An interesting approach

I’m often plagued by what the media term as ‘cold callers’ though my own description veers towards nuisance calls and bloody timewasters. It varies from various energy providers (yes British bloody Gas I’m looking right at you) to constant text enquiries via my mobile for PPI compensation, something despite their claims I know I’m not entitled too as the last time I had PPI on a loan I actually had cause to use it.

Still this guy used the system against itself…


A cold-call firm has been forced to pay compensation to a businessman after he took it to court for wasting his time.
The stunning victory could open the floodgates to further claims from the millions of homeowners plagued by similar unwanted and infuriating calls.
Richard Herman vowed to hit back after he was targeted by firms promising compensation for mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI).
The 53-year-old turned the tables by invoicing one of the firms for £10 for every minute he wasted answering their telephone calls.
He also recorded the calls, meaning that when the unscrupulous company denied ever having rung him, he was armed with incontrovertible proof to the contrary.
He offered to send the firm the recordings but they ignored him, so he took his case to the small claims court.
In a victory for the little man, marketing company AAC, which sells referrals to claims management companies, agreed to pay the full £195 for 19-and-a-half minutes of calls, plus a £25 court fee.

As to whether this is a victory for the ‘little man’ as the Mail puts it I have my doubts, unless of course it causes the cold calling firms to change their tactics, which indeed it might though probably towards something more insidious.

Still it is rather amusing to see a company which was annoying someone find itself caught up in the system and hopefully other will take note. However as the companies themselves claim that they only contact those who have opted into such calls I suspect unless a lot of people take umbrage over this harassment it will continue.

What I would be interested in is how these companies believe that the general public they have contacted have somehow opted in to being cold called at what are some very odd hours. I’ve had calls on my home phone at past 9pm at night and woken up to find texts that appear to have arrived overnight.and God alone knows how they got my mobile number as I’ve never put it online, so my suspicions lie with my service provider or possibly my local garage.

Still if you have the time and patience to go down this route it could be a solution for you as I expect word will get around amongst these companies that you’re a poor target.

Does make me wonder if I can claim for the time I spend sorting through spam on my blog to allow the very, very occasional comment that gets caught up in the system though…

13 comments for “An interesting approach

  1. October 27, 2012 at 8:31 am

    How much longer before the economy melts down and we get an avalanche of complaints from people who were NOT sold PPI?

  2. MTG
    October 27, 2012 at 8:36 am

    To my credit I am no lawyer but I doubt a small CC payment to Mr Herman amounts to the sensation claimed by tabloid. It may be that the company, having submitted untruths in a defence or having otherwise bungled the court paperwork, subsequently saw the best practical option in ‘coughing up’.

    I doubt that this gravy train has paused let alone arrived at the terminus.

  3. ivan
    October 27, 2012 at 8:56 am

    We get them here in France as well but I have a very simple way of dealing with them – I forget all the french I know and only speak english.

    I did have one very persistent lot one time – they worked their way through the call center until they found someone that could speak a little english. It was amusing because I kept on using the literal meanings of the words he used. They said they would call back but that was 2 years ago and I haven’t heard from them.

  4. Greg Tingey
    October 27, 2012 at 9:30 am

    If you are on “telephone preference” they should not be calling you AT ALL, should they?

    • October 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      I heard the story on the radio today…

      The guy had registered with the ‘Telephone Preference Service’ but it only covers calls that originate in the UK. This guy was being called from India…

      Interestingly, he works for a company that makes telephone call recording systems… can’t help but think…. 🙄

      • October 27, 2012 at 11:16 pm

        Yes, the Telephone Preference Service is pretty useless in my opinion for that very reason – so many calls originate from abroad. But it lets plenty through from the UK too.

  5. Henry Crun
    October 27, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    I had one such PPI claims company phone me th other day.

    PPI monkey: This call may be recorded for training purposes, yeah?

    Me: Right, well record this then. STOP FUCKING PHONING ME!”


    Not had another one since.

  6. October 27, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    I had call after call from 02073 451 232. Sometime silence, sometimes trying to get me to change my mobile phone account. After three in a few hours, I unleashed a torrent of the most vile abuse on the caller. No more calls.

    Tingey. TPS bans sales calls, but not those for marketing purposes. Whatever the difference is. And of course, it does not cater for all those nice Indian folk who want to fix your PC. Suggested responses.

    (In a cut-glass English accent)
    “I’m frightfully sorry, I really do not speak English at all, I’m afraid”


    “Oh – thank you, but someone called me yesterday about this, and my PC is fine now, thanks”.

    • Greg Tingey
      October 27, 2012 at 11:01 pm

      I HAVE tried asking the callers where hteir mixed-ancestry Pig_&_Cow+camel ancestry originated ……

  7. October 27, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    “Can I speak to to Mr XXX YYY?”
    “Just a minute”
    Puts telephone on TV table……..

  8. October 28, 2012 at 8:39 am

    They got your mobile number in the same way SPAMmers get your email address – they bombard a mass of made up addresses in the hope that some of them are real.

  9. Andrew Duffin
    October 29, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Blow a whistle down the phone.

    Or, more subtly:

    Caller: “blah, blah, blah…”
    Me (wearily): “OK, what are you trying to sell me?”
    Caller: “No, we’re not selling anything” [they ALWAYS say this]
    Me: “Oh, that’s a shame, I was really looking foward to buying something.”
    *Puts phone down*

    • Paul
      October 30, 2012 at 9:53 pm

      Not a wise thing to do. People have been fined for blowing whistles down the phone – it’s assault.

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