EBoost Media Calls Rogier A "Faggot" And A "Queer"

Note: There’s been some confusion over company names, and Johnny Chan with eBoost Consulting wants you to know that his company is not involved in this story.

If a company promises to increase your Google PageRank, run! Rogier fell for eBoost Media’s sweet words—they promised an increase in Google popularity “within about a week, at least for people entering specific search terms such as ‘Maine photographer’ and the like.” But after three and a half weeks of no results, Rogier decided to cancel the service, which is when eBoost Media’s dark side emerged.

I informed [my sales rep] Ashley that I wanted my money back and the agreement canceled. She put me in touch with a customer service rep named Denette.

When Denette finally got back to me, the news was not positive. She refused to say whether she would issue a refund. When I insisted (and sure, I wasn’t particularly friendly, but I didn’t use profanity or even raise my voice by more than a hair), she hung up on me.

I then canceled the credit card I’d given eBoost media and wrote Denette by e-mail that I’d file fraud complaints with the authorities if she did not let me know within 24 hours that eBoost Media consented to return the $99.

On Thursday of last week, she called again, trying to sweet-talk me into changing my mind. I said I wouldn’t and that I had been given no reason to trust eBoost media — on the contrary. I reiterated that all I wanted was a refund. After about 20 minutes of exasperating back and forth, she hung up on me again.

On Friday, when I had left for the day, my voice mail received the psycho phone messages that I’ve attached.

Here’s the first message, along with our concept art of Denette at the phone:



powered by ODEO

And here’s the name-calling message, left only 5 minutes later, again along with our concept art:



powered by ODEO

Rogier played the messages back to eBoost and asked them for a comment:

When I called him yesterday, eBoost’s acting CEO Michael Luvano agreed to listen to the recording. He then acknowledged that the second call had come from someone at eBoost Media, but curiously enough, he denied it was Denette. The mystery culprit, he said hours after hearing the messages, had already been “dealt with” — she’d been “severely reprimanded.” When, puzzled, I suggested we ought to let other people listen to the messages on the Internet and solicit their opinions on whether or not it’s the same voice, he got huffy and accused me of being out to badmouth his company.

Nonetheless, Luvano offered to have the CEO, Kevin Johnson (who he said was on vacation) write me a personal apology. He also said the company would finally refund the dough, which I appreciate.

As of yesterday, Rogier had received neither the apology nor the refund.

“Lend Me Your Ears, or, Who You Callin’ a Faggot?” [Nobody's Business]
(Photos: Getty)

Comments

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  1. RabbitDinner says:

    Unbelievable that people actually still use the word “faggot,” I mean outside of white trash and rednecks. Seriously, I know not everyone is as progressive as I am, but, eh, whatever. How revealing, how revealing of lack of character, maturity, and education. Would never do business with them.

  2. Puck says:

    Wow, the RNC is getting out early with their calls for this year’s election

  3. temporaryerror says:

    I’m not 100% sure, but the second recording sounds like a different, possibly younger person. I don’t really think that it’s the same person, although I have been accused of being tone deaf before. What I’m interested to know is what, if anything transpired or was read between the two voicemails… Did Roger send a exasperated email that was read between the two phone calls, or was there a disgruntled employee that was just going down a recent customer call list and leaving obscene voicemails to make her (soon to be) former company look bad? The world may never know…

  4. RabbitDinner says:

    Yeah, and there is no excuse. No excuse for being a shameless bigot. Ill-educated, ign’ant trash, that’s who uses words like “faggot” and “queer.” Unbelievable, the absence of any self-control or class in our society. From a customer/client service standpoint, completely inexcusable. I’m sorry, but I have an absolute zero tolerance policy for hate speech, absolutely no excuse for this.

  5. @RabbitDinner: Maybe she you using the original meaning for faggot as in a bundle of sticks. Though that would be very weird insult :)

    I’m terrible at identifying voices but it sounded like the same person

  6. LouDobbsChivasJersey says:

    I think it sounds like different people. Or maybe in the second message she’s drunk. Either way, no excuse for the ignorance and bigotry, and no excuse for customer service to devolve into name calling.

