Toucan’s Misleading Cold Calling & The Telephone Preference Service

We just moved house this weekend and with the move gained two new telephone numbers, one for my work and the other for the family. Who were some of our first callers, to welcome us into our new home? Toucan, a UK telephone company that apparently thinks it’s cool to try and trick people into switching.

The first call came in Monday on the family line. I answered, and it was a woman telling me she was calling about my “BT service” and wanted to discuss a new money saving plan they’d be putting me on. What? Huh? Who? There was more gobbledygook from her to try and make me think somehow she worked for BT. When I asked directly if she was from British Telecom, I was told she worked for Toucan, they wanted to save me money, and how much was my monthly phone bill? I said thanks but no thanks and disconnected.

The second call came Tuesday morning. I was asked if I was the named person on the phone line, a Mr. Walker. No, no Mr. Walkers here. “And who are you?,” I asked. Yes, it was Toucan calling again. I said I wasn’t interested. I also said I had already told someone this yesterday and to please not call back.

The third call came a Tuesday evening. My wife took it. It was Toucan again, “authorised by BT” to talk about our phone service.

Fair to say, if I was even remotely interested in Toucan before, they’ve gone right off my list completely. Moreover, a few quick searches turned up bad news about them.

Next target: Toucan Telecom over at the Daily Grind has Jonathan Sanderson having the same experience I’ve had, and this over a year ago. I guess not much has changed. He gives you the procedures to follow to get Toucan off your back if you have already registered with the Telephone Preference Service.

I highly recommend the Telephone Preference Service. This is similar to the Do Not Call registry in the US but predates it by a few years. Our old numbers were registered with TPS soon after we got them, and we almost never got cold calls. Over the past eight years, we had maybe less than ten, usually someone telling us we’d “won” a new kitchen makeover or to ask about double-glazing for our windows.

Obviously, I’m getting the new numbers going with TPS. It took me all of a couple of minutes using the online form. Hopefully, that will keep Toucan and others at bay. Toucan itself promises this in its code of conduct:

A large proportion of Toucan’s sales and marketing activity is conducted by way of outbound tele-marketing campaigns. Toucan ensures that the information which it obtains and uses to call prospective customers is always cleansed (and after no more than 28 days, re-cleansed) against the Telephone Preference Service register to ensure that those who have chosen not to be called for marketing purposes are not called.

So I may have up to a month of twice per day calls, then it should end. Well, a light at the end of the tunnel is better than none. But hey Toucan, how about getting smart enough to cleanse your list against the people you’ve just called and who have told you no?