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:
- 01709 763840
- 01709 842700
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.
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.
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).
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?
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!
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.
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.
Thought about complaining to Ofcom but it clearly has no teeth as can be seen from it giving these palty fines:
Ofcom has imposed the following penalties:
Space Kitchens £45,000
Bracken Bay Kitchens £40,000
Carphone Warehouse £35,000
So don't waste your time.
The ACE Building
100 Leadenhall Street
London EC3A 3BP
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
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.
Thanks for this useful information everyone.
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.
Basically, neither company is accepting responsibility for their telemarketing.
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...
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
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
But somewhere, people must be bowing to their pressure. Shame.
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
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,
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.
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 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!!
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
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/
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!!!!
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!
"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!!
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.
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.
Head Office Address
Direct Dialogue Limited
1 Call Flex Business Park
Golden Smithies Lane
Feel free to write to them. If you receive more than 1 silent call within 72 hours then report them for breaking Ofcom Regulations.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.