As you might expect, I'm registered with the Telephone Preference Service, and have been for years. This should mean that I don't get cold sales calls. It's a free service. Once you're registered "telemarketers are legally bound not to call you".
Karl called, from "Home Appliance Guard". He explained that my Panasonic TV, at 87, Hallburn Gardens, Windsor, is now out of guarantee, and would I like to purchase an ongoing contract?
As we all know, these appliance insurance policies are a really stupid idea (from the point of view of the consumer), and a really great idea from the point of view of the insurer. It's worth insuring your house, because if that collapses, you have a real big financial problem. But if your toaster, or your TV stops working, you can get a new one really cheaply. It's not worth insuring cheap stuff. We all know that, don't we?
I guess not, otherwise people like Karl wouldn't be selling them in the expectation of making sales.
So I asked to talk to his supervisor, Kirk Litchfield, and I explained to him about the Telephone Preference Service and that he really isn't allowed to call me like this. He said that they'd bought the data from a market research company (and this is where the whole scheme falters, because it *is* legal to make market research calls, and for some reason, companies feel that because someone else made a market research call, they're entitled to make a sales call).
So I pointed out that he had completely the wrong address for me, and asked him to find out the source of their data. I explained to him that it was still their obligation to conform to the TPS. He said he'd talk to their Data Director, but couldn't make promises because Data Director has just had a baby. I checked their phone number, it's 08433 771405. Their web site gives 0800 652 6789.
So I tracked back. "Home Appliance Guard" is owned by "Tobell Insurance services" (Karl told me that, in the legally-required disclosure that he had to make to me), and that's confirmed by Google, so I googled Tobell and went to their web site.
Or rather, I didn't. Their web site is down. Never mind, Google was able to give me their phone number (020 7220 9050) and I spoke to their Mr Luke Maynard, and explained the situation. And that the authorities can take a dim view of violations. And I pointed out that they had the wrong address. And I put the cherry on top by telling him that his web site is down.
And I've made a complaint to the TPS about them.