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Thursday, 2 February 2012

Telephone preference list

I'm on the Telephone Preference Service. That means that telemarketers are legally bound not to call me. It's a free service, you sign up here:

http://www.tpsonline.org.uk/tps/index.html

So, today I got a call from British Pound Savers. "Do  you want to save money?"

So I answered "No".

Undaunted, he continued. He wanted to know who our gas supplier was, and electricity, and then if I'd be willing to take a call from somoene who could offer a better deal. "No."

Still undaunted, he wanted to know if I'd had ... various things that have been in the news for being mis-sold, and which therefore maybe I could be persuaded to join a lawsuit. "No."

After several more refusals like this, he asked my age.

"No."

So then he wanted to know what age bracket I was in, and he offered me a few options. "I'm not telling you."

And at that point, I think the penny finally dropped. "Are you on the Telephone Preference Service?" "Yes, I am. What's your name?" "Frosty." And your second name? "Owen" And your phone number?  "01273 956091" I happen to know that's a Brighton exchange, so I thought I'd push him further. And your address? "Richmond House, Richmond Road, Brighton." So he's maybe telling the truth.

So I explained to him. "Frosty, it's against the law to make a sales call to someone who is on the Telephone Preference Service. Did you know that?" Yes, he did, but he gets given a list of numbers to call and he just calls them. "Can I speak to your supervisor?" "OK"

So then I spoke to Kevin Dindayal. "Kevin, it's against the law to make a sales call to someone who is on the Telephone Preference Service. Did you know that?" Yes, he did. But he gets given a list ... "Kevin, can I speak to your manager?" because I want to talk to someone who isn't just given a list. "They're all in a meeting." How inconvenient. "Then could your manager call me back as soon as he's out of the meeting? And what's his name?" Fortunately, the meeting ended at just that moment, and I was able to talk to his manager.

That got me to Mike Lee. "Mike it's against the law to make a sales call to someone who is on the Telephone Preference Service. Did you know that?" Yes, he did. "But we'll take you off the list, you won't be called again." I imagine they'd be quite keen to do that. "No, that isn't what I want." "What do you want?" "I want you to start complying with the law by checking your numbers against the TPS before you call them."

He wasn't too keen on that. "That's done by our IT Department. In Mauritius." "Nevertheless, if they don't do it, you must, in order to comply with the law." "You might be surprised by this, but many of the people who we call who are on the TPS are very pleased to get our calls." You're right, I am. I mean, what sort of idiot would take the trouble to put themselves on the TPS, and still be pleased to get sales calls?

"Mike, even if they are glad to get your calls, it is still against the law for you to call them. Will you start checking against the TPS?"

Eventually, he said that he would. But I don't see how he's going to do that, since I don't think he has a copy of it. And clearly, neither do the folks in Mauritius.

And I tidied the situation up by making a formal complaint against British Pound Savers on the TPS web site.

And then I did a bit more digging; British Pound Savers seems to be a division of Yesmediauk, and they're related in some way to "Satallite and home care service Ltd" (based in Bognor Regis), and found the name and phone number of the boss; Paul Elliott, and I called him on 07852 338658 (thank you http://whois.domaintools.com/britishpoundsavers.com) and repeated my complaint to him. He said he'd check out where they got the phone number from, and remove it from their list.


So. If you don't want to be called by Frosty and his ilk, sign up with the TPS. And if you're called anyway, get their details and make a complaint.

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