Most people receive regular unsolicited phone calls from companies trying to sell something. Usually, a polite but firm “no” is enough to end the call. But there are companies which don’t give up so easily and their salesperson will try to keep you on the line, persuading you to listen to their special offer, or allow a representative to visit you to talk further. Often, even if you dismiss them, they continue to call back, sometimes on a regular basis. They are then spam or nuisance or spam calls.
Vulnerable people, such as the elderly, are often preyed upon by such companies. They play upon that vulnerability by suggesting that there will be all manner of catastrophe if the person does not buy their product. Often, the caller will start out being polite, but then become pushy to the point of rudeness, and even downright insulting.
Such calls can disrupt your life with people ringing when you are trying to eat, or at the weekend. You probably don’t even want new windows or to reclaim PPI, but you’re too polite to simply slam down the phone. The word ‘nuisance’ sometimes doesn’t even begin to cover it.
So what can you do?
You could try the advice offered by organisations such as Ofcom, and report incidents either to Ofcom itself, to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), or to the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). You can also register your telephone number with the TPS and make an official complaint about a persistent cold caller. In the case of abusive calls, report them to the police.
All of these can help to minimise the number of spam calls you receive, but they are more about complaining AFTER the event, in the hope of an investigation being started.
How can you prevent such calls in the first place?
Prevention is more tricky. But there are companies, such as http://www.grouputilities.com/ who say their Community Callblocker product can stop 99% of unwanted calls from sales, marketers, scams, and companies which harass.
Such software works by automatically blocking calls received from the company’s blocked list. With some similar companies, the service works by you blocking all your own nuisance calls to prevent a recurrence. But with the Community Callblocker, everyone using the system blocks such companies and those numbers are added to the blocked list which all users have pre-programmed into their phone system. This means that you get to avoid spam calls from companies who haven’t yet tried contacting you.
The inbuilt recorder system within the software also enables the recording of any spam calls which do get through, so that such evidence can be sent to the ICO, TPS, or the police, should you decide to make an official complaint.
The system also learns the important numbers you use so that family, friends, and trusted sources can immediately get through to you, even if they are overseas. All in all, such a product offers preventative measures so that if you have a bad experience with a spam caller, you don’t ever have to hear from them again, and neither does anyone else who uses the product.
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