Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Unsolicited telemarketing

You're in the middle of watching your favourite TV program and the phone rings - someone wanting to sell you double glazing/insulation/burglar alarm e.t.c. Know the thing?

The easy answer is to just say no and put the phone down but you've probably missed a key part of your program and sit there fuming.

Now my phone number (and that of my mobile) is registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and has been registered for some time. Telephone cold callers are breaking the regulations of the Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations 1999 and if they make the call can be fined by the Information commissioner. I don't get nearly as many phone calls as I used to but I still get some. Those I do get are listed as 'private' in caller display so I make a point of getting their details and address before I tell them I'm making a complaint against them.

There are numerous websites which go into detail about how to 'get your own back' on the perpetrators of these nuisance calls (My personal favourite is to ask them to call me back on a premium rate number which keeps them on hold for some time without actually telling them anything). I suspect however that it's a waste of time since these callers are probably well used to this and just move on to the next number.

Here's a few suggestions you might try:
  • Ask them to hold for a while, put the phone down after muting it and leave it for about 10min. Don't give them the chance to say 'I'll call back'.
  • Tell them you are interested and make an appointment for them to visit the guy up the street who had that noisy party. Ask them to call at 2am when you 'get back from work'.
  • Tell them you are just about to get on a plane and ask them to phone you in 3 hours on 0041177 (the Japanese prerecorded weather service)
  • always make an appointment for conservatory salesmen to call and give you a quote if you live in an upper floor flat/apartment
  • Or you can simply take pity on the poor soul who has such a rotten job and just tell them you're not interested.

Now what about text messages? If you register your mobile number with the TPS (website http://www.tpsonline.org.uk) then you sold not receive advertising SMS messages either. At least that's the theory. I still get them from Bambuubar, a nightclub in Southampton. Now why I would want to travel from London to Southampton to go to a nightclub is a mystery to me! But as a point of principle I would never attend any event publicized by text messages I haven't asked for. Neither would I buy anything.

As far as Bambuubar and I are concerned:

  • If they can afford to publicize by sms then they are making too much money.
  • If they are sending free sms messages then that's the same as spamming e-mail as far as I'm concerned and I hate spam!
  • The place on their website looks too pokey for me.
  • If I get another sms I'll complain to the Information Commissioner.
  • I suggest you avoid the place since their text messages are so annoying.
  • Who the h*** is Tim Westwood from Radio 1 and MTV anyway and does he know Bambuubar seems to be breaking the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations Act of 2003 to advertise him?

1 comment:

JayDax said...

Well I finally got someone at Bambuubar to agree to stop sending me texts and guess what? They put me on their e-mail list and sent me spam instead!