The latest research says that on average each UK household receives one or two telemarketing calls per week, but if you’re unlucky enough to get on the ‘wrong’ telemarketing lists, you can be plagued by calls, and millions of people receive 2 or more telemarketing calls a day.
Some call centres just call people they already have a relationship with - customers or people who have requested information - but other call centres do cold calling. Here they have no previous relationship with you, they just buy lists of numbers from other companies, get numbers from the phone book, or just randomly dial numbers.
The majority of telemarketing calls come from telecommunications companies (30%), financial services companies (18%) and home improvement (15%) companies, with utility companies and charities accounting for a further 5% each.
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) can be very effective against cold callers as it is illegal for UK companies to call you if you are on the list.In addition to respecting the TPS, companies are also obliged by law to keep their own ‘do not call’ list. If you receive an unwanted telemarketing call you can ask the caller not to call you again. If they call back they have broken the law and you can report them to the Information Commissioner. Even companies who have a relationship with you must respect your wishes if you ask them not to contact you for marketing purposes over the telephone.
Some people who receive a lot of telemarketing calls use answering machines to screen their calls, others use trueCall. The advantage of trueCall is that it keeps a list of the phone numbers of your friends and family. If the call is from one of these numbers trueCall lets it straight through. If the caller’s number isn’t on the list, trueCall asks the caller to say their name - most telemarketers hang up at this stage as they know that they are unlikely to sell anything to someone who is screening their calls. trueCall only rings your phone if the caller says their name. When you pick up it announces them (“You have a call from ...Sally”), and you can choose whether you want to accept the call or not.