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Telephone Preference Service, what a waste of money!

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My gripe is the waste of money by the Government on deluding the UK public into thinking that they can protect themselves against persistent unwanted sales calls on the telephone by registering with the Telephone Preference Service.

This so-called service has little effect, as we are still called regularly by local firms trying to sell us double glazing, cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, computer maintenance services and various other services.

Worse than that many of these organisations introduce themselves fraudulently.  For example the loft insulators' opening line is usually: "Hello Mr. Roberts, I am a Government Grant Advisor calling about the energy efficiency of your home."

While this is true' in that the job title of the tele-sales staff is "Government Grant Advisor", these people are not employed or authorised by any government department.  They work for ordinary commercial companies and are supposed to sell their employers' products by implying that this is either legally required, or paid for entirely by the government.

Woman on the phone Similarly the computer sales people will say that they are "Microsoft Support" although they have no connection with Microsoft Inc.  They will also imply that my computer has sent messages over the Internet to them indicating that it has some problem requiring professional intervention.

SO what does the Telephone Preference Service say?

A complaint to them will be recorded.  And there it ends; they have NO enforcement powers whatever.  If there are many complaints about a particular company then they will notify the Information Commissioner.

However, they will not accept complaints without the name of the offending company; they will accept no complaints if the company takes the precaution of masquerading their sales call as a "survey"; they will accept no complaint about any company telephoning from a call centre not physically in the UK.

Well... What a useless waste of public money they are I'd say!

By: Charmbrights


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Mr D

Mr D

TPS is an absolute waste of time. numerous complaints made but no results
26/02 Mr D
-1
grogsg

grogsg

I've put 5 complaints to TPS and not a single one have they done anything about it.
Just put a new complaint today, given them all the information they require and within 1 hour got a reply saying they could not investigate. What a bloody waste of time. These people earn a high Salary at our expense to do absolutely nothing but forward a report ever now and then to ICO.

Why are they even in existence when you can complain directly to ICO or OFCOM.
They ask for the name of the company and their address then tell you they don't keep details of Companies. I think they are more of a nuisance than the caller.
18/12/18 grogsg
-4
grumpyoldwoman

grumpyoldwoman

We're with TPS too, but still get loads of calls. You know how they always come out with some English sounding first name even though they're obviously Chinese or Indian? Well, now some of them are using English surnames as well. I had "Christine Keeler" on the phone the other day! I just laughed and put the phone down, and left her talking to herself for a while. A bit of research needed there I think.

Also, a few weeks ago somebody called, obviously Indian, can't remember what he was calling about, but I said "sorry, not interested". He rang again, and went back to his script, so I said "stop calling, we're with the TPS". He rang again, I said "Why have you rung again, I asked you to stop calling". Back to the script. I put the phone down, he rang again. "If you call again I'm reporting you to the police", phone down. He rang again, I shouted "That's it, I'm reporting you to the police". He didn't call again!

Then there's "Microsoft" who call about my computer problem every so often, the ones who are doing home security reviews in the area, and the people from "boilers on benefits".

Unfortunately I have to agree that trying to report a call is a nightmare.
06/04/18 grumpyoldwoman
0
Annoyed

Annoyed

Thank heavens it's not just me! I've had three calls today from some life insurance mob. A different person each time and despite me saying to the third caller 'how many times do I have to say I'm not interested' she said we don't know what you're not interested in! I said I'm not interested in anything you've got to say - which bit of that do you not get? I was so annoyed I attempted to make a complaint via the TPS. What an absolute waste of time. No matter what box I ticked it was impossible to enter the number that called me. So I've managed to blacklist it. Why are we as taxpayers funding this nonsense? What do the staff there do all day? Nothing by the looks of things.
05/04/18 Annoyed
0
MiffedofHeadley

MiffedofHeadley

Totally agree - just had the "Hello Mr. Roberts, I am a Government Grant Advisor calling about the energy efficiency of your home" call and the conversation went as follow's:

"you do realise I am registered on the TPS?"
"so you don't want to be called again?"
"no, you shouldn't have called in the first place"
"YES I KNOW" .....

says it all, they know the TPS has no bite!
25/01/18 MiffedofHeadley
1
brian_mk

brian_mk

Agreed - the TPS is a completely pointless organisation and a waste of public money.

Below is the standard email response you get from TPS if you make a complaint.
You get this even if you give the company name and the telephone number used to make the call. What they are really saying is that the TPS cannot, or will not, allocate resources to investigate.

You may as well forget the TPS and do what I usually do: Subscribe to the 'caller id' service (free if you use VOIP from Vonage) and only answer those calls where you know the caller. Other calls go to the answer machine or voicemail.
Sometimes it can be fun to answer the cold callers just to wind them up.

"Thank you for contacting us about the unsolicited direct marketing call you received on a telephone number you have registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) or Corporate TPS (CTPS).

You may already be aware that the TPS does not have the facilities to know which companies are calling you and therefore relies on the complainant to ascertain this information upon the receipt of an unsolicited direct marketing call.

