John Walker's Electronic House

When Faxes Attack

by on Oct.23, 2007, under The Rest

This is fun:

Today I’ve been receiving phonecalls from a fax machine. Which is weird. The phone rings, and I hear a beeping tone, which won’t then hang up. This then ties up the line for the next couple of minutes. All day long.

So I called BT’s fault line, who called me back promptly, and told me that what I need to do is call Customer Services and ask them to block the number. Oh, that seems simple enough.

I call 150, dance through menus, and speak to a call centre in India. The nice lady takes all my details, and then once she’s sure I’m me she tells me, “Could you call back in ten or fifteen minutes as my system is broken.”

So I call back later on, get through to India once more, and the new nice lady tells me that I can block the number once I pay a fee of £10.05 per quarter. This seemed strange to me. I’m getting nuisance calls from a fax machine, and I have to pay money to stop them. Um, no. She tells me it’s impossible for them to block a number, but only I can. Wow – I’m more powerful than BT when it comes to controlling telephones. I pointed out that this was nonsense, but the poor woman was on a script. I protest that I’m not going to pay money to fix a nuisance call. She puts me on hold, and comes back with quite the offer. For one whole month, they’ll allow me free access to this Refuse The Call (or whatever) system, and then immediately start charging money when that month is up. Gee whizz.

That’s the BT way. If you receive nuisance calls that prevent your phone from working, you have to pay money to prevent them! Obviously they’re offering the rest of the service completely for free, so… oh no wait, they charge massive monopoly-based fees. Thanks BT – thanks for all your kind help.

So does anyone know a good trick to stop this? Or better, a way of learning whose fax machine it is so I can phone them and ask them to bloody well stop calling me. Ooh, or even better, does anyone with a fax machine want to contact me and offer to send them an politely abusive fax for me?

The number that’s calling is: 020 7490 2741

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