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Con where you pay for a free service.

TRADING standards officers are warning people to be wary of businesses offering cold call protection - by cold calling.

Warwickshire County Council trading standards says some firms are charging up to pounds 29.95 to stop unwanted phone sales calls, when consumers can register for the service for free.

The Telephone Preference Service is run by the Direct Marketing Association and is a free service which consumers and businesses can register with to reduce the number of unwanted calls.

But some companies are charging for the service and then simply registering the names of those who have paid with the free Telephone Preference Service.

Noel Hunter, director of Warwickshire Trading Standards, said: "These businesses choose not to say that the service they are offering is available free of charge, and, incredibly, some actually cold-call homeowners to offer their cold-calling prevention service.

Trading standards is also warning people to beware of unexpected phone calls from people claiming to work for one of the preference services, and asking for bank details.

To stop unwanted sales calls, junk mail or faxes free of charge, contact the Telephone Preference Service registration line on 0845 070 0707.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Aug 18, 2005
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