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to feel furious that the telephone preference service doesn't apply to recorded messages?

(33 Posts)
PollyPerky Tue 16-Feb-16 11:12:11

Am utterly fed up. Had 3 calls yesterday including one at 8.30pm and every one was from the company asking me about solar panels etc.

Their number is withheld ( as is my elderly parents who have health issues) so I always pick up.

We are with the TPS but it doesn't apply to recorded messages- only if a 'real' person calls you.

When is this going to be changed?

Snozberry Tue 16-Feb-16 11:13:57

I didn't know that, how ridiculous. No wonder so many of them use a recording then.

whatevva Tue 16-Feb-16 11:17:59

Why is your parent's number withheld?

TPS doesn't work for everything. The next thing is to take out spam calls (the ones where they ring loads of people to get the one that answers - they will be redirected to a special number).

PollyPerky Tue 16-Feb-16 11:22:53

Lots of people we know have a withheld number- it's an option when setting up your phone account.

My parents seems to have been done by 'default' with talk talk, and they prefer that anyway.

The law says that the TPS doesn't apply to recorded calls.
Last night I pressed the option to speak to a real person to ask them to stop phoning but it was another recorded message saying someone would call me back today. They did. They told me I had completed a survey. Untrue. Unless asking to talk to arel person is now a 'survey. I hung up after giving them a piece of my mind about the limitations of the TPS.

thebiscuitindustry Tue 16-Feb-16 11:26:22


FuzzyOwl Tue 16-Feb-16 11:32:59

Nuisance calls really infuriate me as well, especially since I have a young baby who naps during the day. We signed up to TPS but used to get prerecorded and scammers ringing. In the end I bought a BT Call Guardian phone (it was about £30/£35) and we have not had a single nuisance call since.

boredofusername Tue 16-Feb-16 11:51:50

If a company is going to use automated calling systems (which includes recorded messages) it has to have the recipient's consent.

So the TPS might not apply, but the general law on direct marketing does. These calls are not allowed if you have not consented to them. If you keep getting them report them to the ICO. Although the ICO will not act on one complaint due to lack of resources, it will act if there are a lot about the same organisation.

I get them from the National Blood Service but I don't mind those and probably did consent to them.

landrover Tue 16-Feb-16 11:55:17

Just leave your answering machine on and listen to who it is calling. If its nuisance then don't pick up. If its your parents, then pick up. Simples x

whatevva Tue 16-Feb-16 11:58:54

I let the withheld calls go to the answerphone. The phones do not ring for them. Even the computer scammers gave up.

DF has his own ring tone, so I know it is him.

You can withhold your number for a particular call by dialling 141 before the number. If your number is permanently withheld, there must be people who do not answer hmm

LurkingHusband Tue 16-Feb-16 12:05:30

Some sort of call blocker ... TruCall ?

PollyPerky Tue 16-Feb-16 12:27:12

bored who or what are the ICO?

I don't see how it's possible to report a withheld number. And they are very sneaky- they don't give their name. They say they are calling about a government scheme to help you save money. You select '1' to talk to a real person and all that does is filter your number to someone who calls you back the following day and says you have requested info ( so legit??)

landrover- nope, trickier than that. The call has a delay on it so it waits for a real person to speak when you pick up. If you pick up and stay silent it cuts off. If it was an answerphone/ 1571 (BT answerphone) the same would happen- cut off - then they keep trying.

I like the idea of BT Guardian phone as long as it's a high performance phone in itself- we currently have a Panasonic

bigbluebus Tue 16-Feb-16 14:33:20

I heard on the radio the other day that BT are currently working on a phone system that automatically diverts these calls into a sort of 'spam' folder for you to listen to and delete at your leisure - or not. I assume it will be a bit like dialling 1471 for missed calls or 1571 for messages. It will be a free service. I believe one of the other phone companies already does this. Can't remember when they said it was being rolled out - September sticks in my mind. I am hoping that this will get rid of these calls from my phone as I have to answer 'withheld' calls due to the number of geuine people I deal with who have withheld numbers.

landrover Tue 16-Feb-16 14:36:40

So really the only option is just to let it keep going to answer phone, but thats the bit that is annoying you. I guess that you could get a phone with different ring tones (do normal phones like that exist?) Ah Whateva has a phone that does that, that may be the answer.

LurkingHusband Tue 16-Feb-16 14:39:32

I've mentioned it in other threads, but the Lurking household hasn't had a landline for nearly a year. Which means, by extension, we haven't had any cold callers for a year.

