Nuisance Phone Calls

I need your help! For some time now, I’ve been receiving nuisance phone calls on a landline at home and while it’s not a huge issue, I’d really welcome some advice on how to solve the problem. If you have experience of dealing with a malicious caller, I’d love to hear from you.

The caller is male, probably of Far Eastern origin and rings our home phone number up to 5 times a day… well, on the days/evenings when we’re at home anyhow. We have caller ID on all our phones but the phone number from this caller always shows as ‘unavailable’.

If I answer an ‘unavailable’ call, I only say “hello” and wait for a response. There is always a delay before the same male voice says “hello” back. If I say nothing further, he rings off. Sometimes I pick up the phone but say nothing and he will say “hello” repeatedly at which point, I put the phone down as I recognise his voice.

On occasion, the caller has tried to lure me into conversation with the pretence that it’s a sales call. I avoid this as I know that most malicious callers gain pleasure from upsetting the person they call. By showing no emotion, I’m hoping I may be able to put him off.

When he rang this afternoon, I said “hello” and then as soon as I heard his voice, I took great pleasure in blowing a loud whistle down the phone. I hope it really hurt his ear but unfortunately, it hasn’t put him off.

My daughter answered the phone to him this evening and she recognised his voice straight away. She told him calmly that she knew where he was calling from and that she’d reported him to the police. He immediately went on the defence and said that his location couldn’t be traced. This reaction confirms that he is a malicious caller. My daughter repeated to him in a calm voice, that she had reported him for making harassing phone calls and then put the phone down. He has not rung since.

You may well ask why we continue to answer calls which show the number as ‘unavailable.’ The answer is that my mother is very ill at the moment and every time the phone rings, I wonder if it is the nursing home trying to contact me and so I answer the phone just in case. While the nuisance caller doesn’t  know this fact, his calls are proving highly insensitive at a time like this.

On looking online for solutions on how to deal with malicious callers, it appears that some phone companies offer a ‘privacy manager’ service, but at a cost and it irks me that I should have to pay to get rid of this guy.

Is this really the only solution for dealing with nuisance callers or has anyone got any other ideas?

14 Responses to Nuisance Phone Calls

  1. Nancy says:

    Dear Steph,

    Whenever I get a call like the ones you describe I say’Hello” and then,as you did, I say nothing.That is the right thing to do.And the whistle bit which you already did. That should have worked.

    BUT, when the telephone rings again, I amswer” Bell Telephone Company, Special Investigating Operator”.
    The person hangs up immediately because they think the call has been forwarded to a special investigation unit of the phone company and will be traced and reported to the police.They think they no longer have me on the line and the game is over.

    Try it,just substituting the name of your telephone co in place of my Bell Telephone.

    Now for a laugh.

    One night Roy and I were in bed and the phone rang. He answered and as he was passing the phone to me he said, “It’s an obscene call.I Guess it’s for you.”
    I suppose the caller heard the remark because he immediately hung up.Then we roared laughing….

    Cousin Nancy

  2. Grannymar says:

    I had to deal with a similar problem for my elderly neighbour this week. She was really upset by the calls. Her provider (BT) offer the ‘privacy manager’ service free of charge.

    Have you spoken to your provider? Perhaps they could put a trace on you phone for a few weeks.

  3. Achelois says:

    I had a problem with unwanted calls some years back and BT whom we were with provided a service for nothing the name of which I am afraid I can’t remember. Further to an unwanted call, one had the ability to block the number even it was withheld. This applied to call centres also who used multiple numbers.

    Most companies should have a dedicated department to obtain advice with regard to this situation.

    I believe it is an offence under the Telecommunications Act? to make malicious calls and it could possibly be worth googling that. This is more than a nuisance, it is distressing. If it is from a call centre then I would have thought it would be different people. If you have a broadband package that is provided by the same company as your telephone provider it may be worth contacting the broadband provider to make sure this has not happened to other customers. To ensure your account has not been compromised. Without meaning to worry you unnecessarily I think I would do this for peace of mind to ensure no personal on line security has been breached at all. Its worth a go anyhow I think if you services are provided by the same company it may be that you would get info that way. Also contacting the head office of telephone provider and ringing head office as high up as you can go to complain. I believe they have some sort of obligation to ensure they do everything to assist you on this. Telephone numbers for head offices can often be found on line! Therefore bypassing the sales section wanting to sell you a product. Try threatening that you will change service providers because you feel so let down on this and wonder if in fact it is someone in their sales department ringing to get their sales ‘up’ for the privacy facility which has to be paid for!

