I’ve been registering a series of domains lately for various enterprises I’m enterprising, some of which I might disclose here in due time. But one thing that stands out after each registration is how many cold calls I get after that from well-intended ‘professional web development’ companies who are so eager to help me build a website. And what’s more interesting – many of them are so well-timed to happen while I’m driving or doing something I need to focus on.

No doubt they are screening the whois databases or new domain registration databases. No matter how much I try to ask them to remove me from their database, I don’t seem to be able to avoid cold calling for domain registrations. As soon as I tell them I’m a web designer myself, they hang up (rude!) or (rarely) apologize. One of them was like ‘Oh, my God!’… what’s so hard to believe that a web designer registers a new domain name?

“Buy private registration”, I hear you say! Well, yes, but that should help me avoid cold calling but adds to the domain price every year, about half the domain’s price sometimes and I don’t want to invest too much in it until I’m sure I’m on the right track with the new ‘project’.

“Give a fake phone number with the domain registration”, you might add! Well, maybe, but then ICANN is going to hunt me with a dagger and murder me… or take my domain on the grounds of having incorrect information on it. And even with a fake phone, they will get my e-mail and spam me. This happens A LOT, particularly from India.

So what I have tried (on my landline) is to add myself to the TPS (Telephone Preference Service) in the UK. I’ve actually been successful at reducing the calls to my landline with this, almost to zero. I will then try with my mobile phone. It doesn’t take long to register and it’s free. It is a legal requirement that marketers do not call the phones registered on this database. It says so right there:

“It is a legal requirement that companies do not make such calls to numbers registered on the TPS.”

Another thing you could try is to screen and block calls. Many of these people call from a number you can see and block. But it doesn’t save you from that first call.

I’ve recently installed the True Caller app. It has a crowdsourced database of spam callers in your area or country. It works well so far, when they call you, you automatically see below the number that it might be a spam call. In the app they also tell you what the users reported about the number, such as: “offers web design services”. They do have a bit of a hoop to jump through when it comes to updating the numbers database though – the app updates and then you need to give it permission to update the numbers. So, give that a try.

And as far as e-mail, well, there’s a nice ‘Spam’ button in most inboxes nowadays. That’ll teach them!