  7. RabbitDinner says:

    @LouDobbsChivasJersey: I take solace in the fact that it’s a very poor insult. When you call someone that, it says more about you than it does them. Last time I checked I have a girlfriend, but if demanding that services be rendered in a timely matter makes one a homosexual, well, then I suppose I also failed the gay test on numerous occasions. How ign’ant

  8. RabbitDinner says:

    And wtf with queer as a pejorative? I’d like to be able to use it without being labeled a homophobe.

  9. cmdrsass says:

    @Puck: Ho,ho,ho. You sure are clever.

  10. Tyler says:

    Absolutely it sounds like the same person — the same person who is drunk. And is it a surprise that a drunk, hateful straight person would use the word faggot? Well, at least this faggot thinks it is par for the course for a good number of people. In wine is truth–at least about the character of the person.

    I think that someone needs to look up the help in the AA section of the phone book.

  11. thelushie says:

    I have very sensitive hearing and that was not the same person. It sounded like a younger version of the first woman . And she wasn’t alone in the second recording. It was done with a group. The giggling in the background.

    There is no excuse for the second recording. I have a feeling someone overheard the first woman talking about Roger, lifted the phone number, and then, to show her friends how “kewl” she is, made the call.

    All she got was reprimanded! I think little miss dumb dialer needs to spend sometime unemployed.

  12. sarahandthecity says:

    sounds like someone brought a bored, potty-mouthed teen to work that day. theres no way the voices are the same.

  13. @RabbitDinner:

    I wasn’t aware that people today still referred to others as “white trash” and “rednecks”.

  14. tortcat says:

    Their website shows their phones as being “down” until friday while they change phone numbers.

  15. RabbitDinner says:

    @The Rude Bellman: It happens. But you need to be a self-righteous mofo with a serious superiority complex.

  16. RabbitDinner says:

    @The Rude Bellman: You called me out, fair enough. I was pointing to the lack of culture/education, a stereotype but nevertheless one I’ve found to be reinforced.

  17. The_IT_Crone says:

    It sure sounds like the same person, just different mood.

  18. LINIS says:

    @Puck: A bit immature are we? Sure, let’s take this complete irrelevant story and use it to support the stereotype that all republicans are homophobic.

  19. dry-roasted-peanuts says:

    I took some EBoost at a rave once. When I woke up the next morning, I was all sticky and my butt hurt.

    So this is really not that surprising.

  20. 23221 says:

    The simple stupidity of many of these “customer service reps” never ceases to amaze me. I suspect these companies draft a lot of their reps from the scummier levels of the day labor temp pools.

  21. baristabrawl says:

    @The Rude Bellman: I don’t know where you’re from but I’m from Indiana. Yes, they do and yes they are still around.

    I have to say that a lot of times the only people who take offense at these things are the people who are them. Does that make sense? I am gay, so I hate the word “faggot.” Fag doesn’t bother me, queer doesn’t bother me, but I think when someone calls you a “faggot” they are trying to do the same thing to you that they are when they sling any other racial slur. Does that make sense?

    I realize that “faggot” doesn’t have the same meaning as the “n” word, nor does it carry the same 200 years of oppression with it, but the people who use it are still trying to make you feel as bad as they can. Like it’s the worst word in the world to use. I may not be making anys sens

  22. baristabrawl says:

    @The Rude Bellman: Also what do you call white trash or rednecks?

  23. Sherryness says:

    @Tyler: It’s my opinion, also that it’s the same person, but in the second call she sounds drunk and possibly laughing with someone else about the call or something. What an organization this is.

  24. JoeTan says:

    Well….is he a faggot?

    This is so great. No one ever leaves messages as cool as this!

  25. renilyn says:

    As I spend at least 8 hours a day on the phone, I feel I am uh… educated? enough to say that was the same person.

    I would like to add to my resume above by saying I can also identify a voice from a movie that I havent seen in 16 years (according to my husband).

    /silliness

  26. Dobernala says:

    @baristabrawl: if its okay to call people white trash and rednecks, then I have no problem calling people “faggots”.

  27. CrazyNyceDave says:

    I’d be miffed too if someone called me a strange, bundle of sticks.

