UK regulator Ofcom has been looking into what customers dislike in their communications, culminating in the publication of the third annual report on what's been riling users most over the last 12 months. The report covers every aspect of the communications industry, and runs to 167 pages (pdf). Mobile phone users seem …
Ofcom highlights the silent call menace but are adamant that banning the equipment that creates silent calls, the autodiallers, is not on - it may upset the very people making the silent calls like Barclays did.
So the silent call goes on and on.
Did anyone say that Ofcom were one of their bugbears?
We are British!!!
We dont need a guide to tell us how to complain.
We are quite good at it.
Regulate the price of "anonymous caller rejection"
If Ofcon wanted to do something about the nightmare foreign telemarketing, they could start very quickly with:
1) Regulate the end user price of anonymous caller rejection to something realistic (eg zero) rather than the current fiver a month at BT, and require telcos to offer the same rejection of "CLI not available" as they do for "CLI withheld".
2) Threaten to immediately withdraw the operating licence/interconnect rights of any telco seen to permit the forwarding of fake or implausible CLI.
My other half got harassed by noCLI calls from the Canadian subsidiary of a well known market research agency a week or two back. Mori got a flea in their ear from her and me, but at least they had the decency to listen to the complaint and offer an apology ("it's supposed to show the CLI, sorry if it didn't").
The usual telemarketing shites trying to sell us timeshare, cruises, etc, don't even offer the luxury of someone to complain to, which is why they get extra-special treatment from me if they do get through.
If Ofcon won't sort it, why isn't ACR generally built into affordable decent answering machines or even DECT basestations (I know a few offer different ring tones for different CLI)? The only gear I've found that offers a *simple* killfile equivalent for noCLI calls costs over £150? Htf does that work?
Get caller ID
I have Caller ID on my home phone and don't answer any call that comes from a withheld number. this cuts the chances of receiving a nuisance or telemarketing call that I cannot identify. I think if you go for the privacy option on a BT account, the basic caller ID is even free now, or was when I took it up anyway.
Those silent calls are really annoying though, but you can get your own back by ringing the same companies freephone number repeatedly (After dialling 141 before the number of course) and sitting silent on the end of the phone until they hang up. Not that I've ever done that of course, it just sounds like fun.....
I realise that not even in HMG's wilder fantasies can they control overseas companies making overseas calls. But I would have thought that it ought to be possible to bring to bear the Telephone Preference Service on UK companies which happen to use overseas call centres to peddle their cold-calling nonsense.
same old, same old
"despite poor speeds only ten per cent of broadband users told Ofcom they were unsatisfied with their supplier"
The other 90% have become resigned to the fact that it doesn't really matter these days. The small SP's have been consumed by the large ones, people have realised that underneath most of it that BT Wholesale is the main supplier and that they will either be throttled or the cable outside is poor.
A bit like understanding it's no use moaning to the TV broadcasters if your aerial is half off the roof or that everything pixellates each time the local bus trundles past - it's not perfect but it sort of works.
I particularly like the link to 'new leaflets' which goes to a welsh language version of the Ofcom site.
Actually I've looked at the English version and it's pretty much as useless to me.
British Gas are the worst offenders
Calls twice a day for the last month, all silent despite repeated attempts to shout at the bastards. And this despite ordering them to put me on their do-not-call list earlier in the year.
Amazingly, after emailing their HQ with my offer of only charging £100 handling fee per call seemed to stop them instantly - the evening call didn't happen and nothing since.
People have simply stopped complaining about broadband - they've learned that OfCom isn't going to do anything (and neither is the ASA) so why waste the effort moaning to a brick wall.
The process to lodge a complaint is 6 months long, easier simply to change the provider.
12 month contract and now they don't even answer my support calls so f*ck knows how you'd get a mac.
So it's either stop paying and be cut off completely for god knows how long or make do with the POS you've got. Might just move house, it'd be easier.
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