From time to time the DBA changes things like car insurance or utility suppliers.
It keeps the greedy bastards on their toes
Unfortunately one of the side effects of this switching is that every time you do it you are asked for tonnes of personal information that really isn’t necessary or even warranted, everything from your last brand of panty liner to your shoe size or even the name, address and political affiliation of the last goat you molested
The most annoying of which is a telephone number.
Ever since Alexander Graham Bell stole the patent ( and yes he did, even Wikipedia says so ) the world has been plagued with telephone spammers who think nothing of calling you at 2am to talk about that accident you never had or that Microsoft license you need to renew.
The most annoying part of it is that most of these scumbags got your number from a legitimate service, a supposedly reputable company who has sold your details to the highest bidder even if you explicitly said no. It is so bad that in the UK even government departments such as the DVLA make a tidy profit from selling your personal information to anyone who can stump up the cash.
So get your own back, do what the DBA does and occasionally sign up for a free “Follow Me” number. Legally anyone can do this
Follow me numbers all start with an 070 prefix in the UK, and although they aren’t exactly sex lines or premium rate they do cost quite a lot to call. The DBA has done a bit of an unscientific survey and has found that calling one of these can cost from 45p to £1.50 per minute ( about 50 cents to two bucks if you’re in Europe or the US)
And the best bit is that they aren’t illegal. The idea, which is a good one, is that if you’re out and about or working for lots of people you can sign up for a service that gives you a single phone number your customers can call and that you can redirect to anywhere or at any time, so if you’re on the road you can redirect it to your mobile, working from home, no problem just change it to a landline number etc
The DBA has used these services in the past to good effect. The catch of course is that they aren’t free. If you call one of these numbers you’re paying the supplier for their cut so the call charges are seriously expensive. That is why you can set one up for free – the suppliers rely on you to advertise the number and by default their service
And as the DBA knows, most call centre or autodialling kit avoids these numbers like the plague due to the inherent call charges; and even the most simplistic commercial switchboards have an automatic block on these numbers due to call costs – it’s why you can’t phone them from your office
So when the DBA is asked to give a phone number, especially if there’s no sensible reason or the company he’s dealing with won’t give a phone number in return he gives one of these made up “FOLLOW ME” numbers.
The DBA has just renewed/recycled his numbers so is happy for you to call him on +447024068788 or +447024014580.
Both of these numbers redirect to an old Vodafone pay as you go mobile that was last seen in the pre-cambrian or possibly Jurassic layers of the DBA’s desk and sadly are both the telephonic equivalent of /dev/null
Your call is important to me…….
You are held in a queue…..
Now here’s some muzak while you wait