Can I do this to stop unwanted telephone calls?

For several nights, I’ve been getting calls from people I don’t want to talk to like double glazing sales, finance companies and so on. One of them is really persistent.

My question is : I’ve heard that you just put the phone down without replacing it on the hook; then whoever’s just phoned you can’t make any calls from their phone, unless I replace my phone on the hook.

Will this really work? UK Telephone system, by the way.

IME here in the southern US, the phone would eventually disconnect anyway since the other party is the one that called you instead of vice-versa. However, in the old days when I was a wee lass, if you called them, there was a better chance of it staying disconnected longer. I’m just not sure how much. Today though, I’m positive that it’s different. Seems like there almost an instant disconnect no matter what.

If it’s changed it’s been fairly recently. I have an ex who still, after fifteen years, likes to call and hang up. The only thing is, once he didn’t quite hang up and apparently never noticed. I was unable to use my phone for 12 hours until he evidently finally picked up the phone to make another call. However, since it was long distance for him to call me, I felt the poetic justice was worth and out-of-order phone for a few hours!

The only answer to repeated unwanted called from the same source is a bullhorn or whistle.

There’s a really easy way to test this theory - call up a friend, have him set his phone down, then you hang up and attempt to call someone else. If you can’t, then your theory works. If you can (and I believe this to be the case, but I’m not in the UK and so can’t test it directly), then it doesn’t.

There is an official way to stop telemarketers in the UK called the Telephone Preference Service. Telemarketers are obliged to consult TPS and must not call any numbers on the register. I have not had a single such call since registering my number 4 months ago:)

Thanks, everyone, for those suggestions. I will try that Telephone Preference Service mentioned above.

Love the idea of a whistle or horn down the phone, though!

Unless your phone system is really old it will not work. Nowadays first one to hang up releases the line.

Yes, I think here in the UK you’ll just get a recorded message saying ‘the other person has cleared’ until you put the phone back.

Ah, telemarketers! :wally

We discussed this in many threads - here’s one:

As you’ll notice, my solution was to ask the unwanted caller to hold on, then lay the phone down and go back to whatever I was doing.
They usually hold on a few minutes, then hang up.
On the UK telephone system, they can then annoy other people (= make other calls), while after a few minutes your phone starts to whistle.
Just hang up then (the line is dead).

Incidentally this resulted in a telemarketer phoning me back to complain I was wasting her time. :rolleyes:
So it must be a Good Thing. :smiley:

Very simple… get an unlisted number… cost a few bucks but well worth it!

Can’t you just ask to be put on the Do-Not-Call list?

If telemarketers are willing to con people with “credit card repair kits” and the like, I really doubt they’ll respect Do Not Call lists.

In the US, if they don’t honor the do not call list it’s an FCC violation, IIRC. In other words, it’s a pretty big deal, so even the sleazes will do it. Of course hardly anyone knows that this is actually regulated by the government, so as a practical matter it doesn’t come into play much.

The details are at:

I have no clue if anything like this is true in the UK.

And how does this work against auto-dialling, exactly? :rolleyes:

This is no long term solution by itself. Increasingly, these call centers are being “manned” by Indians in India, making third world wages. Harrassing these low paid workers will not stop it. Write your congressman, and tell him to outlaw people from other countries making unsolicited calls, and it will greatly reduce this nuicance.

I was wondering if you could flesh this proposed legislation out a bit for me. For example, by what means would your law enforcement find, capture, try and penalise these telemarketing Indians?

Why are you trying to make it difficult?

Telecommunications are easily(and already) monitored and regulated by the FCC, it is already being done in many ways. Penalize by giving very stiff fines, at least $100,000 “per occurence”( no telephone marketer can earn that much money per call to offset that fine), to make it unprofitable for any company to hire a “dollar an hour Indian”.

I know it’s somewhat of a hijack, but I have to share: I am proud to say that I pissed of a telemarketer recently, and got her to hang up on me.

I work with the developmentally disabled (mentally retarded) in a “group home” setting. The home has a phone that is usually listed to one of the residents. So, I always know it’s a telemarketer when they call and want to talk to “Mr. Smith”, because if they really knew Mr. Smith, they’d know that he’s never been able to utter a word, let alone consent to buy cable TV.

So, lately I’ve just been cutting them off at the pass when they call, and bluntly ask, “Are you a telemarketer?” And when they answer yes, I tell them that we’re not interested. Just the other day, however, when I bluntly asked if this woman was a telemarketer, she said that she was, and repeated her request to talk to Mr. Smith. I asked, “What do you want?” Her angry reply was, “Not to talk to you.” and she hung up.

Ah! Success!

CaptainGeordie, it has never worked that way in the UK – though once upon a time you could tie-up someone’s line in the way described by lorinada, but not anymore.

I have subscribed to both the Telephone and Mail Preference Services, this has worked so well I almost miss my junk mail.

Interestingly only the TPS is backed by law, the MPS is merely voluntary (though breaches can be referred to the Advertising Standards Agency, the ASA has “no teeth”).