BT and identifying cold callers

Following my blogpost on cold calling, another issue is the problem of identification.

Occasionally British Telecom (BT) phone me. The most recent call was to remind me to renew my broadband with them. This needs serious consideration because tonight I sent an email which did not go through. What was the reason? This is what the email said:
“Technical details of temporary failure:
Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the relay smtp.btinternet.com.
The error that the other server returned was:
421 Too many messages (1.3.5.2) from …”

So one email is ‘too many messages’. This is not uncommon, and it is sporadic and unpredicable. This deserves investigation and consideration before I renew my contract with BT.

So when the BT caller phoned about renewing my broadband, I was ready to ask some questions, but before we could begin, the caller wanted to go through some ‘security questions’ with me first. Could I confirm my name, address and postcode for identification.

So I reminded the caller that I would like to confirm their identity. She repeated that these questions were simply for security. So I pointed out: “If I answer them, you have a name, a telephone number and an address – very useful for cold callers and others.” So I repeated by question: “You claim to be BT. Of all people, you should be able to confirm your identity on a telephone.” As I probed who they were, I discovered that it was not BT but a sub-contracted business claiming to do BT’s work for them.

So I pointed out to them that as they cannot prove their identity to me, and I cannot establish their identity either, the call will need to end.

I periodically have this phone call with BT personnel, or their subsidiaries. If BT cannot address this issue, why should we bother? Telecommunication is their business, and it is their responsibility to prove their identification in their cold calls. Let BT and other cold callers address this.

4 thoughts on “BT and identifying cold callers

  1. Sir. The reason they refuse to give out their identity when they ring is because they are employees of British Telecom. ALL the so called survey calls received by individuals are done by British Telecom Employees based in India.

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    1. Donald

      Thanks for this Ann.

      I could have made it clearer that I do not ask for personal identity but how to prove that they are genuinely calling on behalf of BT. I am speaking about more than surveys but about BT trying to find or retain business such as internet provision.

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  2. All you do Dr Boyd if the phone rings, is let it ring till it stops. Once it stops dial 1471 and if you know the number who has rung or left a message you can ring back. If however the number or person who has left a message is NOT known to you you can always delete it by pressing 3.

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    1. Donald

      Thanks Ann. My topic was cold callers – I don’t want to phone them back, far less for them to phone me. 1471 does not often work with cold callers. Cold callers rarely if ever leave answer machine messages.

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