Sun 31 Aug 2008
Today I was looking at the call log in my FritzBox which is a ADSL Modem Router with VOIP and PBX capabilities, and I saw hundreds of anonymous incoming telephone calls of 0 seconds duration.
Our FritzBox is configured to reject anonymous calls so the 0 duration was because of that, we had some problems with silent calls a while ago which is usually tele sales auto dialers with no one available to take the call if it is answered so we had BT (British Telecom) enable the caller ID service on our phone line and set the FritzBox to reject anonymous calls and any other annoying number.
Also set up its do not disturb feature so only certain numbers can get through between the hours of 10pm and 8am, marvelous it is, taken control of the telephone again, we receive the calls we want, when we want.
I spoke to BT about all these anonymous calls and after a little investigation the conclusion was they are coming from abroad as that is the only way they would be as completely anonymous as they are, and basically there is nothing BT can do about it, they suggested keep a log and if it is a problem they could give us a new telephone number. I know BT offer an anonymous caller reject service, whether that would work in this situation I do not know, but the FritzBox does a great job and more beside, with dialing plans and some VOIP accounts set up, all our phone calls are routed over the internet via the cheapest provider saving us a fortune on phone calls as well, and combined with a Dualphone Skype/PSTN telephone system with a couple of handsets it is a good system tailored to fit our requirements precisely.
So back to my original question, I don’t really expect an answer, I expect a computerised auto dialing system has thrown a fit somewhere and I hope when the company receives their phone bills for all these useless phone calls that somebody gets a rocket for incompetence not setting it up and monitoring it properly, this has been going on for 10 days at the moment, that is thousands of calls to our number and presumably we are not the only ones getting hit like this.
The tele marketing companies use these overseas call centres to get around the TPS (Telephone Preference Scheme) and cold calling rules in the UK, as these overseas centres are not covered by them, then when they make a contact and get through their initial sales script they can hand the call to their UK based colleagues as it is no longer a cold call. Two ways to deal with these nuisance calls, hang up immediately or if you have the time waste as much of their time as possible. We have the automated hang up here, works a treat.
Have fun out there and stay safe.