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26 October 2006

Annoying Phone Calls

For the past few weeks, we’ve been getting calls to our home phone from the same two numbers:

They’ve called on a daily basis each weekday, sometimes several times a day, but never leave a message. When we call them back, it’s just a recorded message saying that we’ve received a call from a telemarketing company (they don’t say who exactly) and that they were going to tell us about some products that we may be interested in.

Well, today I googled the numbers (note to the lawyers: I googled using Google) and found out that (i) I could buy the numbers on eBay and (ii) someone else who’d also been hounded by one of the numbers was told by BT that it was a “power dialler” that automatically dials numbers from its database and puts them through to a call centre operator when you answer. Obviously, if a call centre operator isn’t available, it could result in silent call.

We’d already registered with the Telephone Preference Service but this apparently doesn’t necessarily stop these types of calls. Instead, you’re supposed to register your number on the Silent Callgard Service* database, which you can do by visiting their website at www.silentguard.co.uk or by calling 0870 444 3969. It’s a service that’s supported by the TPS but Ofcom apparently aren’t so keen on it because it doesn’t eliminate the problem at the source; instead, it simply masks it from the person registering their details, and if you don’t file a complaint with them, they can’t carry out an investigation. So, it seems you should also register a complaint with Ofcom too, just for good measure.

I’ve no idea whether this will stop these annoying calls – or whether it’s already too late for us – but this is the type of useful information I think is worth passing on.

Update: 26 October 2006 (20:46)

Well, what a coincidence! I just received a call from one of the numbers whilst I was actually at home to take the call! It turned out to be a company called Ace European Group who run an outbound call centre. It’s true that they were trying to sell me something; it’s not true that it was something I was interested in. They’d apparently got my number from Burtons (since I have a store card there) and, as such, I was “eligible” to give them my money for something. Anyway, maybe the calls will stop now that I’ve managed to tell them to remove my details from their database. Hopefully the information above will be useful for somebody else though...

* Note: This is also rather inconsistently known as Silentcall-gard, SilentcallGard and Silent CallGard.

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76 Comments

Tony, yes, this happens a lot in the States and CAnada too,its annoying and after some time, we can use the call blocking feature.

Thanks Tony - I just Googled this number and got you - thanks for the advice, I'll take it!

Hi,

I came by you via Google. We're having the same problems with the same numbers and I shall be lodging a complaint with Ofcom as well.

It was either Mothercare or BHS who passed my number on, I assume Burtons is also GE Capital. Telewest tell me they are notorious for this sort of thing.

Thanks for that I have done both TPS and silent calls. They keep ringing for my husband every day for the last 2 weeks I keep saying that he does not get in before 8pm and that we are not interested yet they still try. Its stalking never mind annoying. Thanks again

Just had a call from this number too (and I remember them calling for several months now). I did call back once but am loathe to do this as I've heard about various scams which run up your phone bill. So, I searched and found you - hoorah. Thanks. I've been on TPS for years but this isn't stopping them. I have lodged complaint now and will even try and find Ace whomever they are!

In reply to BuzzyBee,

I also came to this site by 'Google' after receiving a few of these calls as 'missed calls'. I think we've now worked out who it is...

I have a store card from Dorothy Perkins - another member of the GE Group!!!

Has everyone who has received a call from 01709 763 840 got/had a store card from one of the GE Group stores? It seems like they're our likely culprit and we can now make official complaints about the GE Group to Ofcom (after first 'phoning GE Group and telling them to remove us from their database, of course).

Thanks for this info, very useful indeed. I've just submitted my complaint to Ofcom regarding the 01709 763840 silent caller.

I'm have been getting these too on a daily basis (01709763840) and I'm now reporting it to Ofcom and the TPS (as we've registered). This has been going on for some weeks and from what I can gather, is illegal.

These sods keep ringing me too. It is always dead when I pick up the phone.

Guess what....
a. I have a Burton/Top Man card
b. I always tick the "no promotional mail/passing on my details" box.

Can I sign up for the angry mob? When do we get the flaming torches?
by Anonymous Ian Berriman  

I have also started to get calls from this number and found this blog through Google. I have a Monsoon card which I believe is also GE Capital.

Thanks so much Tony - first hit on a Google search!

