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Reg reader bombarded by 3 sales calls

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Sales calls from operators are common enough, but 3UK seems to be overdoing it slightly after calling one El Reg reader ten times within a couple of hours on Monday evening.

Our chap's contract with 3 expires on Sunday, so a call or two asking him to renew should be expected. But having received a few calls from the "exclusive benefits team" last week he contacted the operator to ask them to stop calling, which worked until Monday night when the phone started ringing.

The calls started at 18.23 and continued until 19.47, during which time the poor chap was trying to get his kids to bed and rejecting all the calls to voicemail. HulloMail, his voice-mail provider, logs all calls even when no message is left, so the times and dates are pretty-much irrefutable.

We spoke to 3 who, to be fair, reacted with suitable outrage and immediately rang our chap with an apology and promises to find out what went wrong: we're still waiting to hear how that goes, but the company clearly believes an errant employee is to blame rather than any systemic failure.

Operators hate contract customers leaving, to the point where those who don't threaten to leave at least annually risk missing out on the best deals on offer, but like everyone else network operators are also trying to make more use of their customer base to upsell services. Vodafone has even been ringing round customers to offer special deals to friends and family, treating customers as just another sales channel.

The cost of calling a mobile phone used to prevent the majority of sales calls reaching one on the move, at least in Europe, but increased hassle from people trying to sell us stuff might be the price we have to pay for cheaper calling. ®

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