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Updated
April 2007

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LBM Direct Marketing Complaints and Correspondence: July 2006

This page represent some of the emails we've received about LBM Direct Marketing, almost all of which are complaints. You can read the full story here.

 

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5/7/06: this current round of cold calling is on behalf of O2. LBM appears to have subscriber details - when they finally do talk to you rather than putting the phone down, they greet you by name. In this case the call came from 08000641081 (which identifies itself as LBM when you call back). The caller denied that they worked for LBM, and claimed to be working for O2 (this is known in the trade as a lie). Our attempts to talk to a supervisor at LBM resulted in the caller putting the phone down. In this case, they do seem to know the name of the subscriber (in this case the phone had previously been with Vodafone and then transferred to T-Mobile)

6/7/06: a visitor to the site reported that they were called from the 0800 0641081 number by someone claiming to represent Sky TV and offering an "upgrade":

    Tonight I had another call this time a young chap spoke to me. He said he was from Sky (Digital TV) and wanted to know if I'd be interested in an upgrade or additional features to my service. I was in two minds... I agreed but refused to give my details when asked stating I've been receiving slient calls. The caller offered to give my viewing card number as proof, I agreed. The caller sounded most surprised saying most people give there details at that point. The number they gave was totally wrong, instead they stated my account number for which I couldn't verify but the deal was the viewing card number. Needless to say they closed the call down quickly.

    I have contacted Sky who say the do not use LBM.. if this is collecting personal details under a false banner then these people must be brought to account.

7/7/06:

    "GH" reports: I had a call earlier on my mobile, which is PAYG and on virgin. the chap said his name was vic calling from O2 in manchester. However seeing as i have had no previous contact with O2 and on PAYG phone, i replied 'not interested' and hung up, as it was obvious it was a spam call! this was from 0800 064 1081 as well.

9/7/06: LBM's marketing techniques have come the the attention of The Observer newspaper in this item.

    LBM, a marketing agency, says it phoned on behalf of a client it would not name but where you are a customer and had agreed to be contacted, which overrides the TPS ban. But LBM did discover a problem with the automated dialler that called you and has taken it out of service.

    When call centres cannot get through, they must not try again for 72 hours. But you were being called daily because the software interpreted your answer machine as a person's voice.

10/7/06:

  1. "H" reported: I was contacted last Thursday from a guy claiming he was from O2 in Manchester.  I asked twice if he was phoning from them direct as have had many phone calls of this nature.  He said twice that he was directly from O2.  I was completely mislead by the phone call, I said that I didn't want to order my phone that day as didn't want to start my contract until the end of the month.  He said my phone would take at least 7 days to be delivered due to popularity of the handset - I have recieved the handset today, the first payment is leaving my bank account on the 21st of this month - again I was told this wouldn't be until August.  He also said I could change my payment date after the first payment has been taken, I have been informed by O2 that this cannot take place until 3 payments have been made.
  2. "Z" reported: Despite my works mobile number being registered with the telephone preference service to avoid spam calls, these fools had to try it.

    I received multiple calls from 08000641081 and on the few occasions I managed to answer my phone in time I received nothing but silence or voices in the background.

    Bearing in mind, as a corporate mobile user, my phone is listed on the telephone preference service I'm wondering why they decided to start annoying me? Are they targetting corporate users specifically..? 

11/7/06:

  1. It appears that sending a request to enquiries@lbm.co.uk that they cease calling you may be a useful way to stop the calls.
  2. There's an indication that the numbers calling might actually be masking the true number of a call centre in India or in other countries.

12/7/06:

  1. "D" reported: I Have been called at home by this number three times in the last week. The last phone call the guy said he was representing Sky and was offering an upgrade. The first thing he asked was my secret question, At that point I asked for proof that he was from sky and he hung up.
  2. LBM finally discovered this site by Googling for "LBM" so there's been quite a lot of visitors from 213.38.132.131. Most people find the site after typing in the telephone numbers that have been calling them... a lot of people. Top tip for LBM: if you don't want people to find this page, then change your marketing techniques. If anyone from LBM would like to email a statement or apology then please go ahead.

