Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Cold callers

I have a policy whereby I don’t buy from “cold callers” – companies who call at the door or phone me up with whom I have had no previous relationship. Similarly I don’t buy from junk mail or spam.
In any case, there’s been a guy who’s been calling us every night this week so far asking for my housemate (he pays for the line rental for our phone) – each time I’ve been the one who’s answered because he’s been out. Turns out the guy is from Tele2, and wants us to change our phone to them (fat chance when we’re already getting a very good deal on One.Tel). So, Tele2 go onto my list of companies to boycott, joining the ranks of Nestle, Bacardi, Esso / ExxonMobil and various others.


  1. Tell me about it. I get all the cold-calling at our university address because the telephone is in my name. Today I get a call from “HB Bank” (I think that’s what she said) saying they’re a side company from HSBC. “No I’m not interested, thanks” everytime.
    I think I’m going to start replying like my Dad, with just obscure responses like “Sorry, have a greenhouse already”. hehe

  2. Haha, Swedish Tele2 is expanding aggressively 🙂
    Don’t you have a national register where you can add your phone number so you won’t get these phone salesmen’s calls?

  3. Indeed we do, Patrick. I signed up my landline number with the Telephone Preference Service a few months back and, amazingly, it’s made a great deal of difference to the number of cold-calls I get. It even seems to have got rid of those horrendous “automated recording” ones.

  4. If you are registered with the TPS, try and get the company to stay on the line long enough for you to get their company name/the company they represent and ideally a contact number. Then lodge a complaint with the TPS :->

  5. Do what my Dad used to do before the Do Not Call list went into effect here in the USA.
    When a salesman called on the phone trying to sell my dad something, he would start to talk with them. The salesman would then start his 10 minute rundown on the product.
    So my dad puts the phone on the counter and walks away.
    He will then check every 5 minutes to see if the salesman is still talking or has hung up.
    One time my dad had a salesman talk for 20 minutes with no one listening! Finally the salesman goes “Sir, you there? hello?”
    9 out of 10 times, that company never would call us again.

  6. David: Thanks, I’d completely forgotten about the TPS. The house and its phone number (plus my mobile) are now registered.

  7. Just out of interest, why are you boycotting Barcadi? (unless you just don’t like the taste lol)

  8. MRKisThatKid: This article by my friend Sarah offers a good explanation, along with Nestle and Esso.

  9. Ive been getting those idiots from Tele2 ringing me all this week (my name is down for the payer of the phone bill) I hate it too!

  10. Maybe a ‘Neil’s World’ podcast could have explained all this and more?
    (I told you I would get an iPod Neil, it was only a matter of time! ;))

  11. Yes, I boycott cold-callers (phone, post & e-mail) too. On principle, I don’t even notice what they’re selling – if they contacted me, uninvited, they’re automatically disqualified.
    One of the first thing I did each time I moved house was re-register with the TPS & MPS. I’ve never bothered with the e-mail version, as very little spam seems to come from the UK.
    BTW – the extended character entities at Scrapie don’t seem to be displaying correctly in Fx.

  12. Yeah, I’m aware of the funky entities problem – everything’s in UTF-8 but the server still serves pages up as ISO-8859-1, even when you use a “ tag to tell it otherwise. I’ve hacked a bit of PHP on to force the Content-Type HTTP header to say it’s Unicode – seems to be okay now.
    Ben: I actually recorded a very short podcast but I never released it – I don’t have a good radio voice. Either that or I need a better microphone.

  13. If they “cold call” you, simply hang up or shut the door in their face.
    It might be rude, but it’s all they deserve.

  14. Wow, that was an incredible read. It’s just these reactions from countries and corporations that cause centralized economies to fall behind. Yet they make the world look in and think it’s their ideologies alone.
    I wonder if microsoft will put a blockade on opensource.
    Though i won’t spend too long thinking about this because it does my head in. haha

  15. I agree with all those boycotts, however saying that the 1959 Cuban revolution “gave Cuba back to the Cuban people” is at best misleading – Cuba’s far from democratic.

  16. I work in a call center(now tele2!), I’m italian.
    I was looking for an english “script” because sometimes in Italy I call foreign people….and I found this forum!
    I’m honest,but if a bad operator calls you and you hang up he could be a little spiteful with you!The best thing to do (for you too) is to answer nicely “very kind of you, but I know everyhing about your promotion and I’m not interested at the moment”.
    Sorry for my bad english.