/ Technology

How do you handle nuisance callers?

Cartoon of girl on phone

Since we launched our campaign, Calling Time on Nuisance Calls and Texts, thousands of you have shared your frustrations. And I’ve noticed that many of you adopt various strategies to cope with unwanted calls…

You may recall that we set the relevant regulators a challenge to prove to us that they’re taking action by June. In the meantime, I’ve been reading through your comments, many of which reveal numerous tactics to deal with nuisance calls and texts.

Signing up to the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is one step you can take, but as many of you have told us, you’re still getting unwanted sales and marketing calls.

Brian is supposedly TPS protected, but he’s had to resort to using Pawley’s Peepholes as inspiration. In this short story by John Wyndham, a community battles time-travelling tourists with rude gestures. I’ll say no more. Some of you take to shouting, but I think Linda makes a good point when she says ‘screaming at a recorded message only hurts my throat, not the wretched company making the calls’. But some of you have adopted other tactics…

Tactic one: the pick up

Those who do pick up the phone are often happy to answer and even agree ‘it’s good to talk’. But, unwanted sales staff beware, many of our commenters have a trick up their sleeve.

When a scam caller claiming to be a ‘Microsoft engineer’ asked Mike whether he had a PC, he said he had two – one male and one female. Mike also told the bemused ‘engineer’ that he was hopeful a third PC would be on the way soon!

Bill’s wife told a double-glazing firm that they lived in a tent. The sales man actually called back after realising that tents don’t have landlines…

Tactic two: the put down

This seems to be one of the most popular coping tactics. Many of you just don’t answer and let calls go to voicemail, like Vince who doesn’t answer the phone before 8pm on weekdays.

Commenters Lynne and Les all put down as soon as they know it’s an unwanted call. They’ll even ask the unwanted sales caller to ‘hold the line please’, leave the phone off the hook and walk away. Les feels he’s helping out others, as he’s delaying a nuisance call to the next person on the list. Thanks Les!

Tactic three: the delegator

This is me. What better way to deal with a nuisance than deploying another ‘nuisance’. And many parents believe they have just the candidate…. My son hangs up in seconds if he suspects that it’s a silent call (apologies to the grandparents!). WB’s son likes to mimic accents and WB is happy to let him practise his ‘skills’ on unwanted callers.

Paul also lets his son answer. His son is fluent in Manx Gaelic and Paul can confirm that many sales staff are not. And finally Michael told us that he lets his son deal with unwanted nuisance calls. His son is two years old.

Of course, we don’t think you should have to adopt these tactics when the phone rings, which is why we’ve launched our Calling Time on Nuisance Calls and Texts campaign. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t share your tactics to deal with nuisance callers.

Are you fed up with nuisance calls and texts?

Yes (100%, 30,130 Votes)

No (0%, 91 Votes)

Total Voters: 30,221

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Comments
Guest
bimbles says:
17 September 2014

i tend to answer the phone
“Marty’s meat market, you stab em, we slab em, we handle human beef and pork, how may i direct your call?”

they usually hang up before i’ve finished, i once did answer the phone like that to the police luckily the officer found it amusing when i told him why

Guest
Dr Spock says:
14 December 2014

I receive more nuisance calls at my desk re PPI etc than I do on work related matters. Calls appear to go through every line; eg to my NHS Trust’s Boardroom. Someone has to answer as it could be important but the short interruption may affect up to 20-30 people – not the best use of tax payers’ money.

Guest
Margaret Roberts says:
15 December 2014

Nuisance calls are really annoying my Husband is self employed so the phone needs to be answered I get about 5 – 6 a day I wonder how they get your number!!!! I shout down the phone not to call me again but they always do it is really frustrating.

Guest
Brian Roberts says:
6 January 2015

There is no need to suffer this scourge as since buying a BT4500 with a Call Blocking Feature my nuisance phone calls have dropped to almost zero. You can set it up to block:-International Calls, Withheld Numbers, No Caller ID, Payphone, plus 10 individual numbers of your choice. All calls from these numbers may be set to go to the built in answer phone but of course no nuisance caller will ever leave a message!
It has many useful features with one of the best being a RECORD button which when pressed during a conversation will record your entire call for playback at your convenience.
Being a DECT phone all calls are as clear as a bell & the volume level may be set to your preference.If that were not enough there is a neat amplify button on the side of the handset which defaults to your chosen volume level when the phone is returned to the base station.
With this sort of technology available at a very reasonable price it’s a mystery to me why so many folk seem to put up with these nuisance calls when they may so easily be consigned to the dustbin with a BT4500 phone.

Guest

The facilities offered by the BT 4500 are primitive compared to those offered by the more recent BT 8500.

Guest
John MacLeod says:
6 January 2015

“You can set it up to block:-International Calls, Withheld Numbers, No Caller ID, Payphone, plus 10 individual numbers of your choice.”

That’s all very well, but some of us need to receive international calls. And some of us actually require, for legitimate reasons, to have Caller Line Identification suppressed on some of our lines. Some overseas calls do not have CLI that is recognised in this country. Just occasionally, too, there may be a legitimate call from a payphone.

Guest
Peter says:
16 July 2015

Calls from a computerised switchboard, as my local Hospital show as number withheld, I had quite a few which I ignored then turned up for a clinic only to be told they had been repeatedly trying to contact me to say the clinic date was changed. Blocking International calls may block friends or family on holiday.
A loophole is to say they are following up on a previous matter, I stopped a subscription to the Daily Telegraph in the 1990s but have had two calls this year from them. The only solution is to clean up the Call Centre business, perhaps the charge for marketing calls should be increased?

Guest
Donald Simmonds says:
11 June 2016

If you can’t stop them getting through then if you have a Panasonic DECT phone and Caller Display you can change the ring tone for selected phone numbers, i.e. Family, Friends, Nuisance. You can then tell from a distance that it is a nuisance call instead of rushing to the phone to read the display. You can even record a loud message to be played instead of a ringtone i.e. “NUISANCE”. Try it, it works but only if the number is displayed in the first place.

Guest
David Young says:
16 January 2017

One way of having a bit of fun is to reply with “that’s fine but do you mind if we speak about Jesus before we start?” then insist of having a prayer before you speak before launching into a load of drivel about how Jesus is the saviour of the world till they get so fed up they hang up on me!