  28. travispsyd says:

    @hypochondriac:
    While the original definition of faggot is a bundle of sticks, it is the historical connotations that make it so incredibly derogative. Back in the days of witch burnings, the religiously “righteous” would often use gay people as the sticks to start the fires under the witches or the condemned. So this is where it becomes incredibly painful. As a gay man, I can say that the word faggot is incredibly painful, particularly coming from a heterosexual person. I cannot say it hurts as bad as the n-word, as I am not a black person, but it hurts nonetheless. So, lets all refrain from using it and agree that it is a hurtful expression of hate.

  29. henderson says:

    I work at eboost media and those two messages are not from the same person.

  30. kaizoku80 says:

    @RabbitDinner:

    “I’m sorry, but I have an absolute zero tolerance policy for hate speech…”

    Don’t you mean zero tolerance for free speech?

    Inexcusable from a customer service standpoint? Yes
    So-called “hate speech”? No

  31. oldheathen says:

    How 1982.

  32. prodevel says:

    I vote same person, just not caring about being professional anymore.

  33. JeffDrummer says:

    @Puck: Harhar! Thats so hilarious.

    Yes Republicans and about 55% Americans do not agree that gays have a special rights such a marriage.

  34. sam-i-am says:

    A lot of search engine marketers do good work – helping clients increase the quality of the content on their site, and making sure that content is within Google guidelines and is getting indexed. They also can help create legitimate buzz about a client’s product, thus resulting in increased links, ultimately bringing up pagerank and how much the site appears on search engine results pages.

    As with anything, there are also tons of scammy companies out there that either do nothing, or resort to spam in an effort to market their client’s sites. They do nothing to improve the quality of the web and only serve to bring it down.

    So don’t say all marketers are bad. Don’t lump everyone in with the crooks. There is a legitimate need for internet marketing – your competitors are doing it if you’re not.

  35. snakeskin33 says:

    I’m not sure it matters whether it’s the same person; the company is responsible either way. It’s clearly their fault, and it’s not like that call was their first screwup. For the record, I’d say “inconclusive.” Doesn’t make sense to me that she got drunk in the five minutes between calls; I tend toward the “somebody picked up the phone right after hearing that call and was showing off” theory.

    The point is that the company is responsible either way.

  36. khiltd says:

    SEO is a giant scam which Google goes out of their way to warn people against throwing money away on.

    If you want people to visit your site, put some actual content on it.

  37. @RabbitDinner: My gay friends call my straight ass “faggot” all the time. Doesn’t bug me in the least… Some people just need a thicker skin.

    When it comes to business transactions though, it is completely unacceptable. I have a feeling EBoost is blowing smoke up the rear of Rogier though.

  38. varro says:

    @baristabrawl: “Faggot” is the idiot’s version of Dane Cook’s “Super Finger” – it’s the three extra letters that make it more powerfully heterosexual, just like the bumper nuts make a dick-enhancing truck’s driver into John Holmes.

  39. MrEvil says:

    I think somebody spoofed the Caller ID. Now before people say I am lying. I get calls from telemarketers from phone number 999-999-9999 and it will usually say something along the lines of “Satellite offer” So it can be done, I don’t know exactly what equipment is required, but I’ve got the Caller ID listings to prove it.

    Definitely sounds like an adolescent boy in the second recording and nothing like Denette. Either the caller ID was spoofed, or someone’s kid was at the office and decided to bring back the Jerky Boys.

  40. bohemian says:

    What a class act. I would dispute the charge. Nobody that obnoxious deserves to be rewarded for anything.

    If someone is worried about page rank and improving their search engine ranking it really isn’t that hard. Do some basic research online, anyone with some basic html editor knowledge can do it.

  41. cjones27 says:

    @RabbitDinner: I can only assume you drive a hybrid and love the smell of your own farts. Smug much?

  42. JustThatGuy3 says:

    @JeffDrummer:

    Special rights? You mean like everybody else does? That’s kind of like saying that black people shouldn’t have the “special right” to vote.

  43. Ass_Cobra says:

    @varro:

    There is no idiot’s version of anything Dane Cook, the regular version is idiotic enough.