Our world didn't end, and doctors, hospitals (we have a lot of those, courtesy of MrsLH) seem to manage OK.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Tue 16-Feb-16 14:47:34

The ICO is the Information Commissioner's Office. I have made numerous reports to them.

As bored said, it's actually more stringent for automated calls as you have to opt in to receive them. Sometimes I have played along with them to get more information so I can report.

whatevva Tue 16-Feb-16 14:50:43

Unfortunately, you can only assign a ring tone if the person ringing identifies themselves. It cannot distinguish between 'caller withheld's.

I have 'caller withheld' on silent (except for the study where the answerphone is and where I am during office hours) and my DF on his own ring tone. This way, if he rings in the night, I know for sure that it is him, and I am not freaked out by nuisance calls to the bedroom phone.

specialsubject Tue 16-Feb-16 14:54:15

I've also been reporting lots to the ICO. Getting plagued by the 'unavailable' lot and also the faked numbers. The idea of just let it go to answerphone doesn't work, it has rung by then.

the TPS does cover everything originating from the UK but is widely ignored.

the airy 'oh, get rid of the antiquated landline' assumes that a) we all live in mobile coverage areas and b) we want to spend a fortune on a mobile, even if it does work. Anytime landline calls are much cheaper, and my package now even allows me to call mobiles.

call blocker box arrives tomorrow and will be set to block all 'unavailable'. Since ordering it we haven't had any!!

specialsubject Tue 16-Feb-16 14:55:39

ps OP, your parents will have to learn to override the 'withheld' function or turn it off if you are being plagued by spammers using it.

as you see from this thread, the crooks are getting more sophisticated and use workrounds now.

LurkingHusband Tue 16-Feb-16 15:27:28

the crooks are getting more sophisticated and use workrounds now.

As long as calls to landlines are free, they will.

I get the odd spam call on my mobile (well used to, haven't had one for over a year) but they are rare, as they actually cost the spammer.

I'm still vaguely designing (in my mind grin) a cold-caller exchange, where if someone gets a cold caller, they presss a key, and the call is dropped into a random hook-up with other cold callers. I'd probably make the service profitable by selling access to the resultant recordings, where "Dave" from "Microsoft" tries explaining to "Cheryl" from PPI scams inc. that her computer has a virus. Like monkeys and typewriters, I can see comedy gold in that smile .

whatevva Tue 16-Feb-16 15:29:24


PeppermintPatty1 Tue 16-Feb-16 15:43:35

I get inundated with calls to my mobile and they are sneaky as they give a number and a location rather than a withheld number as you are more likely to answer with a number/location.

I take great delight in answering the call and saying "oh hang on, my battery is low. Can you call me back on xxx <insert another scammer's phone number>?"

They always say yes and I hang up and block them!

PollyPerky Tue 16-Feb-16 15:49:37

DH gets zillions of spam calls to his mobiles, especially the one that is allocated for work / company calls.

I want a landline. I have a mobile as a back -up.
I don't want to rely on mobiles for any 999 calls when we have a dodgy signal.
I don't want my elderly parents and some friends to have to shell out to call my mobile when they use pay as you go and have landline packages.

The call I've had this week is about energy using solar panels. The sales pitch- recorded- is about saving money. You have to press 1 to speak to a person. This is then relayed to someone else who calls back another time and says you have agreed to receive information, having done their 'survey'.

I have also had calls about replacing my kitchen, fixing my pc and of course, double glazing.

thecapitalsunited Tue 16-Feb-16 16:30:28

My in laws have a phone which makes Unknown numbers declare who they are before it will ring. This seems to put off almost every spammer. You can add numbers to a whitelist to be put straight through but obviously this only works for people who don't have withheld numbers.

LurkingHusband Tue 16-Feb-16 16:31:14

I get inundated with calls to my mobile and they are sneaky as they give a number and a location rather than a withheld number as you are more likely to answer with a number/location

A decent block function deals with that. My main mobile has 28 so far. My secondary mobile has a "Truecaller" app which is claimed to block spam calls.

FuzzyOwl Tue 16-Feb-16 16:38:12

thecapitals sounds like BT Call Guardian and I am not sure whether it does work for withheld numbers or not but will try later when I am home and report back. The theory is that every number you have saved into your phone book automatically come through without a problem and then the phone rings when somebody else calls and you get an automated message telling you who is calling and giving you the option to say they can always come through in future, they can come through on this occasion, they are blocked or to send to answerphone.

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