Yet another amazing co-incidence - my husband has just got a Burtons card...well, at least we know it's costing someone a fortune in wasted phone calls!

Yep. ive had the same number ring me several times. I also own a store card - dorothy perkins. They have telephoned three times today and also other times during the week. ive just chosen not to pick the house phone up now as i know its them.

Just found this like everyone else.

I have registered my complaint from Of-com.

If only I could get a person on teh other end of the line - My usual trick is to pretend I am interested for about 30 seconds then say, hold the line a second, someone is at the door - then leave the "salesperson" on the other end of the phone while I make a brew and ahve a biscuit and eventually they get bored.

Let's fight back and run their bills up - they will soon delete you from their database.

Yep, me to, 01709 763840 and store cards by GE.

thanks very much for the info. Had opened a mothercare [read GE Capital] store card last month. Totally annoyed by the call from 01709763840. being getting the call almost every day of the week !!

I also found you via googling this persistent and annoying number, thanks for the advice. Have now registered with TPS so hope it may all stop now incl the nuisance 0800 numbers.
I never answer any of these calls when they show up on caller display, but I love Ade Skonn's idea, might do that myself next time they ring!!
Thanks again for the advice Tony.

We have had the same problem, found you by putting the offending number into google. Thanks for the advice we have registered a complaint with ofcom - lets hope others do the same!

Same story here. Monsoon card. If you ring them back it plays a message like "you have been called by a telemarketing company" three or four times then invites you to leave you details to be removed in 48 hours.

Thought about complaining to Ofcom but it clearly has no teeth as can be seen from it giving these palty fines:

http://www.ofcom.org.uk/bulletins/comp_bull_index/comp_bull_ocases/open_all/cw_905/

Ofcom has imposed the following penalties:

Space Kitchens £45,000
Bracken Bay Kitchens £40,000
Carphone Warehouse £35,000
Toucan £32,500

So don't waste your time.

Followed your advice and registered on anything I can. I hope now I only get annoying phone calls I know about! Thanks
by Anonymous Anonymous  

ACE European Group
The ACE Building
100 Leadenhall Street
London EC3A 3BP
United Kingdom
Phone: +44 20 7173 7000
Fax: +44 20 7173 7800

this is the address 5 mins after i told them to f and jeff off they phoned again
by Anonymous Anonymous  

I complained to ukdatait as recommended and they gave me a very good tip. If you ring the number back you get a message saying you've been called by an in-house marketing agency. If you hold on until the message has repeated twice, you then get invited to leave your number and be removed from the list within 48 hours.

I've just phoned Ace European and they have said it is not them but the sponsors they underwrite the insurance for. I have asked them if they are happy thet they are associated with people that do this but the guy couldn't comment.
I am now thinking about finding out the directors of this company and try calling them at home at odd times like in the middle of the night to see what they think about it then.
by Anonymous Anonymous  

I was called by 01709 763 840 this afternoon so called it back. Thanks to this blog I have left my details to be removed from their database. I would never have known to wait for the message to be repeated before getting the option to opt out, I guess they're relying on most people hanging up on the second iteration of the message. Thank you very much.
by Anonymous Anonymous  

I've just done the same thing...1471 them, and after two repetitions when prompted by the nice lady leave your name and number to be removed from the database....i wait with baited breath. Just for good measure i reported it to ofcom too...
Thanks for this useful information everyone.

I too have been receiving these calls from 01709763840. I spoke to someone using the contact details kindly provided by another poster here, and they have said they will remove me.

They asked whether I had an american express or MBNA card, as they said the numbers were provided from them. I confirmed I do have the latter, but told her that was shifting the blame, as they are responsible for their outgoing calls and the % that they can't use.

Complaint also logged with ofcom.
by Anonymous Anonymous  

I have just spoken to Virgin Money as they provide my MBNA card, and they have told me that they can suppress outgoing marketing, but that it may not cover ACE European, as they provide the accident insurance marketing branch of MBNA and are not classed as third party.

