back to article IT buyer? Had enough of pesky resellers cold calling? You aren't alone

IT buyers are pestered by between nine and 40 unsolicited sales calls from resellers each and every day, collectively wasting hours of their life that they’ll never get back. This was according to 60 per cent of 200 people questioned as part of a mini poll that was commissioned by, er, reseller Probrand. On average, these …

  1. WibbleMe

    When you buy a .co.uk domain name your have to give a valid phone number, we are inundated from domain brokers 3-4 times a day despite being one ourselves. Frustrating the fact that we cannot hide personal information. Thank you Nominet.

    1. KH

      Use a cell number, and block calls that aren't in your contact list with "Should I Answer" app, or similar.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "we are inundated from domain brokers 3-4 times a day despite being one ourselves"

      Just put them on your own call list and ring them a few times every day until they stop.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Use a voip number for domain contact telephone numbers

      I got mine free from Sipgate, it emails me messages as .mp3 attachments, easy to filter.

  2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Had enough of pesky resellers cold calling?

    Ha, I can sell you a system that will stop that from happening.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My old firm had a dogging service on the internal phone system. Cold callers got transferred.

    Lucky buggers - those lines normally cost £1.50/minute.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "those lines normally cost £1.50/minute."

      Probably only cost them a few quid to record enough for a tape loop.

  4. Christoph

    "some 90 per cent of these one-way blabfests lasted between one and five minutes"

    "DO NOT COLD CALL ME!" [SLAM]

    More like 5 seconds, after they've identified themselves.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      No good. They'll just call back, and odds are the calls bounce through hostile nations to block tracing and the number ID is fake. In which case you're talking to a nagger who knows he can't be stopped short of a whitelist, which most phones won't use because they'd block out customers and those who order privatization services.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > More like 5 seconds, after they've identified themselves.

      I have a better one: "all our stuff is outsourced and I have no ability to affect who it's outsourced to".

      Which may or may not be a lie.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        They'd probably counter, "That's a lie, or your position wouldn't exist!"

  5. buzzki11

    Change your number

    I am one of the "recipients" of the relentless onslaught of these calls. I can pretty much point to where they originate from, as the deluge began not long after signing up for LinkedIn. I have changed my phone number, and am about to do so again, to get away from the barrage of daily phone spam. As a person that works in a service capacity to the company, not answering the phone is not really an option.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Change your number

      " I have changed my phone number, and am about to do so again, to get away from the barrage of daily phone spam."

      And for 2FA purposes, how many websites do you have to update with the new number?

      Is it easy?

      How many require you send them a snail mail letter to effect the change? I have a couple here that insist on that.

      Verified by Visa was a complete and utter nightmare when I last changed my phone number.

  6. Dave Harvey
    Pirate

    TPS anyone?

    All our company numbers are corporate TPS registered, and I find that (at least when called by otherwise vaguely reputable UK companies) asking for the details of the caller in exactly the form and order required for the TPS complaint page (when necessary augmented by an explanation of why I'm doing this), generally results in a very rapid hang-up, and no more calls from them.

    If all else fails, we have a special "procurement" number which we put them through to - a particularly painful "your call is important to us" message with stretched tape effects, big volume jumps etc.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: TPS anyone?

      But don't be surprised if in future you're just given fake details so as to put the blame on another company while the actual nagger is safely covered by hostile powers.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: TPS anyone?

      If all else fails, we have a special "procurement" number which we put them through to - a particularly painful "your call is important to us" message with stretched tape effects, big volume jumps etc.

      That should be reserved for really persistent offenders. They're likely to realise they've been had fairly quickly. The first pass should be something which just possibly could be really genuine on-hold and a real slow burn. The worst example I heard - it really was on-hold - was Greensleeves, synthesised with excruciating precision at a hypnotic moderato.

      BTW, your message should eventually change to "your call is unimportant to us".

  7. Gerhard Mack

    I have a policy

    If you want me to listen to a sales pitch. There had better be free food, drinks or other random gifts provided.

    1. Captain Scarlet
      Stop

      Re: I have a policy

      You are still allowed random gifts, anti bribery and corruption laws in the UK have put an end to that (Even have to record if we receive free box's of biscuits with supplier orders ffs).

  8. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Our staff time is valuable. You have the following choices, please listen carefully before choosing:

    If you are cold calling and want to leave a sales message on the answering machine please press 1. If we choose to listen to your message you will be charged X currency units per minute.

