The UK is terrible for cold calls, according to research reported on by The Times. We Brits fielded 2.2 billion phone calls last year, which is a minutely rate of 4,200 calls and messages. Most of these calls were people trying to scam us!
It’s no surprise then that for 57% of us, the most irritating thing about owning a phone is dealing with cold calls. In order to help the country tackle this trouble, we’ve joined True Solicitors LLP, experts in mis-sold timeshares, to offer you the best ways to deter cold callers.
Which cold calls show up the most?
Which calls are plaguing Britain the most? Well, according to research, it has been suggested that phone calls relating to pensions, payment protection insurance (PPI) and other insurance coverages were the most common type of calls — resulting in around six million per day, including text messages.
Cold callers claiming to be experts in injury claims, work accidents, or holiday illness totalled 895 million calls and texts. Those over the age of 65 found themselves experiencing the majority of the calls — posing the question: are companies like this preying on older people who are likely to be more vulnerable? Here are a few tricks you can use to combat cold-calling…
There’s no money for you here!
Let’s face it, cold callers are after one thing and one thing only. They want your hard-earned cash. Tell them that you’re an undischarged bankrupt and they will put the phone done quicker than you could imagine. By saying this, you’re telling them that you are unable to obtain credit beyond a certain limit without informing the creditor of your status. Of course, this does not exist in your case — but they don’t know that.
Take their time!
Salespeople are often tracked on their time targets, so they hate it if a customer messes with them and takes up their time. They call to get you instantly on board with some product or service that they’re selling, but telling them you’re not interested at the start of the call won’t achieve anything. They will first mention the product that they are selling and you must act interested at the start, they’ll start their sales patter and after they’ve put the effort into doing that — just admit that you’re not really interested and admit that you were just wasting their time. Remember that they have targets — they’ll not want to ring your number again!
Reply in a different language, or even make one up!
The chances are, the cold caller is dialling you on a UK number. They will be expecting you to speak English. Don’t conform to what they want! If you can speak another language, try doing that, and as they won’t be able to understand what you’re saying, they will hang up. If you don’t know another language, make it up and this will leave them even more confused than what they originally were.
Tell them you’re recording the call too
We’ve put together this handy script for putting off cold callers. They often tell you that “calls may be recorded for quality and training purposes”, so why not reply back in a similar fashion? Say something along the lines of: “Hello, just to let you know that I will be recording this phone call as you’re not complying with the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations of 2003. This legislation has been put in place to help restrict marketing methods through cold-calling, unsolicited texts, emails, and faxes”. The good thing about this trick is that they’ve probably ended the call after the first sentence. Don’t be afraid to try this one!
Frighten them off by telling them you’re a criminal!
This one is sure to make the phone call end abruptly. If you’re becoming the victim of an obvious timeshare scam where the operator says that you have won a free holiday — tell them that you’ve been issued a travel injunction and have had your passport revoked by the county court or, tell them that you’re in custody and are awaiting your trial and plan to plead guilty.
Keep it up and you’ll find cold calls quickly ebb away to present you with a cold call-free home! It’s also a good decision to block their phone number, however as they change frequently — this not be a viable option. Some phones have the ability to put callers through an answer machine first, where they have to notify the person they are ringing who they are and then press several buttons. Cold-callers will not want to go through this much effort.