OT: Inventive solutions to telephone spam?

Anyone got any inventive suggestions for dealing with telephone spam?
Of late, I've got several calls from some idiotic crew saying they've been instructed to ring people living in a council or ex-council house (it isn't and never has been); some f*cking recorded message extolling the delights of holidaying at Euro Disney; and 3-minute messages on the answerphone encouraging me to ring a premium rate number to enter a Sunday sweepstake in which everyone's a winner. Yeah, right. Needless-to-say, 1471ing produces a "number unknown".
I'm ex-directory and rarely give out my number so I don't know where they've got it from.
I've had a look of Ofcom's website but they seem like a toothless bunch. Apparently, spamming has to happen at least three times before they'll consider doing nothing (so if Ofcom presided over Nuremburg, you couldn't be charged with genocide unless you'd wiped out three distinct races --- or the same race three times?) and it's less serious to spam a "rugby club bar" than an "individual who is vulnerable as a result of their age" (in much the same way that it's less serious to sink a cleaver into the head of some brain-dead Ofcom moron than into the head of a decent upstanding citizen --- yeah, actually I can see that distinction now).
I looked at the Telephone Preference Service too but since they're a fully-funded front organisation of the direct marketing industry and their website's homepage contains the following bullsh*t...
"Before you apply however, you should be aware that registration may preclude you or your business from receiving information of value - thereby cutting you off from worthwhile business opportunities."
... I assume that handing them my number will mean they record the date when their parasitic members can legitimately bombard me with crap on the basis that my annual opt-out has expired.
I'd call my phone company except that Ofcom say it's nowt to do with them (no, it's probably *my* fault for having a phone) and, anyway, ntl's commitment to sense and decency can best be summarised by the following exchange I had with customer services after some drunken yob kicked in one of the junction boxes on a Saturday night:
ntl: We can't repair your phone line at the weekend, unless it's an emergency. me: What constitutes an emergency? ntl: If you were a minister of religion, for example, and you needed your phone because you might get an urgent call to give someone the last rites. me: But what happens if there's a gas explosion and I need to call the fire brigade to pull me from the wreckage of my home? ntl: That wouldn't constitute an emergency. me: Let me get this straight. You'd fix the phone line so that some superstitious paedophile could come round and mouth platitudes over my slowly cooling corpse but you wouldn't fix it so that the Fire Brigade could save my life before that became necessary? ntl: Well, we have to respect people's religion, don't we.
And while we're on the subject of spam, since throwing the junkmail from American Express and RBS Advanta in the bin every other week for the last ten years has not taught these chumps that I don't want their credit card, could I perhaps suggest to them that, in future, I will arrange for a waste-paper merchant to send a skip truck for each mailing and bill them for the cost rather than burdening the council's recycling service and loading the expense on to council tax payers? Didn't the last Tory government introduce a legal principle that the "polluter pays"?
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mike wrote:

I registered with TPS a few years ago because I was getting lots of unwanted spam calls. Since then I get almost zero unwanted calls..
Recommended :-)
--
Regards,

Troy the Black Lab.
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On Sun, 6 Jun 2004 16:39:27 +0100, Troy wrote:

I'll second that. Been registered for 7 years now and I reckon to get two or three per *year* now.
I always ask if the company is party to the Telephone Preference Service, they invariably hang up.
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O

I will add, been registered about 4 months and was getting lots of silent phone calls, none since the beginning of May.
I am pleased !!
Dave
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I've been registered with TPS and MPS for a while now but still get annoying calls esp in the wee small hours. To be frank I've got fed up with filling in TPS complaint forms ... now I just give the spammers verbal abuse.
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I'll third it. Works a treat.
--
"The road to Paradise is through Intercourse."
[email me at huge [at] huge [dot] org [dot] uk]
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snip...
You assume wrong! It might sound like bullsh*t, but if you register it works - and AFAIK it doesn't expire after a year...
I had a marketing call recently; when I asked where they'd got my number from because it's listed by the TPS they apologised and hung up immediately. I actually recieved a letter of apology a few days later!
Oh, and if anyone's interested the MPS works just as well...
Dave
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<snip bull ...>

get any cold calling now.

immediately.
I've had a similar experience. I only once had a repeat call from the same company, I sent details to TPS and they dealt with it.
I can't recommend it highly enough. I intend registering for the fax service since that's the latest irritation.
If only there were such an effective service for internet spam ...
Mary
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Same experience here also, its the only way to go (apart from getting rid of the phone!)
--
David

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I have a two methods. I've got caller display enabled on my line and have programmed a 'white list' into the display unit to identify the majority of calls that I want to respond to
I let the answerphone pick-up all other messages. The spammer _usually_ hangs up immediately on getting the recorded outgoing message.

This one is extremely annoying as the recorded message is repeated over and over until the time-out on the answerphone. (thinks: I must reduce the default time for incoming messages). For me this type of advertising is counter productive - I now regard Disney as a crap organisation and I would never use one of their resorts.

I had one recently where I was informed (via an automated message) that I had won one of the major prizes. The prizes: a 42 inch TV, a car, a cruise, 6000, or a DVD player. I guess that someone must regard the player as a major prize but I've seen them stacked high at boots sales - new for 18. To claim just ring extension 4444 (on a number withheld phone call) or the automated claim line at 1.50 a minute with an _average_ call time of 6 minutes. I assume that the average is calculated from thousands of calls that last less than a minute before people realise they are being conned and the 50 calls where someone manages to win the 18 DVD player.

