MoneyMagpie

Join MoneyMagpie today!
Log in or Register.
Nov 04

Get your own back – cold call revenge!

Reading Time: 5 mins

Fraudsters are finding new ways to part us from our cash by pretending to be legitimate salespeople on the phone, on the internet and through the post. And that’s as well as the nuisance calls, emails and letters we get from genuine companies that are annoying in themselves. So what can you do to stop these coming through, and how can you get your own back on the persistent ones? Its time for some cold call revenge!

Stop getting marketing phone calls

Stop nuisance calls by registering with the Telephone Preference Service online or phone them on 0845 070 0707. Under the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, it’s illegal to make unsolicited marketing calls to anyone registered with the TPS. Any poor fool (in the UK at least) who does has to pay a large fine for even one call, so you only have to tell them that you’ve registered to get them scurrying off the phone.

However, if it is a ‘market research’ call, these are not covered in the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003. So, if you want to stop receiving these calls then tell them to remove your details from their call list.

 

Stop getting marketing letters

moneymagpie_Get your own back - cold call revenge!_junk-mailEven though we’re not out of the recession yet, millions of sales letters are going out all the time to UK consumers, offering loans, credit cards and so on. Then there are missives from plumbers, photo developers, cleaning companies, catalogue companies and local food producers which are all adding to world deforestation. There’s been more bad news recently as Royal Mail has announced it will place barcodes on letters so the sender can be alerted when it’s been received. Sadly, this has opened the door to marketing companies who can use this information to conduct follow-up calls and texts once they know their advert has arrived. If you don’t want all this junk you can stop it – or the majority of it anyway – by registering on certain lists:

  • Stop mounds of junk mail by registering with the Mailing Preference Service (MPS) online or by calling 0845 703 4599.
  • Stop unwanted faxes by putting your fax number in the Fax Preference Service (FPS).

Say no to spam!

Spam, and the viruses that they sometimes carry, can make receiving emails a misery. However, there are ways to avoid it, or at least cut it down to a manageable level:

  • Never reply to spam emails – it only makes your address more valuable to spammers. Don’t try to ‘unsubscribe’ either as that will just tell them you exist.
  • Don’t open any unexpected attachments, especially from unknown sources.moneymagpie_Get your own back - cold call revenge!_spam-can
  • Don’t put your email address on websites (even your own). If you need to put a contact email either put it in JavaScript or write it out in this way ‘name at moneymagpie dot com’.
  • If your email provider has a ‘spam’ button, use it when you get missives that you know are unwanted and unrequested.
  • Get yourself some ‘disposable’ email addresses. Several companies now do them. You set up an email address and as soon as it receives spam you switch to another one in the same ‘suite’. An article on About.com gives a list of some of the main providers of this service.
  • If unsolicited emails seem to come from a familiar source (i.e. eBay, Amazon etc)  requesting personal details, don’t follow the link. Log on in your usual way using your browser.
  • Get a good firewall and a strong anti-virus system. There are various options on the market and some are free. AVG, for example, does a good, free version that you can download (although, of course they will try to persuade you to go for their souped-up, paid-for version). For just under £20 you can get a Norton AntiVirus programme to give you full internet security. McAfee are offering their Internet Security Suite (which stops spam, they claim) for £24.99 right now.

Cold Call Revenge Time!

Even if you have put into practice all the tips above, you could still end up getting sales calls or mail from companies registered outside of the UK. So what do you do about those? You get your revenge of course! Try these tips for getting your own back on the annoying, and sometimes criminal, sellers:

  • For cold callers…

Try these three little words: “Hold on, please…” Saying this, while putting down your phone and walking off (instead of hanging up immediately) would make each telemarketing call so much more time-consuming that boiler-room sales would grind to a halt (we hope). Then when you eventually hear BT’s ‘beep-beep-beep’ tone, you know it’s time to go back and hang up your handset.

You have efficiently completed your cold call revenge task.

  • For even more annoying, computerised calls…

moneymagpie_Get your own back - cold call revenge!_telephone-handsetDo you ever get those annoying phone calls with no one on the other end? This is a telemarketing technique where a machine makes phone calls and records the time of day when a person answers the phone. This technique is then used to determine the best time of day for a ‘real’ salesperson to call back and get someone at home. Once you answer,  if you notice there’s no one there, immediately start hitting your # button on the phone, six or seven times, as quickly as possible. This confuses the machine that dialled the call and it kicks your number out of their system. Try it – it’s better than just swearing. N.B. Do listen to the first few words of the message, though. Some credit card providers are now contacting their customers this way if they suspect that someone is using their card fraudulently. If this is your bank or credit card provider, don’t hang up. Do make sure it’s genuine, though, as fraudsters will quickly be catching on to this and will start setting up dodgy computerised calls purporting to be from your bank. Typical!