13/7/06

  1. "S" reported: I had abdominal surgery on tuesday so have been off work following it to recover. On wednesday I had three calls on my landline which rang once and hung up. Getting woken up when you've finally managed to drop off without painkillers is annoying, more so when it's marketing rubbish like this! I think that "S" goes to prove that LBM's contribution to society is simply to add a little to human suffering.
  2. "EL" reported: Thanks for your web site. This company keeps calling my mobile from 08000641081 five times a day for the last few days. I dialled the 0845 number to remove my number from their database, although I extremely resent them profiting from that! These people should be paying fines for nuisance calls, not forcing their victims to pay them to go away.

14/7/06

  1. "A" reported the level of harassment that some customers have received from LBM:

    Over the last 3 days the number of calls I have received from LBM has rocketed - 10 in total: 5 today , 1 the day before and 4 the day before that.  In total I've been called 15 times [over two weeks] and when I actually manage to get to the phone before it stops ringing, there is never anyone there.  The majority of the time it has me flying across the room with my arm outstretched to get the phone which then subsequently stops after the 1st or 2nd ring (were talking seconds here) and I'm left skidding to a halt!  It has started to get to the point of being a challenge to see if I can actually answer it before it stops ... along the lines of who's the fastest draw (on the phone)!

    It doesn't appear to make any difference if I answer it or it drops out before hand ... they still ring again and definitely within a 72 hour period.  It's always the same number - 0800 0641081, usually in the afternoon or evening, and always to my home phone (which is ex-directory & registered with TPS).

    Full log of calls follows :-
    30.06.06 17:36
    03.07.06 18:22
    04.07.06 16:19
    08.07.06 16:37
    10.07.06 13:41
    11.07.06 13:23
    11.07.06 14:15
    11.07.06 14:52
    11.07.06 16:44 - I wasn't at home this day and came back to 4 missed calls, my home phone does have an answer machine, but I've no way of knowing if the call dropped out before hand or hit that and interpreted it as a human voice answering.
    12.07.06 19:46 - 1 ring then dropped out before I could answer
    13.07.06 13:18 - 1 ring then dropped out before I could answer
    13.07.06 15:42 - 2 rings before I could answer then it dropped out
    13.07.06 16:49 - 1 ring before I answered (getting quicker), silence on
    other end, I then spoke and it seemed line was dropped at that point
    13.07.06 17:51 - 1 ring before I answered, line was dropped immediately
    13.07.06 18:45 - 1 ring before I answered, line was dropped immediately
  2. "J" gave some words of encouragment (thanks!)
    Can I just say thank you very much for the website that you have set up concerning the prank phone calls from the company LBM. I have emailed their enquiries department and will hopefully not be hearing from them again. The information that you have posted on your site is very useful and I do appreciate you hosting it and maintaining it. A copy of the email I have sent this morning is at the bottom of the email, I hope that I will not have to come back for more information as to what to do about this annoyance.
  3. Hello to LBM (including the people in Belfast!) on 194.205.166.230 and 212.248.198.2. You've been visiting a lot over the past couple of days. Are you proud to work for a company that people hate so much?

17/7/06

  1. "G" reports: I've been called at least twice a day by these half-wits.
  2. "T" says: I sent the attached email to LBM today...lets see if I get a response.....I have had 10 calls within the last 2 weeks and I am really losing my patience. I refuse to call the 0845 number and pay to stop these calls:

    Why is your company constantly ringing me with unsolicited calls, which when I answer there is noone there and when I ring back the number there is a recorded message stating I have to ring an 0845 number to STOP these calls!!! Why the hell should I have to pay to stop calls I never asked for in the first place!!!???
  3. "F" reported that he too has received a lot of annoying calls from LBM.

