Blog for hpHosts, and whatever else I feel like writing about ....

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Virgin Media + The Money Club: I wanna be a telepest!

I've just had an interesting conversation with Virgin Media. My mother has been receiving calls from 0116 225 3841 for the last 3 days, each time the phone was answered, the caller would instantly hang up without saying a word, giving the impression it's actually an automated dialer.

I traced this number back to Virgin Media, and duly called them, having tried to call the number itself (constantly said it was busy). Virgin Media' sales team informed me that it was actually their "national" team that is responsible for these nuisance calls, and put me through to them.

Speaking to the rep at the national team, I asked to speak to a manager, and was finally told a manager was on the line - but interestingly, the manager never actually spoke, instead the rep asked for the address of the property, my mothers name, my name, how I knew VM were responsible and how I traced it back to them. Finally, she told me she'd have to fill in a form to have the calls stopped, and we'll wait and see as far as whether or not that happens.

The problems here of course, is that we spoke with them last year about their doing the same thing, and were told they'd remove her number from the list - evidently they didn't. The biggest problem however, is that my mothers obviously not the only one they're doing this to, and not everyone has someone on hand that can trace the number and get the calls stopped - and we shouldn't actually have to get them to stop calling to begin with, especially when they're just instantly hanging up.

I've got a theory as far as why it's hanging up, and the theory is that it's to find out when people are likely to be in, for a future sales call, or a door step visit (VM have already done the door step visit a number of times, along with the likes of Talk Talk etc - both were told there's not a hope in hell).

However, here's the interesting twist. I wasn't satisfied with the explanation from Virgin Media, so did some more digging, and discovered the number actually belongs to a website called "The Money Club";
Langley Business Centre; S
United Kingdom

Quite why Virgin Media took the blame, instead of correctly identifying it was actually *their customer* that is to blame, is beyond me. The woman I spoke to at The Money Club was rather brazen about it, and was absolutely fine with the problems they're creating for people, saying it's the easiest method for *them* (apparently not giving a damn about the people the dialer is calling). If you'd like to call 5k to get yourself removed from their list of people to annoy, you can reach them at 01753 733733.

It's worth noting the woman I spoke to, when asked why this number didn't appear on their website, advised me they've actually got over 500 numbers they're using for dialers. It's also worth noting that Companies House has no record of either "5k" or "The Money Club" (there are records for "The Money Club Ltd" and "The Money Club Direct Ltd", but neither of these are in Slough).

If you've been receiving these calls, first and foremost, report them to your service provider (Sky, BT etc), and to both OfCom and BBC Watchdog. Hopefully these people will finally get the message that these sort of tactics aren't welcome.

Finally, register with the TPS (Telephone Preference Service), a free service designed to stop nuisance marketing calls;

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