Basically, neither company is accepting responsibility for their telemarketing.
by Anonymous Anonymous  

We've been registered with TPS for a few years, which has dramatically cut unsolicited calls. Just recently we have been receiving repeated calls from 01709 763840, so I Googled the number and found your blog. Have now also submitted a complaint to Ofcom and registered with SilentCall-Guard. Thanks for your advice Tony, and all the shared information.
by Anonymous Anonymous  

We've started having calls from 01709 763840 too, only rather than always being silent they sometimes ask to talk to my husband. Unfortunately he's always at work so we never know what it's about! I suspect our number was passed on by GE Capital who we've both recently started dealing with.
by Anonymous Anonymous  

We've also been receiving calls from 01709763840 throughout the day, with the most recent being just now (9pm!).

We're on TPS too, and guess what... I have a GE credit card...

Naughty GE... I only signed up for the 0% offer they had on, so will be cancelling when that's over. Although I imagine it's too late and our number's spread now...
by Anonymous Anonymous  

Had 5 calls this evening from this number. Googled it and i found Tonys blog.
We have a debenhams store card and after reading the other posts think that is where they have got the number from.
Rung the number and followed the advice given on this bog and after the second recoding left my details to be removed.
Thanks for the Help
by Anonymous Anonymous  

I wish I'd known about this site before my wife took out a DP card. Still thanks to the advice I've called the number 01709 763840 and requested the removal of our details. Cheeky buggers!
by Anonymous Anonymous  

Hello Tony, well done for adding this site, sounds like you helped many in need, myself included!
I am also registered with TPS and have avoided these calls for a while, until now of course!
I have tons of various cards linked to GE so am quite shocked it has only just started happening.
I have also complained to offcom so hopefully this harrassment will come to an end!
Nobody is ever on the other end of the call, lucky for them, as if they ever do get me they shall receive an ear bashing!

Many thanks for the help!
by Anonymous Anonymous  

Recently got a Comet 'Edge' card (GE Capital) and started getting calls from 01709 763840. Thanks to posters here for info, wouldn't have known about the removal system otherwise, have also complained to TPS (as I actually spoke to someone on the number today). I'm furious with GE Capital as used the data protection act tick boxes expressly forbidding any iternal / external marketing contact.

Oh, another thing, massive thanks for the ACE contact details; I know it's a bit childish but I took GREAT satisfaction in using a free web/email to fax system to send several hundred pages of polite 'telling off' to their fax machine and also a whole lot of fax tone calls to their voice line.

As well as giving them a great big dose of their own medicine, this tactic can be a good offensive weapon when you have access to the abusers phone / fax numbers, particularly if it's a small sales office, (such as a certain debt collections agency who used to fax my business offering their services but soon stopped when I started returning a 50 page fax for every one they sent me ;o)

I won't name the web/email to fax service I use but Google "The Phone Company" and you'll find it, it also has pretty wide international coverage so you can go on the offensive when you get those anoying 'international' calls.

Hi, same story. Thanks to this i have logged my complaints and also requested to be taken of the list. will pass nfo to colleagues too.
hanks Tony
by Anonymous Anonymous  

Hi

I have just done a search on Google as am at the end of my tether with these irritating calls! They ring constantly well into the evening. I too have a Dorothy Perkins card through GE Capital and wonder if this is how they have my number. Thankyou for the advice on this blog, I too will follow this with a hope to ending this. This number is my greatest irritation as is the one that rings the most but I also get calls from 01535 297160 and 08000 649955 so you can imagine how annoyed I am becoming.
by Anonymous Anonymous  

I feel sorry for the poor people calling. What a dull awful job. Just remember it's the company thats a pain in the ass not the individual. Try not to give them to much grief as thats all they get all day. Lets all spread the love and politely request to be taken off their list

Lovely

just had this number call me fot about the 50ish time looked it up on google and found your page.great info thanks a lot jon

just googled this number after the 50isch time of having a silent call.great info thnanks for the help...jon in church stretton.

you can also ring 0114 2190043 and this will remove you
by Anonymous Anonymous  

you can also ring 0114 2190043 and they will remove you
by Anonymous Anonymous  

Hi
i've just joined this bloody club, and i've had a thought!
Im going to register with all GE Capital subsid's and give them all slightly iffy details with a new email address, and list my phone number as a 0901 premium rate number, if it works it'll cost them a bleedin fortune
by Anonymous dont do biz with GE CAPITAL  

Put this into Google & got your page, after receiving this today on 1471 (I was out).

