“Good morning, I’m calling to discuss your mis-sold PPI, you could be owed thousands. I’d just like to confirm some details with you, including an address you lived at 20 years ago which we inexplicably have.”
The nuisance call, widely considered to be the bane of mobile existence, has fallen to Vodafone’s might as the telco confirmed it is now taking the fight to nuisance and spammy calls at the network level. It has set up a bureau to deal with it and everything.
Like Three UK’s attempts to block ads at the network level a few months ago, Vodafone will focus on stopping nuisance calls “at the source” – like some kind of weed killer. Does that also mean Vodafone will be hiring a squadron of bounty hunters to find nuisance callers at the source, duct tape their mouths shut and smash up their phones?
Apparently the war on inconvenience is working, or so Vodafone would have you believe; it said in just one day its system managed to block nearly half a million spammy calls. In a chilling warning to its nuisance-calling nemesis, Vodafone effectively said: “We’re winning the war, and the villians are running scared.”
What it actually said was: “the number of nuisance call attempts against customers dropped to under a thousand [ED: from what level we don’t know] as the perpetrators realised their calls could not enter the Vodafone network.” Muahaha!
In an impassioned speech Vodafone’s General leading the war on nuisance, Head of Corporate Security Mark Hughes said it will rid society of this plague. “Fraudulent calls are a scourge on society, inflicting great anxiety for victims. We will continue to evolve the technology as well as work with industry bodies and the regulator to ensure we keep one step ahead of criminals.”
To help boost its credibility, Vodafone even got the Direct Marketing Association to say words to the effect of “you’re definitely not a nuisance”, which the telco duly announced. There was a lot of talk of accreditation, independence, commitment, etc. Long story short, Vodafone is all over this sh*t.
Ironically, in order to inform the press of its zero-tolerance to spammyness, Vodafone unleashed a flurry of press releases and announcements. In fact, so hot was the news that one online publication had to break the public embargo and undermine Vodafone’s entire marketing campaign. It got in touch yet again to say everyone can officially say it is not a nuisance.
Here’s a classic cold calling fail. (Tip: wear headphones, it’s a bit NSFW)
With Amazon and Google launching smart home initiatives, have the telcos missed out on their chance to cash in on this market?
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