Dealing with Nuisance Calls
I am pretty certain that just like me you are having to deal with loads of unwanted callers, either doing a “study”, offering you better insurance coverage or selling wine from Italy. Annoyingly they don’t easily give up, but you can file a complaint for harassment against the more persistent callers if you have taken the trouble to have an asterisk put in front of your telephone number. The asterisk signifies that you do not want to receive any marketing calls. If you mark your phone book entries with an asterisk then your registered mobile numbers and email addresses will be automatically marked with an asterisk as well.
To do this go to local.ch, enter your name and address and modify your entry by putting an asterisk in front of your number, now you have legally stated that you do not want to be disturbed, unfortunately this will not deter everyone but you can now put an end to the conversation very quickly by stating this fact.
Swisscom also offers advice on what to do to protect yourself. One simple way is to go into your Swisscom account online and click on telephony then call barring and activate this service, this will already save you from a lot of calls. You can also manually add to this list if you would like.
If you get a notification that someone from a number you do not know has called you and you are not sure whether to call them back or not, then go to stopting.ch, this website is where anyone can enter the numbers of people and rate them from okay to “terror”, this saved me from recently calling back a particularly aggressive advertiser.
More recently I have been receiving several calls a day from supposedly Microsoft or Windows Support Call Centre, which turns out to be a well oiled scam set up in India. They have got quite sophisticated as they are now able to mimic a local call. The telltale sign that the call is a scam is if there is a silence when you first pick up and then a busy background noise, at this point I simply hang up!
The guardian newspaper recently wrote a very interesting article on how these scammin operations are run in India, a well worth read.
There are more home made ways of dealing with calls, the “I don’t speak German” method, the “Take my number off your list” method, or if you have time then ask them to speak really slowly because you want to write everything down they say for your German class, and make them spell out the words you don’t get!
The Seinfeld method works rather well.
In the end after putting the asterisk next to your number, hanging up probably is your safest bet!