    @baristabrawl:
    The lack of self awareness it takes to on one hand decry using a slur such as faggot and then assert that only rednecks and white trash would use it is gobsmacking. Think about it, if you call someone “white trash” you are using a word for garbage, refuse, rubbish, waste, litter, junk etc. to describe another human being. Can you really be that clueless? Generally I don’t have a substitute for white trash or rednecks as I don’t tend to stereotype people.

  44. ludwigk says:

    The two voices do not sound similar to me. I don’t think they’re from the same person. My guess would be that someone’s kid, who was bored and stuck at the office, started dialing people from the company rolodex and leaving obscene messages.

  45. SteveZim1017 says:

    Did they come from the same phone number? because it sounded like the same woman but on a significantly poorer connection, like a cell phone.

    Thats my guess, woman is pissed at Rogier for the conversation or actually making her work or whatever. She leaves the 1st message where she already sounds really frustrated, she hangs up, then calls on her cell phone to insult him. All this, thinking that no one would be the wiser.

  46. Pipes says:

    Definitely the same person. I was pretty convinced it wasn’t until I listened to the second call – paused and immediately went back to the first, and vice versa. She’s just using a different, less professional tone. I’ve listened to myself in voicemail using my “professional” tone and my casual tone, and upon initial listening you’d never really guess it was me – but it becomes obvious when you play them back to back.

  47. Sherryness says:

    I just went to their homepage, and it says their phones “may experience downtime with its phone system” from the morning of July 24th to the evening of July 25th. And that they have new numbers as of July 25th. I wonder if people were calling and giving them a hard time about this story. Also, dig the groovy music. Also, isn’t a flash landing page a bad idea for SEO purposes? I could be wrong.

  48. BobCoyote says:

    “Vaya con dios, el Faggot.”

    On a seriouser note, the frantic tones at the end make me think the caller was expecting to erase and replace the original mess with something more appropriate. Oops.

  49. coren says:

    For those saying she’s “drunk”, can you really get that drunk in the five minutes between calls?

  50. verdantpine says:

    Yep, the two of us listening think it’s the same old darling Denette. @

    SteveZim1017: Calling him from her cell phone or another in-house line, to show off for the gigglers, makes perfect sense.

    That is, it makes sense in Denette-world.

    Now, where’s the refund at?

  51. Trai_Dep says:

    That’s so gay.

  52. JeffDrummer says:

    @JustThatGuy3:

    Except being black isn’t a choice, being gay is.

  53. MMD says:

    How’s that new comment moderation policy going, Consumerist?

  54. RabbitDinner says:

    @rainmkr: Yeah, yeah my comment smacks of elitism. I’ll go back up into my ivory tower in a few minutes. Yeah, my friends all say that to each other, although my closest gay friend is adamant about not using it. With your friends anything goes, but the representative was way out of line. It has nothing to do with freedom of speech. You can say it as much as you want informally with friends, but if you say it to insult someone, or to demean them it becomes hate speech. And to call someone you have a business relationship with a “faggot” is ludicrous.

  55. GizmoBub says:

    I think that people who want to vigorously engage in the gay by nurture vs. nature debate could be much happer some place like this: [www.christianpost.com]

    And for the record, not all republicans hate the gays. Some of us are strictly republican for the economic platform of a smaller government. But in honor of the moderation policy I’ll stop now before going further off topic.

  56. RabbitDinner says:

    If the client is straight, it’s just an idiotic and ultimately meaningless insult from someone who is obviously angry but not very good at coming up with insults. If the client is gay, it is hate speech, whether she knew he was gay or not

  57. Tzepish says:

    @JeffDrummer: Cite the science.

  58. drjayphd says:

    First: oh, so that’s what the Iron Sheik’s been up to…

    Now, on to the actual comment. Whoever at eBoost thinks that sort of name-calling is going to work underestimates, well, the entire human populace. If they’ve resorted to outright bullying like THIS to try and keep business, they could use a few lessons from the masters. Just check the Worst Company in America brackers, Denette. ;)

    Also, as much of a leftist commie pinko as I’d claim to be (;P), this isn’t exactly the proper place to introduce party politics. “Faggot” and “queer” aren’t the slurs of just Republicans, conservatives, fundamentalists, what have you. Pure, unadulterated ignorance, nothing more, nothing less.

