Posts Tagged ‘telephone’

Stopping junk post, annoying phone calls, and unwanted faxes

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

If you are in the UK and receive unsolicited post, phone calls or faxes there are several services you can sign up with to reduce these unwanted disturbances to your life.

There is the telephone preference service, the fax preference service, and the mailing preference service. There is also a baby mailing preference service if you receive baby related mailings. They are all free and run by the same people.

Telephone preference service website

I’d recommend signing up the telephone, fax, and mailing preference service. Sign up for the fax one even if you don’t have a fax – if you get silent calls, or calls where you hear beeps then it may be a fax machine calling you.

Since signing up several years ago the amount of junk mail and calls that I’ve received has dramatically reduced.

Free caller ID

If you get your telephone service from BT then you can sign up for free caller ID. You’ll need a phone which supports this feature. Just sign up to the free ‘BT Privacy at Home‘ service. Caller ID is usually £5.25/quarter so this gets you a premium service for free.

Telephone call log spreadsheet

Monday, July 6th, 2009

It can be well worth keeping a log of phone calls to companies such as banks, utility companies and anyone else who you have an account with. You never know when it could be useful to have this information.

For example this week I received some unsolicited credit card cheques from Natwest. I have previously been sent these by Natwest and I remember that I phoned them up to ask them not to send them to me anymore. I know I have called them at least once and I suspect that I have called them twice. As they are clearly not honouring my preferences I am writing a letter of complaint to them.

Unfortunately I don’t know the dates (or even whether I made one or two) of my calls to them. I can still write the letter, but if I had recorded my calls to them I could have been very specific about details of when I told them not to send me any more of their credit card cheques.

Here is the call logging XLS spreadsheet that I’ve put together to record future calls.

Telephone call log spreadsheet – 17kb

Find out the cost of calling any telephone number

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Often you will see UK telephone numbers with codes such as 087xx, and a price for calling that number will be listed. How do you know that the price is actually correct?

I would have thought the BT would have a simple page where you can enter a telephone number into a box and be told instantly the correct cost of calling it. I’ve been unable to find such a page but I have (after a fair bit of searching) managed to find out how to get this information from BT’s web site. I wanted the information from BT’s website as it is more likely to be accurate and up to date than from any other site.

I was prompted to find out how to do this as I wanted to be sure of the cost of an access number for calling a Japanese mobile phone. The web page of the dialing company told me it would cost 7p / minute.

0871 call cost

Looking up the price seems to be a two stage process. You need to find the Tariff Guide on their Products and Services page in the Personal section of their site.

You need to click on the Residential and Business special number call prices PDF link under the Pricing information heading.

This document has a large list of the starting codes of all phone numbers. You need to search through this list until you find the one that matches the number you have. You then need to make a note of the ‘Type of call’ code. In my case it is ‘g13’.

telephone number lookup

Further down the document you will find another table that tells you the cost of calling each ‘Type of call’ number. By cross-referencing these two pieces of information I’ve confirmed that the number is correctly advertised as costing 7p / minute.

call cost table

Telephone log for dealing with recruitment agencies

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

If you are looking for a new job you might upload your CV to somewhere like Jobsite or PlanetRecruit. Sites like these allow recruitment agencies to find your CV directly and contact you if they have a suitable job. If you are lucky and have in-demand skills you may start getting loads of calls. It is important that you have a system for keeping track of who is calling you and what jobs they are putting you forward for.

I’ve made a simple telephone log which you can use to keep track of your recruitment agencies phone calls.

Recruitment agency call log – doc format – 13kb

Recuitment agency call log

There are 6 call tables per A4 sheet of paper and I’ve added the tables for 10 pages. You can easily copy and paste the tables to make it as long as you like. The tables auto-number themselves. One way of using the doc is to print out a few pages to start with and then print out further pages later. e.g. Start by printing out pages 1 and 2. When these are nearly full print out pages 3 and 4. This will keep the call table numbers in sequence.

I use the CV column to note whether my CV has been sent to the company and the extra boxes along the top to note the date / times of any follow up calls.