19 November 2013

Silent Calls from 08000727732

Just had a call from 08000727732.  Picked up, said hello.  Line was silent for a few seconds then the other end hung up.  Looks like another round of marketing calls.  Phone number is registered with TPS.  What else can I do??

I Googled the number and found a page that indicates it's from British Gas but some of the comments say that British Gas deny all knowledge of the number.

13 September 2013

British Computer Society launch site aimed at recruiting managers/HR recruiters

BCS have just launched a microsite on their website aimed at recruiting managers and HR recruiters: http://www.bcs.org/recruiters

They are pushing for hirers to add ‘Member of BCS’ to their candidate requirements, look for FBCS, MBCS or AMBCS after candidates’ names, look for CITP (Chartered IT Professional, the chartered status for IT and computing) after candidates’ names and to ask for evidence of Continuing Professional Development (MBCS and above grades of membership and CITP are required to maintain a log of CPD).

Personally I have been asking internally within the membership for BCS to demonstrate the value to me of membership by demonstrating to employers the advantage of hiring and MBCS over someone who is not a member.  In the current issue of the members magazine they have stated that the average salary for someone with CITP is £92,000pa, but that just makes me wonder if they earn that because they have CITP or they can justify that salary as an IT professional independent of having CITP.

Some key questions I have (as an MBCS and MIET) are:

  • What do BCS need to do (other than increase marketing spend) to convince employers to class membership of BCS at least desirable if not mandatory for IT workers?
  • What do BCS need to do to convince employers that funding BCS membership fees for those employees who qualify is a good investment?
  • What do BCS need to do to convince employers that sponsoring an employee through CITP is a good investment?

I suspect that a big part of the answer to those questions will be in convincing the customers of those employers that buying from a company that employs members of BCS and promotes advancement through the levels and attainment of CITP is better than buy from one that does not.

7 September 2013

There's got to be a better way to handle budget cuts than more cuts.

I cannot help but think that the way many local councils are handling the budget cuts (or planning to handle them) is backwards.  Rather than shedding staff and outsourcing services to companies that will have to cut standards to turn a profit, surely it would be better to look at how they can save through local shared services and increase income by offering more services to local businesses for a fee.

20 July 2013

Banned TED Talk: Nick Hanauer "Rich people don't create jobs"

This is pretty much what I've been saying since politicians started saying that we should give tax cuts to the rich to create jobs.

23 April 2013

Silent calls from 01612127801

Recently I've been getting a lot of silent calls from 01612127801.  Silent as in when I answer there's just silence on the line for several seconds then a voice says "Goodbye!"  This I gather is what happens when a company uses an automatic dialer to call numbers.  Basically to minimise delay and not have their agents listening to dial tones whilst waiting for someone to answer the automatic dialer calls and waits for the person to pick up then assigns the call to the next available agent.  If there's no agent available it hangs up.

As I recall John Hemming MP had a bit of campaign against these some years ago.  I am writing to him to see if this campaign is still on going or might start up again.

This is the same as was happening most of the times I got calls from 01618149905 which turned out to be 'Versatile' trying to sell PPI claim assistance, when there was finally someone to take the call at their end.  Even the voice saying 'GoodBye!' sounds the same.  So what are the odds of two different companies, both in Manchester, both calling the same number (which has been registered with the TPS pretty much since I got it) with an automaic dialer and both not having enough staff to handle their automatically dialed calls?

This new number seems to be quite new, when I googled it I could only find one site that listed it and that only had four entries going back just under 2 weeks.  But I did find a page on WhoCallsMe about this number.

ETA:  had a response from John Hemming.  He said he'd have someone look into it and confirmed it's OFCOM's responsibility to deal with silent calls.

ETAA: Had a response from the person John Hemming had asked to look into this.  They said that they had spoken to OFCOM who had said that as they have no details of who that number belongs to they can't do anything about it. I'd had a similar response direct from OFCOM as a result of my contacting them directly.

22 April 2013

Nuisance call from 08435600125

Just had a call.  Guy identified himself as being from 'Pension Aid' and said it wasn't a sales call, he then asked me if I was aware of the 'pension crisis'.  I explained that I was but as I was in a final salary scheme to which I was making 18% of gross salary contributions I should be OK.  He agreed I should be OK and said he'd update my records.  I asked for a 'Do Not Call' note to be put on my records.

Number has been on TPS for over 10 years.  Submitted complaint to TPS.  Suggest others do the same if they have calls from this number or similar: https://complaints.tpsonline.org.uk/Consumer/

25 March 2013

Let's get this economy started!

Watching the news about the Cypriot plans to tax savings got me thinking that that's something that might actually work, but maybe not in the way they expect, so long as they are careful about which savings to tax (or at least tax most).  The thought actually started with Tory (and US Republican) claims that the tax breaks for the wealthy would help the economy as they are 'job creators'. 

That claim makes me hope that they are lying, or at least being disingenuous, because I'd hate to think that people so devoid of knowledge of how business works are running this country (although looking at the backgrounds of the Tory front bench makes me fear that they may be).  Anyone who has run a small/medium sized business (say 10 - 300 employees), or even just worked in one and taken an interest in where their pay comes from, knows that (with the possible exception of family members) you don't take someone on (i.e. create a job) because you can afford to.  You take someone on because if you don't you can't meet the volume of production your customers demand.  You have the fewest number of jobs that you can get away with, no more.  If you want to create jobs you first need to create the demand for the output of those jobs.  The great thing is that properly managed this becomes a positive feedback model where as more jobs are created they also create more demand.

Here comes how taxing savings, so long as the right sort of savings are taxed, might help.  Most savings are essentially dead money, the bank may leverage them to fund investments (if they were investing right now) or bolster reserves but other than that they sit there earning small rates of interest.  If Low Interest/High Liquidity savings were taxed (especially at the 40% rate proposed in Cyprus) that would incentivise the savers to stop sitting on them and spend them.  This would prime the pump for extra demand leading to job creation.  The difficult part would be keeping the demand in country so as to avoid the money simply going to China, India &c so helping create jobs there and to keep the keep the demand flowing long enough.

5 March 2013

Nuisance calls from 01618149905

Had a number of silent calls from this number.  Just now they called again and I got a woman with a strong Manchester accent who told me that the company name was 'Versatile'.  In the background I heard typical 'call center' noise. I said I'd never heard of the company.  She said that the company did exist and was based in Manchester.  I told her I'd guessed that from the accent.  She acknowleded that she had a Manchester accent.  She said that they were regulated by the Ministry of Justice and the National Credit Database had shown that I was owed money from a credit agreement I had taken out.  I said "Please stop calling me.  Please remove my contact details from your system.  If you or anyone from this number calls me again I WILL contact the Information commissioner, I WILL get you fined." then hung up.

The number they called has been registered with the Telephone Preference Service for well over a decade.  I have made a complaint via TPS./

It seems that quite a few people are getting such calls and calls for different reasons.

ETA:  Had an email from TPS yesterday.  They have been unable to make contact with Versatile, they can't find any contact details.  They have parked the case.