2018-03-30

I wonder if you can trade mark a phone number

So, my latest rant, regarding a telephone number (how unusual for me?!).

This web site (here) lists information about UK companies. I note they have a crown on their web site, which I thought was a regulated symbol and not allowed, but that is beside the point.

My gripe is they list the contact number for A&A as 01344 400 888, as well as some our other companies.

Well it is not! That is a number on the web site specifically for press contact. We are often contacted by the press for a comment or interview, and not always during office hours. That number gets through to me and someone else so we can address press calls quickly if needed. Our web site is very clear that it is not for sales or general contact, and that we offer a call recording service on it for £50 if you call it and are not press. It is TPS listed.

Annoyingly, because of that annoying web site listing it as our contact number, apart from junk calls, I am starting to get calls directly from customers when I am not even near a computer or able to help them, and they would be far better calling the normal sales / support / accounts numbers we publish.

So, I am going to have the nuisance of changing that to a different number to avoid both junk calls, and calls I am not the best to handle.

Unfortunately I am not sure I have any legal recourse in this case. If it was "personal information" I could expect them to correct it. The only option I seem to have is to change the number, which we are doing.

Which led me to thinking, can you trademark a number, and so have legal controls over its use I wonder? Silly idea I am sure.

But it also occurred to me how much times have changed - one used to, by default, have numbers listed in the phone book - you paid extra to ensure you number was easy to find. These days phone calls can be more of a nuisance, at least from a personal point of view. How times change!

This is one of the recent junk calls, to the press number, from someone that did not check TPS even...

15 comments:

  1. In this case, can't you just ask the website to use a different phone number? Or am I being thick and that's what you mean by "the nuisance of changing that to a different number".

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    1. I am pretty sure we tried some time ago, and I have tried again now.

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    2. My old home/personal landline number is listed on this type of web site against my Ltd Co name.

      That is, of course, because when I started the Ltd Co that landline was the only number I had and so I gave it once or twice on a Companies House Form, which is rightly public record. I have tried time and time again to get such web sites to correct and update their information. Failed every time.

      As that number is now the only remaining PSTN line in the house and the only line used by an elderly relative with dementia, I don't want unncessary calls going to that line. It causes problems.

      My current thinking is to migrate that line from being BT-based PSTN to being VOIP line. And then to put a voice menu on it, e.g. "All calls are recorded. If you are selling something press 1, if you are doing a survey or market research press 2, if you have not checked the TPS press 3, if you want Dave press 3, if you want Sally press 4, if you want Roger press 5, for anything else press 9, reminder: all calls are recorded".

      Naturally options 1, 2, 3 and 9 will result in hold music for 20 minutes and then the line being cut off.

      The only problem is that the line carries DSL and that makes the migration from PSTN to VOIP a bit harder.

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    3. If it is a bt number A&A can do that!

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    4. Yes, it is a BT PSTN, contracted direct with BT, paid direct to BT. It carries an ADSL service from Demon (remember them) which is of course these days a Vodafone ADSL product in reality.

      I know you can do this "migrate DSL and keep my number and port my number to VOIP product". But I won't want the ADSL to stay with AAISP as the secondary Internet connection is already with AAISP and I want diversity.

      Plus I haven't had time to sort it out yet.

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  2. I'm sure you've noticed, but they also have www.andrewsandarnold.co.uk which along with aaisp.co.uk don't actually do go the AA website and just time out - maybe that is more to do with the current DoS.

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  3. [Sorry if this comes through 5 times, something goig wrong with blogger/livejournal/firefox/whatever]

    I think it might be a problem: Remember Intel found that it couldn't trademark 586? But maybe that was because it didn't have enough digits.

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  4. Both those domain names have good associated web redirects to the aa.net.uk website and work for me.

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  5. Hmm RevK I pinged you on IRC about this don’t know if you saw that bs-aware.org.uk is only responding to HTTP v6 and not https hence why I thought it wasn’t working at all - maybe related - being that im only v4 here at home.

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    Replies
    1. There have been issues this evening, particularly with the web sites.

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  6. OK, I love www.bs-aware.org.uk Is that new following the Fire Exit Door Matter?

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    1. Where can I buy one of these cards? Do a+a have them in their shop?

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  7. I’d better use a link that actually works: https://cards.aa.net.uk/?

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