Chris Croft's Personal Blog

June 18, 2011

Junk Calls are no more

Filed under: Gadgets, Happiness, Lists — chriscroft @ 9:51 am

I joined the TPS a while ago and that did pretty well for a while, but foreign companies (nice people from India and horrible machine calls from the USA) don’t care about the TPS. Also, surveys are exempt, so you get “A quick survey about windows” rather than “Wanna buy some windows?”

So for a bit I have been using some fun techniques, like

– asking them questions back, like their name, middle name, date of birth, what sort of chair are they sitting on, what sort of pants are they wearing, – the questions getting gradually weirder until they hang up
– asking them if I could have their number so I can call them back, and then ‘when are they having dinner, so I can do it then?’
– asking them out on a date because their voice sounds really nice
– saying “Hang on a minute, I’ll just get a pen” and then never coming back
– screaming suddenly very loudly into the headset (actually I’ve never done this one, and the trouble with all these is that I feel a bit sorry for the person, after all they’re only doing a job, and a difficult one at that)
– this one made me laugh Background noise just as you give them your credit card number
– Ask them to repeat everything they say, several times.
– Tell them that all business goes through your agent, and hand the phone to your five year old child.
– Tell them you are hard of hearing and that they need to speak up…louder…louder…louder!
– If they start out with, “How are you today?”,say “I’m so glad you asked, because no one these days seems to care, and I have all these problems…………”
– Cry out in surprise, “Helen, is that you? I’ve been hoping you’d call! How is the family?” When they insist they are not Helen, tell them to stop joking. This works especially well if the telemarketer is really MALE.
– Just keep saying “Hello?”, “Hello?”, “is anybody there…hello?” This really frustrates them as they can see there is no way to begin their potentially lucrative sales call!

anyway, I’ve got the answer now, thanks to my brother who saw it on dragon’s den – it’s the trueCall box!

You plug it in in between your phone and your phone’s wall socket and off it goes! Callers have to give their name (silent calls get blocked before it even lets your phone ring at all) and then your phone rings and you get a message saying “I have….”Dave”.(in his voice!)… on the line for you, do you want to take the call?” and then you can either take it as a one off, take it and star him no next time he gets straight through, or you can send it to answerphone and listen while they leave a message, or block him so next time it doesn’t even ring, he just gets a message saying “You’ve been blocked, don’t call again”. And even with answerphone messages you can star them or block them for when they next call. So the good people only get your “Who are you?” message once, and the bad guys have no chance of getting through. I love it!

You can import your phone book into it as well (via website) so they all get starred, but I’m not that organised so I’m just doing it as we go along.

You need caller ID on your phone line, but with Virgin that’s free, and I think it’s free with BT as well, so not a problem.

As they say on the gadget show, Great Tech!

details at though cheaper to buy it from DS Telecom where it is £86

It’s been on the gadget show as well –



  1. I love the idea of handing the phone to the five year old Chris but I’d want to put it on loudspeaker so that I could hear their reaction!

    Comment by Jo — June 22, 2011 @ 9:47 am

  2. Great gadget, Chris. Although for that price I’m going to use some of your responses first, they are too good to waste.

    Comment by Wizzard Prang — June 27, 2011 @ 11:34 am

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