This week we announced our new campaign calling time on nuisance calls and texts. The reception so far has been electric, so I thought we’d focus on your nuisance call comments in ‘Your view’ this week.
Richard Lloyd’s Conversation calling for an end to nuisance calls has clearly struck a cord.
It’s our most popular Conversation this month, with more than 400 comments made so far. There have also been over 7,000 votes, with an incredible 100% of you saying you’re fed up with nuisance calls and texts. Liz Skinner sums up the feeling on this debate:
‘I hardly ever answer my landline as a result of these awful intrusive calls. But when I do get caught, I say I am not interested and they badger and harass me and make me feel guilty. I hung up on one once and he rang me back and shouted at me! This is outrageous. Surely there must be a way to stop them.’
Louise feels the same way, telling us on Facebook:
‘Wish I didn’t have a landline because all the calls are nuisance calls now… insulation grants, research and PPI claims … even though I have tried to be polite and cancel these calls, they are rude and intimidating. I now hang up immediately and often just don’t answer at all. It’s an invasion of privacy rights and freedom of choice.’
And it’s not just landlines, as Tracy told us on Twitter:
@whichaction I seem to be getting just as many nuisance calls and texts on my mobile so can’t win either way. Hate them all! So annoying!
— Tracy AB (@TABwrite) March 22, 2013
Keep calm and hang up
Some of you are calm, have a little fun with them, and then hang up. The aptly-named ‘Hangup’ feigns interest:
‘The latest trend in our calls is they start by saying “I am not selling anything”, so I now say “oh what a shame, I’m desperate to buy, sorry” and hang up… childish but strangely satisfying.’
David has a number of tactics to ‘play’ with nuisance callers:
‘I am so fed up with unwanted calls that I answer by asking which department they would like to be put through to. Silence follows. Another ruse is to say I would like to talk to them about the bible which always causes the line to go dead. If it’s a recorded message I just leave the phone on until I hear the beeping noise so that it costs them as much as possible. If you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em!’
Commenter Ak goes a little further:
‘I just say “NO ENGLISH!” and start talking in Swahili. They soon put the phone down and hopefully remove my contact from their calling list.’
Garry tries playing them at their own game:
‘If I have time, I say hello and listen and ask them many questions until I get bored then I say “I hope I have wasted your time as much as you waste mine”. Not nice I know but then neither are the cold calls.’
Ian Hart bemoans the Telephone Preference Service, with a nice play on words:
‘The TPS really needs to get fitted with some real teeth, rather than the plastic ones which it seems to have, & which also seem to be a lot less effective than a beak-less budgie – the budgie at least, sucksseeds!’
The serious side of nuisance calls and texts
But there’s a serious side to all of this, which is best illustrated by some of the comments made, such as Caroline’s:
‘I have been off work for two weeks due to fact that my father died and my mother is seriously ill. Every day I receive cold calls regarding PPI despite being ex directory. This is very distressing. I dive to my phone every time it rings in case it is my mother needing help. I find it disgraceful that these people feel that they have the right to bombard me with calls everyday.’
Similarly ‘Dontstand4it’, who gets our Comment of the Week, has had an awful time due to nuisance callers:
‘Last February was a very distressing time as my mother in law who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease went missing from her home. I was back at work having helped search for nearly two weeks, not knowing what would be the outcome and awaiting the possibility of a phone call from the police that I was not looking forward to. On the afternoon of my return to work I received a phone call on my mobile from a woman who said ‘we have a very urgent message for you…’ Before I had the chance to realise it was yet another PPI sale, my mind went haywire and I felt physically sick.’
This is why we don’t want the regulators to delay. They need to set up a taskforce and take action before 12 weeks are up, otherwise we’ll ask the government to step in. So, make sure you don’t tone down your support – dial it up.