As well as being a pain, it is extremely worrying as well, when you don't know who the hell it is. Possibly worse than 'caller withheld number'.

Not happy with them at all, although I didn't call the number back just in case.
by Anonymous Anonymous  

I just did the same...1471....it was the 01535 297160 number....so very glad i googled it....at least i don't have to search for the culprit...piggin pain in the bum though...got to answer when here and can't be bothered to be polite to sales people!!!
by Anonymous Anonymous  

I've just been called by 01709 763840 which went silent when I answered - glad I googled it rather than returning the call. I'm never angry at the salespeople when I get these calls. I am angry at the people that do sign up for services/products when they receive these calls. If the public would join together and never sign up for anything via a cold call, it wouldn't be worth companies doing it.

But somewhere, people must be bowing to their pressure. Shame.
by Anonymous Anonymous  

Excellent idea that we share each others experiences

I just returned the call and listened to the nice lady twice then kindly left my name and number to be removed

Hopefully that will sort it

Thnx for starting this blog Tony

I have just read this blog. And hats off to Simon who said something intelligent. The rest of you, all you have to do is say no politely instead of getting your knickers in a twist. Do you imagine the person on the other end of the phone really wants to speak to the likes of you? Or, perhaps they have mortgages to pay and children to feed?

Ref Tel No. 01709-763840
After receiving over 20 calls from this number I have investigated and discovered the following:
The number belongs to a company called Direct Dialogue Ltd who call people on behalf of GE Money to sell payment protection insurance. If they sell this insurance the details are then passed on to a third company called Genworth Financial Services.
The following address may be of interest:
Direct Dialogue Ltd,
1 Call Flex Business Park,
Golden Smithies Lane,
Wath Upon Deane,
Rotherham,
S63 7ER.
Tel No. 01709-766678
If you want to get your own back and really annoy them ring 01709-766673 which takes you straight to the call centre.
Good Hunting!

Furthur to my last post ref 01709763840 Direct Dialogue Ltd.
Under Offcom's regulations any company that uses auto dialers which result in a silent call must:
A. Provide a recorded message giving the company name.
B. Provide a recorded message giving a freephone number where the company can be contacted.
Direct Dialogue Ltd do neither of the above and are therefore in breach of Offcom's regulations.
I would urge evryone to complain to Offcom about this breach.

I got hounded by this call centre during the whole month of May. I monitored these calls via my caller display and received 37 calls, which started as a trickle and ended up as a flood. And, this is despite being ex-directory and TPS registered since 2005.

I complained to BT and their initial response was to try and sell me their "Choose to Refuse" service at £4 a month. I told them this wouldn't help as all it would do is mask the problem, not resolve it. And, why should I have to pay to stop these calls when they are illegal anyway? They then referred to case to their Nuisance Calls Bureau, who intervened and contacted the call centre and told them to stop the calls. I was told by BT that my number would be removed from the call centre's database at the end of the day's business. But this did NOT deter the call centre! They upped the ante and started calling even more! BT intervened a second time, but it didn't stop Direct Dialogue! They carried on relentlessly.

I then came across this blog and it really offered some good advice. Thanks guys! I did what someone suggested and called them out of hours, listened to their outgoing message and stayed on the line and left my real number and a fictitious name on their answer service. But did this deter them? NO WAY! They cynically rang a couple of days later to be connected with an operator. She used the fictitious name I had given as a reason to call me, and NOT to delete me from their database! I was informed that I had "products and services" with them!! When I pointed out to her that the name was fictitious and I had NO products or services with them the line went dead. They have not rang back.

This has highlighted a few issues. Just how did they get my ex-directory TPS number? Why did they disregard BT's intervention? Why did they cynically misuse the information I had given them to remove me from their database?

