Wouldn't it be nice if there was a place where you could give your phone number to be added to a do-not-call list? Well, good news. There is. And it's free. It's called the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).
And today, I was given evidence that it is, at least to some extent, effective.
I was called by a guy who gave his name as "Stuart Thompson" and he wanted to talk to me about energy conservation in the home. Obviously a sales cold call. So I asked him what company he was calling from.
He wouldn't tell me.
I asked him, why would I deal with a company that won't even tell me what their name was? After a bit of prodding, he explained that this was because he was aware that they were calling people who were on the TPS list, and he didn't want to be reported to the TPS.
That's progress, I think. It's the first time I've heard of anyone scared of the TPS.
So the conversation went to and fro for a while until he realised that he wasn't very likely to get a sales lead on this call, and he hung up on me. And dialling 1471 resulted in "Number withheld".
I've had a few calls recently. I think my number has been put onto another list that's being sold by one of the unscrupulous list vendors, and it's been bought by companies who don't realise that there are unscrupulous list vendors who haven't bothered to check the TPS.
By the way, political callers and market research surveys are allowed to call you even though you've signed up to the TPS. The cure for this problem is to sign up to the idea that if you're on the TPS, and you're called by a survey, give wrong answers to all their questions. This will mess up their surveys, until they stop calling TPS registrants. It's optional to tell them that you're doing this.