18/7/06

  1. "A" reports: I have been pestered by this phone number - 0800 064 1081 - sometimes three times a day for the past month.
  2. "L" says: I noticed a missed call on my mobile when I was at work three weeks ago.  I called the number back, using the work phone, and received the same recorded message stated on your website.  I dialled the 0845 number (again from the work phone) and entered my mobile number in order to opt out of this call. [...]  The thing that is irritating me now, is that even though I have apparently opted out, I am STILL getting the phone calls!  I have received two in the space of a couple of hours.

19/7/06

  1. "W" shares some experiences: I've been phoned today (19th July) on a landline registered with TPS. This is the second time in two weeks that LBM has phoned my number. I have no intention of calling its 0845 number, and Ofcom say "We do not investigate individual consumer complaints." Fat load of use that is!

20/7/06

  1. "S" is another person who's week off has been spoiled by LBM: Thanks so much for your website - we've been getting these calls in the evening for a couple of weeks, but I'm off work this week and they're coming through three or four times a day. The same thing is happening to me as reported by others - hang-ups after one or two rings or no-one there when I pick up. I have today e-mailed LBM as suggested, so fingers crossed (and I know if the worst comes to the worst, I can call the 0845 number - but I grudge lining their grubby little pockets!)
  2. "G" was rather more direct in his opinion: these people are absolute scum. As soon as you get off one list they open another.
  3. "J" gives an update showing that LBM have a new phone number:  I'm on caller preference and received my first call from them tonight, they seem to have changed there freephone number to 08000510660. My suggestion is to call the freephone number as many times as you have time to and maybe they will make an even bigger loss this year... :) so come on give it a call weather you have had a call from them or not... Maybe also call the 0161 929 5799 number out of office hours and leave them a message telling them exactly what you think of them.
  4. "K" reports her experiences with LBM: Even though I've been registered with TPS for 12 months I've received a call from these fools two evenings in a row, both times the call ended before I could answer. I've registered a silent call complaint with OFCOM and have emailed the address you provided above. Thank you for the valuable information you have on your site.
  5. "S" is another TPS subscriber who has been called by LBM: Hi, I've just received a call from LBM with the line going dead etc and the 08000 number displayed on my phone. I curious how this has happened as I am already subscribed to TPS so donít know where they got my home number from? 

21/7/06

  1. "Z" gives another example of how distressing these calls can be.. at the moment it's hard to say if she's been hit by roaming costs for receiving the calls while abroad:

    My never ending phone calls started the day after I landed in Greece on the 8th July! Imagine it, trying to relax on a long awaited holiday and being pestered every three hours by this number (08000641081). A relative is going through a very serious illness at the moment and being on holiday made me very anxious so every time the phone rang I dashed to it not knowing who might be calling. It makes my blood boil knowing that these people are getting away with this.

    It was the last straw for me this morning (after my 27th call!) so called it from my work phone. It was a recorded message, stating if I wanted a follow up call (who in their right mind would?!) to do nothing, or if I wanted to stop the calls to ring 0845 045 4455.

    I have been discussing the matter with a colleague who sits next to me only to discover she has had the exact same thing over the last couple of weeks! How are they getting our numbers? I never give my permission for my details to be passed onto third parties.

    Something needs to be done. I called my phone company (Vodafone) and there is no record of this number ever calling me, despite it showing on my phone. I am just so angry that people have to be charged to get rid of a phone call we donít even want!

    I have called LBM directly to voice my anger at them, and the girl on the phone said that the calls are made automatically, so if you donít answer or hang up, they will keep calling until they speak to you, which is a load of rubbish because I have answered nearly every call (purely out of curiosity and the hope that there would be someone to shout at the other end!) and there was never anybody there!