When I ccmplained to TPS, I got a standard fill in the blanks letter telling me what I already knew, power dialer, silent calls, etc. but offered no real solution. I then used Ofcom's online complaint form. I have heard nothing from Ofcom. But their website does say they don't "investigate individual cases". I have now turned to the ICO and have submitted a formal complaint. It seems to me that the ICO has some real teeth to combat this type of corporate antisocial behaviour. Watch this space!!
by Anonymous Anonymous  

Similar situation but they are now using 01709 763 849 and when you ring back you need to wait then choose option 1 to be taken off their list.
I had a Burtons Card over 8 years ago!!!
I ended up having to take an iva to pay it off when I lost my job. Idiots
by Anonymous Anonymous  

Latest on my blog of 20th June is that the ICO have come back to say they don't investigate "silent" calls, only unsolicited calls when a company tries to "sell" products or services over the phone that is TPS registered. They said that Ofcom is who I should contact as they do investigate "silent" calls? Confusing or what??!! I'll fire one off to them and see. The strange thing is I've never had a store card and wouldn't with interest rates at 29% plus. I've had a credit card with the same outfit for yonks and it certainly wasn't them who put these cowboys onto me.
by Anonymous Anonymous  

I have recently been conned into getting a Dorothy Perkins card. I am constantly getting calls from 01709 763849. Incredibly irritating when you are at work! How do I complain to ofcom.....?

Hi yes- had calls all week from 01709 763849 asking for my husband. Googled it today and got this page. We have been TPS registered for a couple of years but have just opened a House of Frazier card - think its come from there.Will be lodging complaint today.

Hi me again from 13 July. By way of update I wrote to Ofcom on 12 July (as advised by the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office), but unfortunately have not received a reply yet. They do recommend that complaints are submitted online by going to http://www.ofcom.org.uk/complain/landline/ but I felt I could send more information and attachments by snail mail. I’ll be sending them a reminder soon about my complaint. Watch this space.

It is a bit of a minefield but it is Ofcom who investigate “silent” calls and the ICO who investigate unsolicited marketing calls to a TPS registered phone. Even if you have an association with a company you can still instruct them not to call and delete your number from their database. Most comply. If they continue to call then they are breaking the law. Check out the ICO: http://www.ico.gov.uk/

Hi there

I have got to ay many thanks for all the comments on here... I have been receiving these calls to my mobile phone constantly for the past two months - with the info here at least I might be able to tackle it now!!!!

Hi
These 017909 763XXX numbers are all part of GE banking and are to sell you card insurance.
Whwn you suspect they are calling, pick up your phone, say nothing but immediately hit the hash key a dozen times in succession - this will kick your number out of their system!

Thanks!! I've just googled like everyone else and found this! Now I can stop the b*stards calling me daily and not even talking to me!!

Me again from 21st August. This is what Ofcom eventually said:

"Please note: We do not investigate individual consumer complaints. However, we record and monitor complaint levels. If we identify an area of concern we may raise the matter with the management of the company directly.
Your information will be passed to the relevant Ofcom team."

So, there you have it. Don't expect miracles from Ofcom. Sadly, you'll never know if they even investigated your complaint. On this basis then it's likely they know all about Direct Dialogue Limited and the more complaints they get about these bozos the better!!

This is great - surely this is what the internet is all about. I too have received numerous calls from 01709763849 and in frustration I just googled it to find all these posts. Now I know which company it is I won't answer - they can hear my answer machine every time! Thank you to Tony Ruscoe for the original posting, I can relax now - oh, there goes the phone :-)

hi, i was only called once by 01709 763849, and cause i didn't know the number i googled it and found this page!! I really don't want these calls to get out of hand so i am most definately going to take the advice i have found on this page. So thanks to you all!!

Also just Googled this number and very grateful to have found your blog! Answered and they hung up.
Have used BT Choose to Refuse to bar it as am registered with TPS -this didn't prevent it - and Oftel require all sorts of details for a complaint.
Thansk!

Hi there
I just got hit by 01709 763849 selling identity theft insurance on behalf of Wallis for £70 per year if you sign up now. If you want to have some fun ask them "how do I know this call is genuine?" Gets em in a flap. Also quoted a reference to a website WWW.protectmyidentity.co.uk which does exists and gives a company name of CPP. Thanks to this blog I have now left a message on their answer machine asking to be removed from their database.

Thanks for your really useful info - i have been getting about 8 calls a day from 01709 763849 for about 2 weeks now, and being ex-directory i thought i could avoid these type of calls. How wrong i was! Even 8.30pm on a Sunday night this number called me. i don't even have a store card so i am concerned as to where my number came from.

...and there was I thinking it was an old girlfriend, ah well.... Just a warning it appears that my link to GE is my new ASDA credit card, the one that gives you cheaper petrol. I will be speaking to them soon!!!

