Over time, you can end up getting just too many annoying sales and telemarketing phone calls on your landline. I’ve blogged about dealing with unwanted telemarketing calls already, but sometimes there comes a time when you just can’t stop these nuisance calls to the point they are a distraction when they call and for minutes afterwards as you try to pick up your train of thought at work again.
Well last week, I finally bit the bullet and changed the landline number I’ve had for 21 years. I’m with BT in the UK so I called them up on a Thursday afternoon. They were very helpful and explained everything well. There was a charge of £24.99 to change the number which I felt was worth it. I also opted to go ex-directory to get rid of marketers and scammers who go through telephone directories. The next morning I had an email from BT saying my new number was active.
Well in future, I’ll be very, very careful about handing out my landline number. Already, when I google my name (which is pretty unique), on the first couple of search pages, there are quite a few directory hits with my old phone number, so this number change should prevent anyone harvesting my correct details in future. When I’m filling out forms like the one shown above, I often come across boxes asking for my landline and mobile numbers. I think most of the time, we just blindly fill out the boxes without thinking too much about it. But remember, the data will most probably be entered into a database somewhere and that phone number may be used by that company for marketing calls, or worse still they may sell on your details and phone number to other marketers. When I come across these boxes in future, I’ll need to ask myself will they really need to contact me by phone? Do I really have to give this information? If they asterisk the box saying it’s compulsory to complete these details, and you just don’t think they’ll need to reach you by phone, just change your area code or phone number slightly. In my case, I can now fill these boxes with my old number!
So now I’ll have to phone around giving my friends and family my new number. I work from home, but email is the main form of communication for my business clients so there’s no problem there. Changing the number on a Friday gave me the weekend to call around. BT give me free calls in the evening and at weekend so that worked out well. I’ll deal with close friends and family immediately and then the remaining more distant friends will get the new number on their Christmas cards.
One piece of advice I would give if you want to change your landline number, if you can afford to wait a month or two, start by making a note of each person who calls you over that period, so you have a list of numbers to call when your phone number changes, then you aren’t left scratching your head trying to remember everyone. And if your landline provider is different from your ISP, don’t forget to phone your ISP and tell them about the number change as soon as possible after the change. If you don’t, you will lose your internet connection after a few days.
I’ve had my new number for a week now and silencing the marketers has proved really worthwhile. Now I’m only getting calls from people I know, calls that I want.