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Cold callers - any way of getting rid of these in a *nice* way?

(28 Posts)
heylottie Wed 07-Oct-09 18:15:22

I am on maternity leave with first baby due on Friday - yay me. So far I have enjoyed my three weeks off, apart from one thing...

My sofa lounging and cake eating has been consistantly interrupted by cold calls. Some of them are silent (I assume it is a computer doing the calling from a call centre thing), others are from BT, Anglia and so on. One is from a credit card company who phone THREE TIMES A DAY wanting to speak to DH about his credit limit. I tell them he is AT WORK and to call back later but no...

I tell BT etc all very nicely to go away but still they phone back, all faux bonhommie and hail fellow well met. I can't just NOT answer the phone as some of my friends and family have that number withheld thing, so if I avoided the phone I wouldn't speak to anyone, IYSWIM

So the latest person who called, wanting to speak to DH, I said "hold on, I will get him' and then left the phone in the kitchen. Half an hour later I hung up. Would this have meant they couldn't have made any other phone calls?

What else can I do? It is sending my BP soaring...

franklymydear Wed 07-Oct-09 18:17:17

sign up with the telephone preference service

call the operator or do it online

FlightAttendant Wed 07-Oct-09 18:19:19

ok, first you need to learn to say No - this is actually easier than it sounds.

They are being cheeky and (imo) rude.

All you have to do, is wait for an appropriate break in the flow of chatter - or inappropriate if they don't pause at all - and say 'Thankyou, but I am not interested' and then HANG UP immediately without waiting for them to say another word. You ahve been polite, that is all you need to do.

Second thing is to register with the tps. Telephone preference service.
They will help to cut these calls down by a huge amount.
You can do it online I think, and need to renew every year - also tick the box on your election slip thing saying you want to be kept off the edited register.


Ripeberry Wed 07-Oct-09 18:19:33

Get an answering phone and never ever call them back. They soon get bored grin

RubberDuck Wed 07-Oct-09 18:28:12

Firstly: TPS (but it doesn't cut them all out unfortunately).

Secondly: phone with caller ID and an answerphone. Never ever pick up for any number which is withheld or international (and if you just made a mistake and it was genuine they can always leave a message).

Cuts out 99.9% of them, ime.

heylottie Wed 07-Oct-09 18:29:04

Ok thanks will investigate - will the TPS still work if it is one of those 'we do not have the callers number' though I wonder??

RubberDuck Wed 07-Oct-09 18:31:51

TPS only takes you off the lists of the ethical cold callers (a vanishingly small list) and don't have any jurisdiction for international cold callers.

colditz Wed 07-Oct-09 18:32:02

I did cold calling

tell them you are registered with the telephone preference service.

they will cack it, apologise and put phone down asap!

EightiesChick Wed 07-Oct-09 18:32:44

What Flight Attendant said. But you don't have to register every year with the TPS - our calls have dropped dramatically since we registered a few years ago. Go to
this page and it'll only take 2 mins.

Saying 'I am not interested', is the best way, because there is really no comeback to that. However, I have also used:

'Is Mr X there?'
'No, bye' (click)

as an even faster way out.

Also, listen out for the brief silence when you answer the phone. If you say 'hello?' and there's about 3 seconds before someone speaks, but with a kind of faint white noise background, then it's usually someone from a call centre using auto dialler or something as it takes a couple of seconds to activate. After a while you can spot this and just hang up immediately before the conversation even begins.

RubberDuck Wed 07-Oct-09 18:33:24

Hmm, in my experience they only spend ages telling you why it's not actually a sales call, or that your registration "ran out" (yeah right) and only hang up when you ask for their details so you can fill out the tps complaint, colditz.

I prefer the not actually speaking to them approach

BertieBotts Wed 07-Oct-09 18:36:13

TPS cuts down a lot. Now if I get one I say "I'm sorry to interrupt but we are on the Telephone Preference Service." and they immediately apologise and hang up. If they don't then I just say firmly "Well I am not interested, thank you." and try to get the number so I can report them.

We do get very few (they seem to come in flurries) but 99% of the time now if I get a phone call it is genuine. And the cold-calls I do get seem to be computers so I don't feel mean putting the phone down on them like I do if it's some poor person in a call centre!