22/7/06

  1. Problems with LBM's dialling system were reported way back in 2001 by an LBM employee called Mike Fitch in the CallCentreVoice forum - "This new system is paintented in the U.S, it gets rid of the need for manual dial, or using "line lists" to go through records. This system ALSO, to solve problems such as disconnected, answerphones etc, dial 10 numbers at a time and whichever has a person answering first is the call you are given. Now.. the problem is, the other 9 numbers it dials get hung up on, so therefore 9 people are getting two rings and then having the phone put down on them, HAHA, very funny the first two times....but after getting them all day/week/month they start to get annoyed... is this going a little TO far??" However, a few weeks after publicly posting about these problems, he was sacked (although there is currently no proof that the posting and the employment termination are connected).
  2. In 2004 there was a telemarketing even in Manchester attended by James Bain who was the head of Dialler operations at LBM. He is quoted as saying "outbound calling is area that is changing rapidly all the time, so call centres need to be aware of the latest guidelines and directives. It was refreshing to see things from the consumer side of the fence, as well as to listen to practical examples of how simple data management principles contribute to minimising customer dissatisfaction" - a lesson that LBM clearly didn't take on board. Interestingly the same article goes on to say: On a daily basis between 3,000 and 5,000 numbers are lost due to grievances over silent calls and/or fax tones.
  3. A newsletter at the excellent David Hickson's Silent Calls Bulletin carries another report about silent calling from LBM and indicates that it is a flaw in the automatic dialling system.
  4. In March 2004, Ben Dixon (LBM's CEO) was quoted in another article dealing with the "silent calls crisis". Dixon is quoted as saying "[It is vital] to train managers and team leaders to ensure we get it right at every level, and not just focus on the training agents". It's pretty clear that LBM have failed to "get it right at every level".

24/7/06

  1. "K" says: Received a phone call tonight from this number on my landline and it went dead as soon as answered 1471 gave me the number and when dialled it was an automated response saying LBM was acting on behalf of a client. I have registered complaint with Ofcom and TPS (as I am registered with them) and have registered with the silent callguard so we will see what happens. I had a problem with nuisance calls to my mobile phone on behalf of companies like 3, vodafone and O2 a number of months ago.
  2. "D" emailed: Thanks for the useful web site. I got over ten calls from LBM and the idea that you have to pay to stop them is really out of order. The sooner this sort of thing is legislated against the better.

27/7/06

  1. "L" reported: I have had a couple of calls to my mobile recently which I have not answered, mainly because I am currently working in Europe and don't recognise the number. I tried ringing back the number today from a landline and was given the 0845 0454455 number to ring. Rather than ring it I searched for it online and found this web site. Thanks for the info, I won't be calling the 0845 number! The number I received calls from is not listed on your site. It is: 0207 0549003
  2. "B"'s opinion reflects that of many other people: This is a nuisance company extorting normal phone users. it should not be allowed for these companies to contact phone owners and then hang up. if this was a person they would be liable for harassment under law. They disgust me and i hope they soon cease trading.
  3. "J" says: I have been called twice today, once from 0800 0510660 and once from 0800 0136662 which may be a new number to add to your list. In both cases when the call is answered the line goes dead.

28/7/06

  1. "S" demonstrates how the cold callers from LBM try to hide their true identity: At around 4:30pm today, I received a phone call from a "private number" and the caller said they were working for O2, so I pushed them if they were really working for O2, and twice he said yes. I sid "Not LBM then?" to which he responded "well, it's a joint O2/LBM number" and I thanked him and hung up.

    10 minutes later, I had another call from a private number, which I answered and found out it was O2 again. I said I had just been called 10 minutes ago, he asked who had called - I was not given a name and responded so - he quickly spat out his name and said he wished to save me money, if I'd tell him my phone company. This struck me as stupid because you should know who someones operator is from their number. I asked how he got my number and said it was on a list that said I was happy to receive such calls, so I hung up.

    10 minutes later, another call from a private number, but after 1 ring and being answered, it was silent.

    I'm currently making a complaint to Ofcom..

 

 

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