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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Nuisance Telesales Calls (again)

Several good ways to stop nuisance telesales calls. The first thing to do is go ex-directory. Getting an unlisted number is easy - just phone up BT (in the UK) on 150.

The Telephone Preference Service can help prevent nuisance telesales calls ( there is also a Fax Preference Service at but as it is a voluntary service for professional and responsible telemarketers it does not prevent callcentres from overseas or other cowboys from bothering you, nor does it prevent the local DIY kitchen fitter touting for extra business round the block.

You can ask BT to block anonymous calls to your phone. The service costs £12.50 a quarter. This prevents all "withheld" numbers from being able to make your phone ring.

BT also has a Privacy at Home Service on 0800 121 8000 to help prevent nuisance telesales calls. There's the useful Silent Call Guard which helps prevent the "silent telephone calls" that are the unwanted by-product of RDD (Random Digit Dialling) and CPD (Computer Predictive Dialling). Again, this is a voluntary service and its signatories tend to be responsible corporations who are registered users of specific software products.

The hardware method of blocking all calls that you don't want, including nuisance telesales calls is CallBlocker ( which is a physical device which you plug in between the phone and the wall socket. This box answers the phone before it rings. It plays a short message to the caller, asking them to press a key on their phone if it is NOT a sales or canvassing call, or to otherwise remove that telephone number from their database. The advantage of this is that it has to be actioned by a human, so it is guaranteed to block all automated calls from getting through. At £69.95 you have to decide if it's really worth it for you. CallBlocker's phone number is 0870 444 3969.

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