For the last two weeks, my mobile phone has been getting calls from a blocked number 5 or more times per day, at times of day ranging from 8 AM to 11 PM.   Often I’d answer the call and there would be silence on the line and then it would click off.  Sometimes I would hear the tail end of a pre-recorded message and on some occasions the entire message.  Two or three sentences in Cantonese, including a phone number, and then it would click off.  This has been an annoyance, to put it mildly.  I couldn’t get the whole number because the voice is talking very fast and usually the call would come when I wasn’t near a pen or a piece of paper.  So after awhile, any time a call came up as “blocked,” I’d simply reject the call.  Except that lately I am expecting calls from people and companies that block their number.  So I had to start taking the calls again, just in case.

This morning, a call from a blocked number and an actual person on the line, asking for a Mr. Leung.  “Wrong number,” I told him.  And he hung up.  This afternoon, I was able to get the entire phone number when “blocked” called again.  So I called them back.  The call went something like this.

Me:  What company is this?

Them #1:  Who are you?

Me:  I’m not telling you who I am until you tell me the name of your company.

Them #1:  Um, there are many companies here, who are you?

repeat several times and then finally:

Them #1:  Hold on.

Them #2:  Who are you?

Me:  Who are you?  What company is this and why are you calling me 5 times a day for 2 weeks?

Them #2:  Sorry, your number is XXXX-XXXX?  We already know that Mr. Leung is not at this number and we will not call you any more.

Me:  You just did!  I’m still getting calls.  I got a call from you just 5 minutes ago.

Them #2:  That was a mistake.

Me:  If I get one more call from your company, I’m filing a complaint with the OFTA.  [The OFTA was the first government agency that came to mind, although I realize that the OFTA only handles complaints regarding telecommunications companies – mobile operators and such – and not collection agencies abusing the phone system.]

Them #2:  Sorry. [click]

End of call.

Guess what?  Tonight at 10:45 PM, another automated call from them.

Clearly this is some kind of collection agency and this Mr. Leung owes them money.   But I have had this phone number for more than 3 years.

But apparently they think they have the license to keep calling me multiple times a day without confirming who I am.  Two weeks of automated phone calls before a human thought to dial the number and check.  And how long for them to update their computer systems to remove me from the system?

So who do I complain to?  The police?  Or is there some other government agency that would handle this?  I suppose it’s the police.  I’ll be calling them in the morning.

In the meantime, for those of you desperate for entertainment, feel free to call the number above and order a pizza or offer them a discount on yoga classes or anything else that comes to mind.

10 thoughts on “3402-6711”

  1. It probably is OFTA. There is the Unsolicited Electronic Messages ordinance, which covers recorded phone calls as well as spam. Also might try the Data Privacy Commissioner who is currently really big on this type of stuff

  2. Apparently you’re not the only person who’s been getting calls from this phone number and it does seem to be some kind of financial services (read: legal loan shark). This website lets you check for and then name and shame spam callers: http://hkjunkcall.com

  3. What really pisses me off is the companies that call, start talking, and then when you interupt them in English, they hang up.
    Sometimes they say “wrong number” which is a lie, because it’s the English that they don’t want.

    There is also a new tactic, where your number is called, and if you answer, it hangs up.
    If you redial to see who it was, you get a recording that says press 1 for English, and then goes into a Cantonese message.

    If you press 1, it says “wrong number”
    By hanging up every time , it forces you to call back to find out who was calling, and you get trapped into the advertising.

    Very, very annoying.

  4. I’m currently playing a couple of games with telemarketers at the moment.

    The first variant involves saying nothing but “wai.” I’ve managed to keep the poor fool on the phone for 10 mins, saying nothing but “wai”, and they clearly don’t like it (because after 10 mins i usually get subjected to a torrent of abuse while i giggle).

    The second variant involves saying nothing but “hai” or “yes”, no matter what the question is. This starts off with the guy on the other end of the phone getting extremely excited, as they think they have a sale. By the time it comes round to giving out information however, they are usually more than a bit annoyed.

    “what is your name?”
    Sorry, i need your name”
    “you haven’t told me your name yet, can you please give that to me?”

    Hours of entertainment.

  5. I don’t know what kind of phone you have, so I can’t be specific..
    However, you have several options to ignore calls.
    (You should still complain to OFTA though)
    1. Some phones have built-in black list functionality, you can add numbers to a list and your phone will silently drop all incoming communications from that number. Easiest option. Check the user guide for your phone.
    2. If your phone doesn’t have option 1, you may be able to download a third party application that achieves the same result. Don’t pay for this, there are plenty of free options out there.

    Good luck!

  6. Another variant on Mike’s solution is just to carefully and quietly put your phone down (not hanging up) and let them blather on to thin air!

  7. there is a free iphone app called Hong Kong Junk calls – there are are view 1,000 of numbers in this application put into your phone book (as one entry only) once you receive this kind of call it shows clearly JUNK CALL and you just can skip it. If you receive calls from numbers not in their list you can add them …………good system – it works !

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