Those annoying phone calls, the ones which always happen right at the worst possible moment and are about something completely irrelevant or useless to the person answering the phone. Nuisance calls, they have been dubbed. A nuisance is what they are.
In 2010, my husband and I were receiving at least ten nuisance phone calls a day. That is just a ridiculous amount. So when we found out about the Telephone Preference Service, we opted in, full of hope that unwanted phone calls about PCs needing fixed or fitted kitchens were a thing of the past.
Over the last few years, we have seen a massive reduction in the amount of unsolicited calls from unknown companies. We still get the surveys calling up and once, when we had received six survey calls within a week, I asked if they were not bound by the Telephone Preference Service. I was told no, because they don’t sell anything. I have no idea if this is true, but now I just say straight away that I am not interested. The problem is, the phone call still has to be answered, it still interrupts the tranquillity of your privacy.
Recently I saw an article about the Telephone Preference Service on the BBC News website and found that it was not only us having an issue with companies flouting this authority. Apparently it is a widespread issue, and TPS do everything they can to hold companies accountable. The article suggested that anyone who is a member of the TPS should take details of callers that seem to be ignoring the rules and pass them along to the company who runs the Telephone Preference Service.
This seemed like good advice. So I thought, right then, if we get any more nuisance calls then I’ll make sure to report the companies responsible. It was not so easy as I imagined. First of all, you need the company name. A lot of what we’ve been getting lately is recorded messages, which unfortunately do not provide a company name. I found this strange, since surely the point of these calls were to get people to take up a service or buy something from the company – who is going to do that from an unnamed, faceless company? The second problem I ran into was with the calls that had living people at the other end, where unfortunately very few actually seemed able to understand English. Asking these people for the company name and where they were based generally produced some worried repetitions of their script, or failing that, they put down the phone.
It would seem to me that despite the efforts of certain organisations, laws and regulations, companies still seem to disrupt the peace in the home. Heaven alone knows where they get your information from; considering both my husband and I are always very careful not to give permission to anyone to pass along our details, it surely must not be done legally. Is it too much to ask that people can relax in their homes without having to deal with the irritation of sales calls? Will mothers with sleeping babies always have to turn the phone off in case some faceless organisation rings during nap time?
I don’t know about anyone else, but I know if I required any of the services offered by these nuisance callers, I would contact a company myself and not wait for them to call me.