We all get them and we’re all sick of them. Unwanted cold callers, salesmen and scammers ringing us when we’re in the middle of our tea. I’m fed up with them, you’re fed up with them but what can we do about it?
Well the first and most obvious thing you’ll want to do is simply ask them to remove you from their call list. Hopefully they will and that will be the last time you hear from them. But as many of us know life can’t always be so simple and like a hydra, cut one cold caller out and two more will appear to ring you.
So what’s the next step in our search for peace and quiet? We will need to pay a visit to the Telephone Preference Service at www.tpsonline.org.uk (or call them on 0345 070 0707).
The Telephone Preference Service is a free service on which you can opt out of receiving unsolicited marketing or sales phone calls. Once you’ve registered there’s a 28 day waiting period, after which point it becomes illegal for EU companies to ring you with unsolicited sales calls and marketing without your permission.
TPS works with mobiles as well as landlines. Simply text TPS along with your email address to 85095. According to the TPS website only 3% of mobile phone users have signed up for this service and we’re left wondering why. Anything so I don’t get a call during Emmerdale!
However one thing to keep in mind is that this will only stop you from receiving voice calls, the TPS does not stop unwanted text messages. Now when dealing with texts Ofcom suggests most legitimate companies will leave you alone if you simply reply to their text with the word “STOP”.
But what do you do if you’re receiving unwanted text messages from illegitimate companies and scammers? Well the most important thing is to NOT reply. Responding to a scammer alerts them that your number is active. This may trigger more spam texts and calls being sent your way.
What you should do is report the text by forwarding it to the number 7726. This will send the text to your network operator. All networks use this one standardised number and you will not be charged for your text. If enough people report the number it will be investigated and potentially blocked from using the network.
If you want to go even further to really make sure you’re left alone there are companies which offer products that could help. CPR Call Blocker (https://www.cprcallblocker.com/), offer call blocking machines ranging from £29.99 to £79.99. But I would recommend products like these only as a last resort.
Now before we wrap up let’s go over some quick do’s and don’ts.
DO read the fine print. Often when signing up for a service or filling out a form you’ll be presented with those little ticky boxes at the bottom. Be careful ticking ones which give companies permission to contact you.
DON’T disclose personal information unless you’re absolutely certain you know who you’re talking to. Scammers are very good at impersonating others and getting you to lower your guard. When in doubt you can always hang up, find the companies number and call them again yourself so you’re sure it’s really them you’re talking to.
DO sign up for the TPS. You’ve really got nothing to lose as it’s a free service and after conducting research for this article I know which number i’ll be texting next!
DON’T give out any of your passwords over the phone. Companies you have an account with will never ask you for passwords over the phone. Legitimate companies can already access accounts you have with them and don’t need you to give them the login information.
Well now that you’re a bit more informed on your options go ahead and get yourself opted out then stick the kettle on and enjoy some well earned peace and quiet!