Date:7 July 2009 I Comments: 6 I Views:17,727

Something that is becoming increasingly more frequent and I’m sure annoys the hell out of plenty of people, including me are ‘automated’ cold calls.

Recorded messages offering to write off all my debt are the most frequent but to be honest I don’t listen to more than a couple of words before putting the phone down so I couldn’t say what all of them are trying to sell me.

I’m one of the lucky ones who works from home with a telephone on my desk and although annoying and a waste of time I’m not elderly, disabled or unwell, so it’s no real hardship to answer the phone.

I loathe to think about the inconvenience these nuisance calls cause some people.

What’s so good about a government backed scheme that could write off all my debt anyway? It’s probably an IVA they’re trying to sell me and as far as I know they last 5 years then stay on your credit file for another 6. That’s 11 years of complications, difficulty and high non-preferential interest rates. Yippee!

Or it could be someone trying to help me reclaim unfair charges or have my loan or credit card agreements torn up and written off.

It’s true, some people have been able to write off card debts and loans but there’s always a fee and no guarantee of a positive result.

These are the types of automated calls I keep getting.

Always about ways of reducing debt or helping me end my money woes.

Never offering cheap wine or bargain gym membership! Or just anything I could actually do with!

I’d be happier if it was one of the neighbours kids phoning up offering to wash my car!

The message needs to get across to the public that these are not ‘great deals’ they are just nuisance sales calls. Another way of advertising and also an invasion of personal time and space.

There are various suggestions of how to deal with these calls such as listening to the message until a real person comes on the phone then asking them to hang on a minute, then never going back to the call.

Or as soon as a real person comes on the phone say ‘Chief Constable Smith – how can I help?’ (not sure about that one though…)

These are novel ways of dealing with the problem but the preferred method is to register your details with the Telephone Preference Service.

This service has been around for years and in the past it meant writing a letter but now it’s as easy as a few mouse clicks.

It can take 28 days before unwanted calls stop and it may not stop them altogether but it’s easy and only takes a couple of minutes.

I’ve entered my parents details too because believe it or not, they don’t use the internet!

Visit the Telephone Preference Service

Or find useful, helpful information from the Information Commissioners Office about how to stop unwanted sales calls, emails, letters etc.

Category: General


  1. Faisal Mirza

    I know what you mean, I was getting automated calls daily from a number that I couldnt 1471. I then decided to complain with my provider Virgin media who changed my number free of charge.
    But 2 weeks after getting a new number the “basturds” are ringing me again. And i havent given the number out to anyone nor is it in any public domain. I have now registered with the TPS, but I have a bad feeling it wont make a difference.
    These automated calls are worse than “spam”, and the call states if you press “5” they wont call you back. But I found if you do hit “5” they call you more frequently ! And if you press 3 to speak to an operator he tends to hang up on you if you enquire about the name of the company he works for, or where they got my number from. They just state they work for “credit card companies”.”Very dodgy”!! I am sure telephone companies have the power to trace these numbers and to prosecute the people who cold call like this. But the problem is, very few people publicly complain about issues like this.

  2. I’m afraid I have some bad news for you.

    I’ve been registered with the TPS for some time now and I’ve just recently (in the last 3 months or so) started getting recorded sales calles more and more frequently.

    The one today offered me a “government backed way out of my debt” as you mentioned. I pressed 5 to speak to an operator and asked for the company name. They said they were Churchill Finance! When I then informed her that I was on the TPS and they shouldn’t be calling she got all panicky and told me that it wasn’t them that called – it’s actually a marketing company called “Interact VB”.

    Anyway – to cut a long story short – it looks like being on the TPS doesn’t help any more. These automated calls are probably coming from an company that uses random diallers… are they even legal in the UK?

  3. Simon

    I work from home as well, and am constantly getting these sort of calls. I registered with the TPS some time ago, and my number is ex-directory. Neither make a difference. I’m sure they don’t randomly call, as I have a second line for my business and never get the calls on that.

    A few minutes back I had a call, withheld number, picked up the phone, a recorded female voice informing me they could write off all my debt, press 5 for details. I pressed 5 to find out who it was and to inform them they are breaking the law. I was told it was Claims Direct, 123 Sesame Street, Upville. A fake name and address.

  4. MC

    I’m getting constant calls, and I have no way to OPT OUT! There’s no declaration of who the call is from, I either have to press 2 which indicates I’m interested or the call hangs up. I’m registered with the TPS, but there’s no comeback without knowing who they are!

    It’s now going to cost be money to block these calls, it’s outrageous. Why to companies try to force their services upon us. This bully approach just makes me loath the companies involved.

  5. Justin

    Please remember to use the 1477 service whenever you receive an unwanted sales call, cold call or silent call – this flags the call as malicious / illegal to the telecoms operator. This information can then be passed on to the Police for further investigation if necessary.

    Can’t say I’ve completely eradicated all of my automated calls, despite being on the TPS and am ex-directory, but I have noticed a radical reduction.

    The odd thing is I have two telephone lines with the last digit being the only difference between the two – and I only get the automated calls on one of them (Bearing in mind I make outgoing calls nationally and internationally on both lines, and use both to receive incoming calls at about the same rate.). Strange!