CatIsSleepy Wed 07-Oct-09 18:41:42

thanks to this thread have finally registered with the tps

yay grin thanks for the link eightieschick

seeyounexttuesday Wed 07-Oct-09 18:44:42

I just say, 'can you hold on a moment' lay the receiver down and carry on with whatever i was doing. They will hang around on the line getting as pissed off as we are with them, and then just bugger off.

colditz Wed 07-Oct-09 18:46:42

Just put the phone down


they don't care

Notafter the flurry of abuse that generally occurs two or three times ashift, every one in 4 calls you make will be a slam down, so they are used to it.

DontCallMeBaby Wed 07-Oct-09 19:07:20

1. TPS.

2. Put the phone down on remaining callers - there shouldn't be many, tbh I can't be arsed with telling them I'm on the TPS, I just like to glare furiously at the phone before pressing the button.

3. And then you have to tell BT in no uncertain terms that just because they provide the phone line (IF they do) they don't have a right to use it when you're on the TPS.

FlightAttendant Wed 07-Oct-09 19:16:10

If they get persistent (most of ours are international, unfortunately and can be VERY stroppy and ryde) just hang up. Once they have been rude or dismissive towards me I feel I have every right to hang up.

Sometimes they lose the plot a bit.

I started getting calls again after a year or so, Eightieschick - then was told by the TPS I needed to re-register with them. So I guess it depends on luck!!

Last time I got a repeat caller from the same dodgy number (I have ID) my toddler really wanted the phone - he thinks it is Grandma - so I just handed it to him and he kept muttering for about 2 minutes, I just took it abck and hung up after that - he was happy (if slightly confused) and I was happy too.

FlightAttendant Wed 07-Oct-09 19:16:41


Feenie Wed 07-Oct-09 19:18:21

Say 'Yes, of course, I would LOVE to hear about your double glazing/loan/whatever offer. But first, let me tell you about Jesus....'

ByThePowerOfGreyskull Wed 07-Oct-09 19:19:54

My mother in law was hounded by someone daily phoing trying to sell her life insurance, they had horrid sales pitch about leaving loved ones behind with nothing, DH talked to BT and they couldn't block the number because it was an international call, in the end DH answered a call once and said he was there for her funeral.

Not a nice way of getting rid of them but they haven't phoned since.

BecauseImWorthIt Wed 07-Oct-09 19:20:14

The other thing to do is to ask them to take your number off their list. They are legally obliged to do this.

OmicronPersei8yourbrain Wed 07-Oct-09 19:23:34

I always request for my name/number to be taken off the list, they are always polite, say goodbye, that's it.

kreecherlivesupstairs Thu 08-Oct-09 08:44:43

Once your baby is chatting you'll find a really good use for him. If we get any cold callers and they start to rattle off in German to me, I generally put dd on the phone. She can talk the hind leg off a donkey. she does get cross when they hang up on her.

purepurple Thu 08-Oct-09 08:58:53

I hate cold callers, so I just go straight for the "I'm not interested, bye"
But I have found that they do tend to keep calling. Then I ask them not to ring my number ever again.
I do the same with door to door people too.

wannaBe Thu 08-Oct-09 09:31:52

I usually tell them I'm not interested and hang up.

But some of them are persistent and keep calling back, and they are incredibly rude, in which case I have no issue with being rude back.

I recently had a conversation with one along the lines of:

"Hello is that mrs x?" "who wants to know?" "I asked you if you were mrs x, now will you tell me." "What do you want?" "are you, or are you not, mrs x?" "I don't think that's your concern, whatever it is you're selling I don't want to buy it anyway." "Don't shout at me." "Well don't ring me then!"

Usually I just hang up, but when I've had several in a week I do gain a bit of pleasure from venting.

And I have done cold calling (for a double glazing company of all things) so I do know it's a shite job, but that's really not my problem.

LadyFoof Thu 08-Oct-09 09:41:47

I use seeyounexttuesday's trick, if you just say 'hang on I'll fetch him/her' and then leave the phone off the hook it just costs them money and they never ring back. It's surprising how long they'll hold for sometimes though, the DC sometimes sit by the phone giggling to each other about 'are they STILL there? Twits!'

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