My caller display indicates that many of the recent spam calls are international so I doubt if a British regulator can do anything at all.

It now common practice for my circle of friends to collect the reply paid envelopes that come with this shit and stuff them with advertising from other companies - and then post them back.
>Didn't the last Tory government introduce a legal principle that the >"polluter pays"?
And this government backed down on taxing households for more than one refuse sack per week because they realised that the majority of rubbish that gets dumped in landfill each week is the mail spam that gets delivered to us. My local council excludes 'junk mail' from the recycling schemes it's operating.
--
Alan
mailto:news2me_a snipped-for-privacy@amacleod.clara.co.uk
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Ditto here As royal mail now seem determined to deliver more circulars than actual mail, anything that I know the postman has delivered gets put into the pillar box with the collection of reply paid envelopes. The last lot included a dating agency, two election adverts and a Robert Dyson catalogue!
Roger (my reader sometimes loses mail/newsgroup messages - if you think you should have had a reply/comment, please e-mail me again. Ta!)
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Actually, it's probably the cruise you would have won. No cash alternative; you must be prepared to get yourself to the port where your holiday begins, at 2am on a Tuesday; you will be sharing a cabin (below the plimsoll line) with 3 strangers and there is no lock on the door; meals are not included and you can select from 1 of 1 available weeks in the off-season.
--
Selah

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One possible solution may be a device which answers all no witheld/unavailable calls with a recorded request for the caller to type a pre-arranged code on their dialer. A recognised code would cause the phone to ring and be answered in the normal way.No code or an unrecognised code would dump the call to an answering machine or simply hang up. Has anyone heard of such a system ?
John
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For a laugh, you could also *apply* for a card - saying on the application that you're unemployed, with an income of nil, a tenant, and whatever else you could think of to drive them away. That usually gets you taken off their mailing list - and it's the ONLY way I could stop one moneylender sending me junk...
Tim
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It might also get you put on a whole bunch of credit blacklists which would be loads of fun next time you try to get a loan of any kind! That is if you use your real name... but then using anything else is a criminal offense.
Matt
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How could telling someone you are unemployed and earn Nil get you on a black list? You have to have defaulted to be on a black list.
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"IMM" wrote | "Matt Beard" wrote | > > For a laugh, you could also *apply* for a card - saying on the | > > application that you're unemployed, with an income of nil, a tenant, | > > and whatever else you could think of to drive them away. That usually | > > gets you taken off their mailing list - and it's the ONLY way I could | > > stop one moneylender sending me junk... | > It might also get you put on a whole bunch of credit blacklists which | > would be loads of fun next time you try to get a loan of any kind! | How could telling someone you are unemployed and earn Nil get you on a black | list? You have to have defaulted to be on a black list.
There is no such thing as a credit black list. The credit reference agencies record factual information, such as applications for credit and the financial institutions' decisions, court judgements, payment histories, etc., and this information is scored by each financial institution separately when they make a lending decision.
However having a record that an application for credit was made, and was rejected (as the intention seems to be, in this case, to get off the mailing list) will be recorded and may be treated adversely in future.
More likely is that, instead of offers pouring through the letterbox for gold credit cards with introductory low rates, the poster would then be targeted by junk mailers wanting to sell him second hand cars or satellite television on credit, or whatever else it is that poor people get offered in junk mail.
Scrawling 'dead' on the mail and returning it unopened to the sender may have an effect after a while on some mailers, but Reader's Digest and Book Club Associates will pursue you beyond the grave if they can :-)
Owain
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in
I'll tell you what we poor people are offered in junk mail:
insurance - health insurance - life insurance - car insurance - pet insurance - caravan insurance - house insurance - accident wine - Italian wine - Australian wine - French wine - other expensive clothes (one today offered an admittedly nice t-shirt for 119) cheap clothes - with free gifts we don't want and wouldn't give house room shoes for old and/or fat people credit cards by the shedload - all colours 'loyalty' cards loans - unsecured loans - equity holidays - Briish holidays - foreign holidays - cruises holidays - discounted air travel - discounted contractors - roofing contractors - guttering contractors - electrical contractors - plumbing contractors - fencing contractors - no job too big or small double glazing loft conversions gardeners tree-felling good causes further education computer hardware computer software book clubs art clubs magazine clubs chocolate clubs gardening catalogues Bose radios anniversary plates anniversary coins anniversary medals dolls spoons ...
... I can't be bothered thinking any more and my mind is still addled by the general anaesthetic I had today but the list isn't exhaustive.
And before anyone suggests it we've never shown any interest in any of the goods offered - except the Bose which we told them we can't afford.
Oh, and we constantly get letters from the TV licence place despite recently being inspected and found not to have a set.

I doubt it.

I got rid of RD many years ago but can't remember how ... :-(

Yes ...
Mary

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Just been phoned up by one of my card companies
" ... (strong indian accent) I'm just phoning up to tell you we're reducing the APR on your card"
"but I always pay off my cards before they are due"
"yes, but I was just phoning you up to tell you"
"AAAARRRRRRRRRRGH"
I don't suppose that comes under the TPS as it's not strictly cold calling

I have a very apologetic letter from TV licensing after I told them to stop wasting my money by sending me reminders at work.
It still didn't stop them sending me URGENT reminders though
--
geoff

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for
satellite
offered
the
the
recently
It must be very irking to those who DO have licences to know that money is wasted on silly administration.
Mary

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