    If you are cold calling and wish to speak to a member of our staff press 1. You will be charged 10X currency units per minute with a minimum charge of 1 hour.

    If you are not cold calling press 3. If you are a cold caller and abuse this option you will be charged 100X currency units per minute with a minimum charge of 1 hour.

    Your company will be invoiced. Our terms are payment within 2 days. Our debt collection colleague hopes your company will not pay as he has not eaten for a couple of days."

    1. CrazyOldCatMan

      Our debt collection colleague hopes your company will not pay as he has not eaten for a couple of days.

      "Our Debt collection is outsourced to Hungry Rottwielers Inc. Always ready to eat^W recover debt"

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Only to learn the company they claim to be doesn't exist and the number can't be traced. Based on all the cold calls sent to homes, you'd have to think cold callers to businesses will be even more savvy to stay one step ahead of fraudulent call investigations.

  9. TXITMAN

    Consider your life

    I ask the caller to 'consider what you are doing with your life, calling strangers on the phone, uninvited.'

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks cold calls

    I made a mint in the noughties mapping an 0870 number to my desk phone. These days the phone is on silent and very seldom answered. CLI and contact lists were invented for a reason.

  11. FozzyBear
    Devil

    Personally BOFH has the right solution to these situations

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/09/18/bofh_2015_episode_14/

    The only thing I would add is a call back function if their number is known until they can complete the adventure.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So why ...

    ...are you not using the premium numbers as contact telephone.

    They want to badger you, fine but they pay £1.50/minute for the priviledge you could employ most people professionally to answer the calls for you for £90/hour

  13. gbshore

    Well....

    So in this new digital, self service based economy, I am interested to hear as to how those orgs who only want help when they need and want help, how are the Service providers pay bill and remain a viable entity while they sit and wait for the phone to ring? I agree calls can be annoying at times. However, the person in the other end is trying to earn a living and they just may have some information that you have no idea about. This article assumes that the buyer knows EVERYTHING. Sorry, they do not. Sales people add value. Some don’t but this vilification of sales folks is repulsive to me.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Well....

      "Sales people add value. Some don’t but this vilification of sales folks is repulsive to me."

      Don't call us, we'll call you.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well....

      If sales people consistently added value then that would be fine. But they don't. In particular we by and large live in a commodity society, sales staff do not add value to commodity purchases unless they are offering discounts.

      In the dim and distant past sales staff provided a service by providing information to make an informed decision, but in the internet age every detail about every product is available without having to speak to someone.

    3. ppsg69

      Re: Well....

      Not vilifying proper sales people. It is the companies using cold calling with not the slightest amount of information and research. I thought we had gotten away from the days of cold fishing expeditions. I am never ever ever going to choose a supplier or buy a good/service from a cold call. When there is a requirement I will reach out to relevant businesses. Randomly calling me up and saying Do you want to buy some servers (as just one example) when I don't have a datacentre (all cloud) is wasting everyones time. Then there are the dishonest resellers trying to give the impression they are calling from HP or Adobe (one even threatened me with a licensing compliance audit - I thought about bringing my Adobe account manager in on the call to discuss it, but didn't want to waste any more time).

      And don't get me started on the phishing expeditions that are the "whitepaper" offers. Yes of course I will give you a whole bunch of my information in exchange for a 4 page, large type pamphlet that has been knocked up by an intern in their spare time...

  14. andy gibson

    Probrand are the worst

    "Hi, just ringing to see if you need anything?" on a weekly basis.

    Yeah I've got a massive shopping list here and I was just waiting for you to call.

    And that is why you and Softcat don't get a single penny of my IT budget, and my decent sales managers who never ring me will.

    1. Fuzz

      Re: Probrand are the worst

      This and, "hi just ringing to see if you want to place an order on that quote I sent you half an hour ago"

      If I want to place an order I've got your details, I had them when I asked you for the quote.

  15. Egghead & Boffin

    The extension of doom

    At one company I owned the VOIP system and set up a second extension that all such calls were sent to because that was the number I always gave. It was a valid number, but not for a living person. I never listened to the voicemail.

  16. adam payne

    Me: Sorry we have a no names no details policy

    Cold caller: But I just wanted..

    Me: Sorry we have a no names no details policy

    Cold caller: Who deals with..

    Me: Sorry we have a no names no details policy

    [click]

    Any cold caller gets the the no names no details policy treatment.

    The calls have lessen since we started doing this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wonder what happens though when they start replying with, "This is the police," where ignoring the call may result in an actual police car pulling up to your place as they foist false charges on you.

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