Direct Dialogue are responsible for the calls. They are a Rotherham based call centre.

Head Office Address
Direct Dialogue Limited
1 Call Flex Business Park
Golden Smithies Lane
Wath-upon-Dearne
Rotherham
S63 7ER

Feel free to write to them. If you receive more than 1 silent call within 72 hours then report them for breaking Ofcom Regulations.

Thank you, I've had 3 calls already this morning. I made one search on google and found this site. So I've called back to listen to the message and leave my name and number for deletion. Thanks again.

Hi, delighted to have found this blog.
I received two calls from 01709763849 yesterday. I've got a Debenhams card (managed by GE Capital) so can only assume this is how they got my number. Most annoying. I'll be filing a complaint with OFCOM.
Many thanks.

I have read all your blogs on here are can't believe how narrow minded you people are!

Do you really think that the operators really want to be calling you?

Direct Dialogue is like any other company that deals in outbound calling. They are a business that is simply offering a product to you and it is upto you if you wish to accept or decline.

What if your partner, son or daughter had to work in a call centre? Would you approve of people giving them grief for doing their job?

Direct Dialogue offer a service of deleting your number from the database which many other companys don't so why not use that then?

Please bear in mind my comments before going into a crusade against companys like Direct Dialogue.

Regards,

Mr. X

I have read all your blogs on here are can't believe how narrow minded you people are!

Mr. X, I assume you're referring to the comments (which are not "blogs") and that you're not calling me narrow minded, as I never gave anybody on the other end of the phone any grief and never would do.

I completely understand it's not the operator's fault and that they might not be able to get a job anywhere else, but I think it's quite clear that the people who have commented here do not agree with the way these companies are going about their business.

I also had this issue. The calls I got were from 01709 763840, but when I ring that number it doesn't exist!

I called 01709 763849 instead, and got the infamous 'you've been called by an telemarketing company' message. Pressed '1' and left a message to be removed. It better get done!

I had a Ted Baker card, administered by GE, so that's my guess as to who passed on the details.

Me again from the 10th August. As for 'Mr X' he must be living in cloud cuckoo land! I suspect we all agree it's not the operator's fault as they are doing the job they have chosen to do. But we can't ignore the owners of the company for what appears to be a blatant breach of the law of this land. But judging by the continuing comments on this page, it's clear they know that the legislation is pure crap or that the ICO and Ofcom are useless. Perhaps it's time to beef up the legislation? I never got a reply from Ofcom and seeing the comments so far it's pretty clear they did nothing about my complaint. C'est la vie!!

My wife started recieving these calls from 01709 763840 recently. Quess what! She recently took out a store card with Debenhams. She is usually out when they call, and walthough I always ask the sales person what they want, they refuse to tell me, quoting the data protection act. Well, here are a couple of tips for dealing with these calls.

Tip 1: The next time these little beauties call, just say "Hold On, Please..." put down your phone and walk off (instead of hanging-up immediately). This makes each telemarketing call so much more time-consuming. Then when you eventually hear BT's "beep-beep-beep" tone, you know it's time to go back and hang up. This might help eliminate telephone soliciting.
(2) If you get a call with no one on the other end, ten it's a telemarketing technique where a machine makes phone calls and records the time of day when a person answers the phone. This technique is then used to determine the best time of day for a "real" salesperson to call back and get someone at home. If you do recieve this type of call, immediately start hitting the # button on the phone, 6 or 7 times, as quickly as possible. This confuses the machine that dialled the call and it kicks your number out of their system. Gosh, what a shame not to have your name in their system any longer!!!
Hope this helps.

I guess mine is down to my new asda credit card too,as I`m on holiday abroad and have to pay to recieve calls can i claim back i wonder
by Anonymous Anonymous  

Hi I google 01595 297160 and got this blog. So what company is responsible for 01595 297160 then? recieved a call from this number but didn't answer because I didn't recognise it, they didn't leave a message.

I just start asking the female callers to describe their under garments and it REALLY catches them off-guard. The guys, I ask if they have any HOT co-workers and what are wearing. Takes a few seconds but they usually hang-up on me. I know it is rude but It does instill a deep feeling that I got their attention and they never call back.