Despite our best efforts, TPS has not been able to ascertain valid contact and/or address details to raise this particular complaint. Please note that even on occasions where a company name and/or telephone number is supplied TPS may still be unable to ascertain valid company details if during the course of our investigation the company name and/or telephone number supplied is found to be fictitious. Please note that TPS does not have the facility to track or trace telephone calls that you have received.

Although we have been unable to raise this complaint against the offending company we will include in our regular report to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO), they are the body responsible for enforcing the Privacy and Electronic (EC Directive) Communications Regulations 2003.

Complaints investigated by us are referred to the ICO and are incorporated into their investigation into nuisance calls. Your information will help the ICO to direct its resources against those organisations that are causing the greatest nuisance. Information about the action the ICO takes can be found on its website at https://ico.org.uk/action-weve-taken/nuisance-calls-and-messages/ .

The ICO has and continues to issue fines against companies for making unsolicited direct marketing calls to telephone numbers registered with TPS."
07/11/17 brian_mk
2
bill44

bill44

Trying to report a call is worse than receiving calls Pages and pages of stupid questions. All for nothing.
23/09/17 bill44
3
joepublic

joepublic

ColdCaller - 19-Oct-13 20:45 comments made are very nasty and a particular insult to disabled people who have serious trouble getting about,maybe when it is a severe struggle for this person to get to the telephone to answer it,or one of his family,maybe they wont post such stupid comments,wonder how he would feel if an elderly relative was scared to answer the telephone because of cold callers,worried they were going to be forced into buying things they don't want,maybe this person is someone who has been exposed on watchdog or something like that,and are now angry with the world that everybody thinks they are a total loser?
18/08/14 joepublic
0
joepublic.

joepublic.

since I registered with the TPS,my unsolicited calls have got worse,i wish I never bothered,i seriously think the TPS have actually sold my number to many cold callers I now get,that were not calling me before I registered,WHAT A WASTE OF TIME!
18/08/14 joepublic.
0
Ped

Ped

Yup - TPS is a total waste of time and money but I suppose it's just another fat cat body milking the public coffers. Lord knows there's enough of those we'll never budge.

I mean, I decide today to report a persistent cold caller and what do I get? Some waffle about automated dialers. FFS!!! I already know that. What I want to know is: what is TPS going to do about that? If it's nothing then shut up shop and stop robbing the public with your hollow words. It's ridiculous, really!
01/08/14 Ped
-1
Phil R

Phil R

TPS is a totally useless service. It has no powers and is totally ignored by cold callers. It is, presumably, government funded and just another example of utterly wasted taxpayers hard earned money.
28/02/14 Phil R
0
Dave P.

Dave P.

Rafi, the problem is predictive diallers, these are computers loaded with numbers 11 digit numbers starting at 00000000001 and ending at 88888888889 that just try ringing the digits and if someone answers then its passed to a live person (but sometimes a message). The systems have blocked numbers so for example they won’t dial 00 but 01, 02, 03 and so on.

Companies within the UK are meant to load a text file with barred numbers, provided by the TPS into the dialler when the dialler is loaded, but some diallers will run for some weeks on these loaded numbers, and if your outside the UK you don’t have to oblige.

Large UK companies get around it by outsourcing to say India, and passing the responsibility on to the company outside the UK to find new customers.

e.g. for every new customer you find we will give you £5. but they don’t provide a calling list.

The dialling of millions of numbers is very cheap e.g. you only pay with an answer and because they buy block answering they get it very cheap e.g. 100 answers for 1 pence.

Moreover you often cannot trace the caller as the dialler doesn’t have a 1471 trace.

BT loves it because they make money and cannot be held responsible for who calls you.

UK companies love it because they don’t decide who gets called.

And foreign companies love it because they don’t give a stuff about calling you.

Just one sale can be very beneficial and normally thousands reject for each person that says yes.
26/02/14 Dave P.
0
Rafi

Rafi

I just had a "cold call". When I said I would choose a reputable company, ie one who adheres to the TPS, I was informed that because I did a survey a few months ago (which I do not recall, as I don't DO surveys!), this would unblock my number and I would need to re-register with TPS. Hmmm. Checked my number with TPS and it is still listed with them and I can't re-register. Their number is 01142636900, selling private medical insurance. They have apparently been reported by others, but clearly nothing is done.
25/02/14 Rafi
0
Make 'em Pay

Make 'em Pay

Who the dickens is advertising a callblocker instrument? It only blocks callers with a known number. It does not block the 99% of calls which I get from a "network which does not transmit numbers".

Such networks should be stopped altogether from using UK's telephone service.

It should be made an international telecommunications treaty requirement by international law that all networks transmit the numbers of callers.

I should not have to pay for blocking such calls.

I should be able to hit a button when I get such calls which causes the caller's bill to be charged £10 for wasting my time and transferred to my account.
20/12/13 Make 'em Pay
2
Ricky Ticky Tarvy

Ricky Ticky Tarvy

TPS has drastically reduced my sales call. Only those nasty little swines who ignore it call now and I usually give them the "Yes I was thinking about doing this, let me get a pen and paper...." treatment.

Whilst they are hanging on they are not pestering anyone else and if we all did this we would reduce the amount of time they had for dialling, even if they hang up after 30 seconds that's another 6 people that don't get pestered.
12/11/13 Ricky Ticky Tarvy
0

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