Category Archives: Annoying Phone Calls

Phone bills

When I signed up to O2, one of the extra no-charge services I agreed to (why they got my email address) was that they’d let me know by email if I was exceeding my usual monthly bill.

I got an email like that from them on 29 November (my bill was due on 2nd December). I had exceeded my usual phone costs by over £70.

My phone plan gives me two hundred minutes a month free. Normally, I stay inside that ration quite easily. This month I’d finished my free minutes about half-way through a phone call on 22nd November, and thereafter, every phone call had been charged at a rate of £4 per fifteen minutes. For one particularly long phone call I’d made on Sunday 23rd November, it would actually have been cheaper to pay for a taxi over to see Kreetch in person.

I’d agreed to sign up for an email to warn me that I was exceeding my monthly bill because I didn’t want to get accidentally smacked with a hundred-pound-plus phone bill. It would have been better/cheaper for me (and less profitable for O2) if they’d warned me I was exceeding my usual phone bill after I’d made that long call on Sunday – and better yet if I’d got the warning email as soon as I went over my free minutes. (The long call would, by itself, have doubled my usual bill: but apparently O2 didn’t trigger the promised email until I’d quadrupled my usual bill.)
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Filed under Annoying Phone Calls, Feng Shui Kitten Fixes Stuff

Scam Scam Scam Scam

Three texts received over the past two days:

  • IMPORTANT: Dear Client, you’re eligible for Government Debt Relief Order where you’ll be 100% debt free in 12-mths for only £90. Call 01614864801 REF:DR0559 Sender: 0758116685 Message Centre: 07802000332
  • REMINDER: Dear Client, you’re eligible for Government Debt Relief Order where you’ll be 100% debt free in 12-mths for only £90. Call 01614864801 REF:DR0545 Sender: 07546272363 Message Centre: 07802000332
  • FINAL NOTICE: Dear Client, please call today to process your Debt Relief Order for £90 and be debt-free in 12-months. Call 01614864801 REF:DR0545 Sender: 07856712036 Message Centre: 07802000332

Well, there’s egg and bacon,
egg sausage and bacon
Egg and scam
Egg, bacon and scam
Egg, bacon, sausage and scam
Spam, bacon, sausage and scam
Scam, egg, scam, scam, bacon and scam
Scam, sausage, scam, scam, scam, bacon, scam tomato and scam
Scam, scam, scam, egg and scam
Scam, scam, scam, scam, scam, scam, baked beans, scam, scam, scam and scam.

Note that the landline number and the message centre number does not change, but the sender’s number changes every time (to remove the possibility of blocking it) and there is a different REF:DR code each time. From this thread on Who Calls Me, it’s some kind of phone charging scam.

Debt Relief Order is a real thing, and if you need advice on how to deal with your debts go to a reputable adviser such as MoneySavingExpert or Citizen’s Advice Scotland.

This kind of spam scam is deliberately preying on vulnerable people who already have money problems. Probably the spammer scammer is not even in this country. My mobile phone provider is O2. What can be done about reporting these vampire squid and blocking them from using the O2 and other networks?

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Filed under Annoying Phone Calls, Poverty

Why won’t people work for nothing?

Carl Cooper, 26, owns his own business – Car Smart UK in Canterbury, and had what must have seemed at the time to be a very bright idea.

It’s a real problem for a small business. You got a good idea, there’s a demand for it, you put in a lot of hours building up your business, but there are only so many hours in the day, you cannot be two places at once, you can’t talk on the phone to two different car dealerships simultaneously, you need more people. But the moment you bring new people in, the whole situation changes.

One big problem which does not occur to many people in Carl Cooper’s situation: you can be very good at running your own business but an absolutely terrible manager. But the cashflow problem is something you just can’t ignore.

Even if you just pay your new employee minimum wage, they’ve got to bring the company – that is, you! – a minimum of £4000 each quarter (allowing for 25% over the cost of their wages) just to break even. The chances are that even if you advertise for someone who can “hit the ground running”, an employee’s first few weeks will not be their most productive – they’re learning the job, learning what you expect of them. But you still need to pay them. Then if they’re telesales workers, you’ve got to rent more office space, buy the desks, get phones and phone lines and computers and all – huge expense, and their wages are really just the last straw, because you’ve got to pay them that whether they’re any good or not….

Imagine a little light-bulb coming on over Carl Cooper’s head. Continue reading

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Filed under Annoying Phone Calls, Benefits, Supermarkets

The Windows hoax calls

On Friday morning, I got a phone call that initially I took to be a computer sales call. The person who rang had to my British ears a strong accent – and a familiar one: my workplace computer used to be a Dell, and by the end of its working life I was making a lot of calls to Dell Support Helpdesk. A lot of work in the US IT industry is outsourced to India.

The man asked me if my name was Mrs EdinburghEye, and I said it was, because I never argue with call centre staff about using Ms.

Then he asked me if I had a desktop computer, and – confirmed in my belief that this was a sales call – I asked him who he worked for.

“Windows,” he said. “Do you have a desktop computer?”

Windows?” That was my first clue that this wasn’t a normal sales call. Continue reading

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