Oh, I like that new tactic. I'll pass it onto the other half to try out; he likes winding people up.
We get probably 2 or 3 calls a day - lots of Indian 'Microsoft' Centres but also a frustratingly large number of recorded message calls trying to sell boilers or solar panels, one of which has bothered us daily for around 3 months. I rarely listen to whether they're attempting to sell or scam; as soon as I've identified that it's not a genuine caller I hang up, so whether it's a 'genuine' market research call I would never know.
We had a new one the other night - a recorded message advising that 'the warranty on your kitchen equipment was about to expire'. I have no idea what the scam was going to be with this one!
I reckon it would work best with a man putting on a camp voice to a male caller GoodTwin. Do share any fun tales!
Given that TalkTalk kindly lost my personal details twice, we were getting frequent calls from Indians claiming to be from TT (usually with spoofed caller display numbers so you can't auto-block them). I tried every tactic I could to get rid of them. Mr BW (rarely someone who uses 'language') managed it in one attempt: "Did your mother fuck gorillas?"
Luckily we have two lines (from old dial-up days) and only the office line ever gets given out, so it can always be ignored. But, it is still very very annoying and I think the phone companies could do much much more than they are doing to stop it. Or rather, as they're clearly not doing much, they should be MADE to do by the regulator or government. Not holding my breath for any improvement any time soon, then...
The other half usually greets them like a long-lost friend and asks them how the family are doing and so on, or acts 'feeble' and asks them to be his friend because he's all alone. Either tactic tends to scare them off :)
The phone companies could help by simply making caller ID freely available - not as a pay-for extra. BT are supposedly putting a filter in place at the end of the year to cut down on nuisance calls but I'm not holding my breath.
I must admit I've thought of this tactic but never dared to use it...yet. Good for you for doing so. So far since we've moved we've not actually had a single one....probably since very few companies have our land-line number at all.
GoodTwin - yes, I definitely think that making them feel as uncomfortable as they make you feel is the way forward. BT and TalkTalk definitely offer it is a 'sign up for 12 month contract and get free caller ID' service: I've had it for years on both lines and have never paid for it.
NiC - Mr BW was passed around 3 Indians claiming to be from TT today, in one call; he gave each of them, the "Oooh you sound nice..." line. Once we are sufficiently practised, we will be launching our own BWitched sex-line. It's too easy... Currently I am practising panting like a dog.
But seriously... if electricity companies ARE allowed to pass on your details without your permission, then we all need to be very concerned - current governmint-driven plans are still for everyone to have a smart meter by 2020, and if those details are made available to who knows who, then it will be very easy for criminals to work out which houses are empty all day, and when people are away.
Excellent...I can imagine Mr.Witchy being very scary with his lines to those poor call centre staff.
I'm pretty sure they're not allowed to pass on info without permission though I suspect that permission is buried deep in one of those small print documents so most folk don't realise they've signed it away.
Do we have to have a smart meter?
We have two lines and only give out the one connected to the fax machine unless it's someone we know.
And we have caller display on the other phone so don't answer it if we don't know who it is.
AQ - Unfortunately yes, but, the way to not have a smart meter until the last possible moment is to be with one of the new small companies. They have no plans to start moving people until they have to (and with their small numbers of customers they don't have to start now to get everyone done in time as the large companies do).
NiC - I always print and file any small print for online applications, and save and file all such documents sent to me. I am 100% certain I have not missed anything from either electicity company or district council. I'm going to take this one as far as I need to (Information Commissioner, You & Yours on R4), because I doubt most people would notice, let alone be aware of the potential consequences in the longer term. Energy companies will undoubtedly find ways to monetise smart meter data, and who knows where it will end up being sold.
Are you sure about the smart meters?:
Hmmm interesting AQ... perhaps this is BG taking people out of the staged roll-out rather than long-term (and they'd rather not argue with people at present)?
All meters have a fixed life (10 or 20 years now, used to be 40), so all will have to be changed one day. Eventually, I guess, they will only commission smart meters and unsmart-meters will no longer be made?
Elsewhere is says that everyone will have one by 2020 (it'll never happen!).