A pensioner has spent the last two years getting 40 calls a week – from people thinking she is a BANK.
Fed-up Hazel Silcock, 75, receives an endless stream of “distressing” calls from Co-operative Bank customers trying to sort out their personal accounts.
Despite numerous complaints the problem has still not been resolved and the family think a dodgy telephone exchange line is re-directing the calls.
But the cause remains a mystery as the failing bank claims there are no technical errors affecting the line.
It claims the probable cause is people in the same area code as Mrs Silcock in Plymouth, Devon are simply misdialing the number.
Her son Daniel has been trying to resolve the problem with both the bank and phone provider BT since the calls began nearly two years ago.
But he says both are either “unwilling or unable” to sort out the unwanted telephone calls.
Daniel, 46, a Royal Fleet Auxiliary worker, said his mum began getting the calls after the Co-op Bank switched from an 0845 number to 0345.
Curiously all the wrong numbers are being made by people in Plkmouth.
Daniel said: “My mother is coming into her 80s and this situation is now very distressing for her.
“The Co-operative bank told us it was not their problem.
“It appears that people are calling from the Plymouth area and it’s as if the line is being routed through mum’s phone.
“She gets around 30-40 calls per week – It’s not just about us getting frustrated but it could expose customers to serous fraud if this is a problem in other areas.
“The call centre manager of Co-op said they don’t think it is their issue and that if people were being diverted she would be getting 2,000 calls a day.
“We were offered £50 and the bank wanted her to change her number – but she has had it for 20 years – the problem is not because of us.”
The Co-operative Bank said: “We’d be happy to discuss some options with Mrs Silcock and her son around what can be done to intercept calls and perhaps stop them from getting through to her phone should a customer misdial and enter her phone number by mistake.”
Daniel added that a BT line engineer has been to the property but was unable to look into the issue so they are now waiting for an exchange technician.
The Plymouth number has some of the same digits as the personal accounts number for Co-op, which is where some of the issues might be coming from.
BT say they are investigating the issue but as yet have no answers as to why the calls are coming through.
BT said: “Our investigations so far have not yet confirmed the cause of the problem. Testing of the customer’s line has shown it to be working normally.
“We will be carrying out further checks at the telephone exchange this week with a view to hopefully resolving the matter once and for all.”