Sales call nightmare for Ipswich woman

TELESALES calls have been plaguing an Ipswich woman day and night despite her number being ex-directory and legally there is nothing she can do about it.

TELESALES calls have been plaguing an Ipswich woman day and night despite her number being ex-directory and legally there is nothing she can do about it.

Lady Gillian Whitbread has been subjected to silent calls, computerised messages and sales pitches and when she told one caller she was ex-directory he hung up the phone.

But industry regulator Ofcom claim because the calls are coming from abroad there is nothing that can be done.

Now Lady Whitbread and Ipswich councillor Steve Flood are calling for legislation to control calls coming into the country.

Mr Flood said: "This has got to be an infringement of rights. You go to lengths to make your number ex-directory and these people still get hold of your telephone number and nothing can be done. It is ridiculous and something needs to be done about it by the government.

"Myself and councillor Paul West have passed this on to our representative at parliament."

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Lady Gillian said some of the calls are as late as 10pm. She said: "It's frightening to get them at night if you are on your own or if you have a family – something might have happened to someone or someone could be calling to see if your house is empty."

When the calls were at their peak Lady Gillian received ten in a day all of which were silent. The next day she received eight and the following day five.

On the last call there was finally someone at the other end of the phone.

She said she kept them talking and managed to get the number of their company but when she told them she was ex-directory the caller hung up.

Lady Gillian called the number she had been given and got through to a company in Eastbourne who told her their telesales department was based in India.

The company agreed to remove Lady Gillian from their list but she is still receiving calls from other companies.

She added: "BT supplied me with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) number. It takes 28 days then to put you on a special list which telephone marketing people have to look at – if your name is on it they cannot ring you.

"The problem then arises if it comes from abroad – nobody from this country can stop these automated computer dialled telemarketing calls coming in.

"Something needs to be done by the government to change this."

A spokeswoman for Ofcom said: "Most legislation is for calls generated in the UK. Once you are outside the UK there is nothing you can do – ignore it and eventually it will stop."

n. Are you plagued by these calls? Do you agree there should be more legislation? Write to us at Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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