Dealing with unwanted and nuisance telephone calls

Unwanted telephone calls can blight your life. Most are sales calls, others may be from charities or market researchers. Calls can be from overseas, automated, or sometimes completely silent.

Companies seem to target certain numbers and call constantly, often at inconvenient times, such as mealtimes, late in the evening, and at weekends; times when most people are likely to be around. A polite but firm NO can sometimes do the trick, but some companies are persistent, and the calls can become intrusive, annoying, and sometimes the callers are downright rude.

It is true to say that many of those calls concern PPI claims (genuine or otherwise) or offers of loans, and the frequency and level of persistence from the same company can be tantamount to harassment.

Call Blocker

How can you stop them?

There are devices which can help, such as the one provided by Callblocker is a small unit that plugs into your telephone line and intercepts incoming calls. It plays a short pre-recorded message, or you can record one yourself. The message warns callers that such calls are not welcome, and that only genuine personal or invited callers should press 5 to continue.

As an aside, to be sure that the call is genuine, you can let family and friends know that they should press 4 or 6 instead of 5, which will vary the ringtone, assuring you that the caller knows you and has received this information beforehand. You then know that the call is genuine and can therefore answer with confidence.

The Callblocker works with both corded and cordless telephones, and does not interfere with your Broadband or satellite service. Even personal panic alarms you may have installed will still continue to work. It also works with international calls, but will not prevent family and friends overseas from contacting you.

Taking things further

Most will be nuisance calls, but there are also those calls that are malicious. In either case, if you really feel that the situation has become intolerable, there are additional actions you can take. Hanging up might work for that one occasion, but for repeat offenders, ensure that you note down details of all such calls so that you can present this as evidence if required – the day, date, time, anything of significance that was said, and length of call. If there is a phone number, note that too, plus anything that springs to mind regarding the caller – gender, accent, and so forth.

You can also register with the Telephone Preference Service to reduce the number of sales and marketing calls you receive.

Silent calls are not usually ominous in nature. They are usually not personal and instead are generated by a dialler system in a call centre. You can contact to reduce the number of silent calls you receive.

Above all, you should stay calm and do not let yourself be intimidated. Using a product such as the Callblocker will ensure that the vast majority of such calls never reach you. In the unlikely event that calls are malicious and all else fails, remember that you can contact the Police and present them with your evidence.

Image attributed to Pong

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