  • For wasteful, forest-destroying, ‘pre-approved’ letters from financial companies…

When you get these, do not throw away the return envelope. Most of them come with prepaid return envelopes and it costs them more than the regular postage if, and when, they are returned. It costs them nothing, though, if you throw them away. So, why not get rid of some of your other junk mail and put it in these postage-prepaid return envelopes? Send an advert for your local builder to Barclays. Send a pizza coupon to Capital One, in case their canteen packs up. You get the idea. If you didn’t get anything else that day, then just send them some leaves from your garden, or a shopping list. Give them something to think about. If you want to remain anonymous, just make sure your name isn’t on anything you return. You can even send the envelope back empty if you want to just to keep them guessing! It still costs them, and it is their envelope after all… you are just returning it. Let’s see how they like getting lots of junk mail, and best of all make them pay for it. Twice!

Do you have any other fun ideas for getting your own back? Why not share them with the other Magpies in the comments below? six_magpie

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
44 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
N Hazel
N Hazel
9 years ago

TPS does not stop marketing/research calls. Companies that register as ‘research’ ie UK Lifestyle Survey are apparently exempt, TPS & Offcom will do nothing about them. Found this out after making an online complaint then ringing TPS directly. These people call constantly (4 times, just tonight), ignore requests to remove my TPS registered & ex Dir. number and hang up on you if you ask to speak to their supervisor. Advice given: Change your telephone number pffft!!!!

gareth
gareth
9 years ago

When returning envelopes, if you have a paper shredder, shred some other junk mail (ensure your details are not on it) and put that in the envelope. Even better if you have a cross shredder as it’s like confetti and gets everywhere when the envelope is opened…

joeyanne
joeyanne
9 years ago

Best way is to just say no thank you , do not call me again remove my number from your computer data. as i will be reporting you to the right people for cold calling. Never give out your full name or your date of birth, as this is all the scam people need to do identy fraud on you. I have to deal with so many people complaing about coldcallers phoning, always remember never give out personal info never give out bank details as i have had 1 person reported their bank account had been emptied completely so becarful… Read more »

shey
shey
10 years ago

Got those computerized beeping calls and hit the # key numerous times and it doesn’t work

Robt Spacht
Robt Spacht
11 years ago

I was looking for historic information on this theme. The information was important as I am about to launch my own portal. Thanks for providing a missing link in my business.

david searle
david searle
11 years ago

try to bulk the envelopes out, as they will be surcharged

Gary Jones
Gary Jones
5 years ago
Reply to  david searle

I usually rip their leaflets etc in half so they can’t reuse them and post them back, including all my unsigned but addressed contracts so they know who is costing them money.

Palm
Palm
11 years ago

To be fair the cold callers are usually low paid students trying to make some money to pay for essentials! I think next time you get a cold call take time to listen atleast then say no thanks. Doesn’t cost to be polite!!

Jasmine
Admin
Jasmine
11 years ago
Reply to  Palm

Very fair point 🙂

Mr.Goose
Mr.Goose
10 years ago
Reply to  Jasmine

No it is NOT a fair point. People who ignore the TPS list and continue to make unsolicited sales calls are simply breaking the law to line their own pockets. Whether they are “poor students” or not is totally irrelevant. What they are doing is not just very, very annoying., it is illegal! Moreover, in my case, where I have recently lost a kidney and need to sleep during the day in order to recover, their inconsiderate and unlawful behaviour is dangerous to my health. I have to leave the phone switched on in case my elderly mother needs me.… Read more »

Debbie Campbell
Debbie Campbell
7 years ago
Reply to  Mr.Goose

well said mate!!

Susan Wilson
Susan Wilson
11 years ago

When they tell me I’ve won something I am really friendly with them and tell them all about how it’s been a dreadful month – the cat died, my husband left me, I can’t pay the mortgage, the bailiffs are coming to take the furniture away, my latest medical tests show that the disease is back, etc. etc. you can go on as long as you are able. Tell them that your prayers have been answered and its lovely to get some good luck for a change and strangely enough they tend to put the phone down on you!

Colin Gardiner
Colin Gardiner
11 years ago

Just thought you might like to know – your Norton Anti-Virus link in the “Get Your Own Back – Cold Call Revenge” article is very out of date – & so rather misleading to those who may try it. It links to 2008 versions of Anti-Virus & Internet Security and Norton360 version 2.0 – all of which have been superceded some time ago. The versions shown on the link page would not be remotely up to date in terms of protection for today’s threats & when you click to buy, you only get an error page anyway. This might put… Read more »

Jasmine
Admin
Jasmine
11 years ago
Reply to  Colin Gardiner

Thanks Colin. We’ll put that right.

David Hinder
David Hinder
11 years ago

For those annoying people who ask for ‘just five minutes’ of my time, my standard reply is:

“By all means, I charge £15.00 for each half-hour or part thereof, can you please let me have your credit card number?”

If they incredulously ask me do I REALLY charge for my time, I tell them that of course I do, after all they are being paid for their time aren’t they?

Jasmine
Admin
Jasmine
11 years ago
Reply to  David Hinder

Love it David. I’ll remember that next time!

cathy m
cathy m
9 years ago
Reply to  Jasmine

love that answer the best one yet …must try it

1 2 3 4

Related Articles

 

Make Money and Save Money

ideas for everyone
 
Send this to a friend