How to deal with cold callers

Companies that use cold calling tactics are annoying and stressful but there are steps you can take to stop them. Rebecca Rutt looks into how you can escape from the cold callers and where you can go to complain about them.

I used to get cold calls all the time from sales people telling me I've had an accident, flogging things or guilt-tripping me into giving money and it was so frustrating.

To escape them I registered with the free Telephone Preference Service. I used to work in a call centre and the only rules were not to call anyone on the TPS list. But even this was waived at times.

We were given minimal training and encouraged to Google companies on mass and call their staff, with no idea if they were on the TPS list or not.

But you do have some power.

If you get called and you're on the list, take down the time and date, get the firm's name and ask for a telephone number. You can then go to Ofcom. They've got an online complaints form and can take up your case and could fine the company.

Also check the small print when entering your phone number on anything and tell companies you don't want to be contacted by phone. My cold calling days are over but there's no excuse for companies doing this. Be aware, fight your corner and stop being bullied by the cold callers.

Your Comments

This advice is okay as far as it goes but I keep getting phone calls,several times a day and it is a pre-recorded message and says to click on a number for them to stop contacting you.  I have not done this because I am told that if you do, you will be charged several pounds for the privilege and so I just keep getting these annoying calls.

I was constantly called by a double glazing company, despite my telling them, each time, that I did not want to be contacted by them.   I was listed on the TPS at the time.   Eventually I agreed to have a salesman call to determine what I wanted.    They assumed I meant "what windows I wanted".    I allowed the salesman to lug his samples in, he measured up a window, we negotiated a price, which I refused.  After wasting an hour of his time I told him that the reason I he was here, was to make damn sure that his company removed me from their calling list.   I promised them another "interview" if they should call again.
Problem solved, and boy, was it fun!