).

Always checking those little forms when you have to give a phone number and never ticking the box is a good idea too.

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 1 February 2005 3.11pm by Siduhe.
Tuesday 1 February 2005 3.11pm
Many thanks, I'll try that.
Tuesday 1 February 2005 3.52pm
ICSTIS regulates the UK premium phone industry:

Click on the link for Industry & Press (the Consumer link only takes you to a single page, where you look up a suspect number.... not terribly user-helpful)

If you enter the number you ar given, they can tell you who it belongs to as long as it is in their database - they can't do a refund, but you can then try a small claims court action for example... and there is a lot of info on their site on the industry in general.

If it's an overseas company (that nice lady who congratulated me on my free holiday in Florida last week for example), then it's outside their remit unfortunately - that's where you need to get BT to block international or premium calls on your line perhaps... doesn't stop them incoming, but reduces the risk of a naive relative helpfully following it up for you.


Edited 1 times. Last edit at 1 February 2005 3.54pm by markandjoan.
Tuesday 1 February 2005 4.23pm
We've had a few recently. I thought about registering with tps, but decided that (at current relatively low levels) I enjoyed hearing the hyperreal tone of voice that they use (which reminds me of the old newsreader from "Drop the Dead Donkey" {JonR, this is something you should be too young to remember, but which, doubtless, your generation will have raided and claimed as their own due to subsequent generations having no talent at all ;0) })

I can picture someone sat in a little cubicle, grinning manically at a mirror, taking a deep breath, and doing the umpteenth take of "Hello! I'm delighted to tell you that you have won......."

...if you press it, they will come.
Tuesday 1 February 2005 5.02pm
We had similar experience. At its worst we went away for a few days and ended up with over 40 messages on our answer machine, ....Great, lots of friends have called I thought .....only to find that every single one was a sales call! We registered with the Telephone Preference Service and now we get next to no calls, except the odd ones that are clearly American...with a really naff advertising accent. It really, and surprisingly seems to work.
Tuesday 1 February 2005 6.33pm
Ivanhoe - I remember 'Drop the Dead Donkey' - wasn't it set in a TV studio/production office?
you mean the old guy with long ish hair, and a poncey voice, the one who really really hated his female co-presenter.
Tuesday 1 February 2005 10.23pm
Join the club. It's bloody infuriating and so far haven't come up with a solution short of turning off my phone or changing my phone number. Same deal with texts too. Have tried texting the word STOP back to the sender, on the rare occasion that the txt is accompanied by a number to in fact text back to and still the texts keep on coming. At a price too.

As far as those phone calls go, you could do what I do and think of five people you really, really dislike, ring up that number and leave a message saying how wonderful the whole thing is and that you actually have five really good friends that would just love to participate as well and oh by the way here are there telephone numbers...

Not a particularly nice thing to do really but it's nice to have a little success in an otherwise no win situation.
Wednesday 2 February 2005 9.29am
Yes, JonR. It was on between Monty Python and Fawlty Towers. You'll remember it.

...if you press it, they will come.
Thursday 3 February 2005 5.51pm
Try this:,61876,

It is the email addresses and telephone numbers for stopping junk calls/mail/faxes.
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