    Speaking to the Police for advice also because this is more than nuisance calls I think.

    Recording the calls may be helpful. Keeping a diary.

    This is stressful for you all, I would hate it and really empathise. Let us know please how you get on. If I find anything at all that could help i will comment poste haste.

    xoxoxoxxo

  4. Annb says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this is happening to you it’s really really unpleasant. I had a very upsetting experience when Boy Wonder was on the transplant list so needless to say whenever the phone went off in the middle of the night I was convinced it was ‘The Call’! It was really traumatic. I told the caller that I was going to the police and I promptly did just that, the following morning. I then bought a referee’s whistle and the next (and last time) he called, I blasted his ear off with the whistle and never heard from him again. But it left me rattled – we were so dependent on that life-changing phone call – it was really disturbing. So fry his ears off next time – that’ll soften his cough!

    xxx A

  5. BendyGirl says:

    Sorry to hear this is happening Steph. I hope the telephone company can help you get the calls stopped asap BG Xx

  6. jaxx says:

    try looking on amazon for the TRUECALL screener, it has had great success for nuicance/malicious callers.

    • Steph says:

      jaxx – I know about that device but it costs a lot of money and I don’t see why I should be penalised when it should be the nuisance caller who suffers.

  7. Steph says:

    Folks!

    I love all your suggestions and insights on how to deal with nuisance callers so thank you very much!

    Interestingly, our home phone hasn’t rung since I got home this evening so it’s possible that my daughter has succeeded in frightening the pest away. Only time will tell on that one.

    If he does call again, I’m going to change the tone of my voice and pretend I’m an investigation officer from our phone supplier (thanks! Nancy).

    If that doesn’t work, I will definitely report him to the police and enquire with my phone provider as to the services they offer.

    Achelois has cleverly surmised that it could be a ploy by someone in the sales department of my telephone provider, to get their sales up. I had actually wondered if it could be someone in a call centre who is simply calling me to make it look like he’s working! I suspect it’s coming from a call centre because there’s always a delay on the line before he first speaks. This could also indicate that they are long distance calls.

    Right now I haven’t the time or the energy needed to sort this out so I’m kinda hoping that the problem will go away on it’s own accord. If not, I shall make a record of any calls and report the matter to the police and then tackle our service provider.

    Thank you all again for your help and advice.

  8. magnumlady says:

    That’s terrible Steph. I was going to say leave the phone off the hook when he rings so that he’s talking to no one….but then I read you might be hearing about your mum so that’s no good.
    I do hope you get it sorted out xx

    • Steph says:

      magnumlady

      That’s not such a bad idea you know as now that I think of it, the nursing home has my mobile number as well and I’m sure they’d try that if my landline was engaged. I might well give your idea a try. Thanks!

      Having said that, we haven’t had any nuisance calls since Friday so maybe, just maybe, my daughter’s warning has frightened him off.

  9. JBBC says:

    Gosh Steph, so sorry to hear about this upsetting experience. So glad you wrote about it here, as I am sure you are helping a lot of people who are experiencing somthing similar. Reading everyone’s helpful responses has been enlightening. Hope the situation has now resolved itself. Marie x

    • Steph says:

      JBBC

      Good to hear from you. The nuisance calls themselves haven’t actually upset me but I could do without them at a time like now when every phone call brings with it a certain dread.

      I was in two minds about putting this problem out there but having received so many great ideas, I’m really glad I did. If that pest ever dares to annoy me again, he’ll get a lot more than he bargained for!

      The blog world came up trumps once again.

  10. Baino says:

    Give him my number, nobody ever calls me.

    • Steph says:

      Baino

      Welcome back! I missed you and your fun and games.

      You’re very welcome to my nuisance caller. I promise to send him over if he dares to phone here again. Grrr! ;-)

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