  59. Sudonum says:

    @JeffDrummer:
    “Yes Republicans and about 55% Americans do not agree that gays have a special rights such a marriage.”

    You say that like Republicans aren’t Americans, how telling.

  60. RabbitDinner says:

    @Tzepish: Even if it were a lifestyle choice it wouldn’t excuse bigotry. And yes, I’m curious as to what makes people believe being gay is a choice

  61. @JeffDrummer: You know, I let your first comment pass because everyone has a right to their opinion when it comes to politics. But when you use ignorant/crazy “science,” that’s where I – and a lot of folks on here – draw the line. I think it’s time for you to go back under your bridge.

  62. Sudonum says:

    @JeffDrummer:
    Oh and the Log Cabin Republicans would disagree with you on both counts [online.logcabin.org]

  63. SEO? Hahahahaha.

    I just love SEO’s. I can just imagine the converstaion between an SEO and the President of Amazon, eBay et al…… My SEO company can make your company the absolute first search engine response on Google. Better yet, call up Google and tell them the say thing.

  64. hamsangwich says:

    I think the name “Denette” says it all. I hate to think how they treat their customers who have thick spanish or asian accents…

  65. drjayphd says:

    @CaptainSemantics, @Sudonum: I would’ve figured everyone would’ve dismissed him as a troll as soon as he insisted on referring to him as “al-Gore”. Intelligent conservatives, such as Bladefist, shouldn’t be lumped in with Banhammer ™ fodder such as Jeff.

  66. RabbitDinner says:

    REGARDLESS of your political/religious beliefs, and regardless of whether you believe that being gay is innate or a lifestyle choice, I hope everybody sees the main point-this is wrong. “Faggot” is a slur, and to use it as an insult with someone you don’t know is hateful and demeaning. Not to mention ignorant. I never get upset when someone says “Fuck you,” not only because everyone who doesn’t live in a box is desensitized to it, but it’s just a stock insult. If “faggot” is the best your angry little self can come up with, I feel sorry for you. And I haven’t yet considered the fact that a representative of a business said this to a client. Christ on a cracker-how incredibly unprofessional. I don’t even know what to say, two angry messages, that’s bordering harassment.

  67. ???/??? says:

    … that was AWESOME! The second message had me cracking up. And by cracking up, I mean screaming chargeback at my monitor. Signed affadavit, hand that in, and violla – credited back. Simply put, they didn’t deliver and you were not provided the service provide. Ch-ch-ch-chargeback!

  68. temporaryscars says:

    Can Jeff Drummer be banned now? Kthanxbye.

  69. gareki.ga.haikyo.ni says:

    @JeffDrummer:

    Human beings have an awful habit of believing things or purporting to believe things that legitimize their politics, their attitudes, their hopes, and desires, disregarding all evidence in the process.

    The truth is that the only reason you believe this is that it pleases you to do so, or because you are profoundly suggestible and have bought into all the bullshit your preacher/bishop/or whatever spews each Sunday. You have zero evidence to support this position.

    The fact is that all legitimate pieces of scientific research following the proscriptions and prescriptions of scientific procedure and not funded by the GOP or any vested interest support the view that homosexuality is genetic or at least beyond the individual’s control.

    Here are a few facts science has elicited concerning homosexuality:

    1. For every BIOLOGICAL older brother you have your odds of being gay jumps 33%. It is thought that the process of having a boy brings about changes to the mother’s womb that makes her subsequent boys more likely to be gay.

    2. Gay men’s brains are more likely than straight men’s to show under MRI structures similar to the corresponding archetypal female brain structures – particularly true of the portion of the brain responsible for sexual arousal.

    3. Gay men are more likely than straight men to have their index fingers longer than their ring fingers – which is true of women also.

    etc.. etc..

    People who wish to justify their hatred will do so at any cost, tossing aside all concern for intellectual honesty; they’ll even pretend that their conclusions are more valid than those of researchers who’ve spent countless hours investigating a given matter or claim that the researchers are following some liberal agenda, trying to suppress the truth for the sake of political gain.

    So where is your proof? Where is the sound premise or predication for your conclusion that gay men choose to be gay? If sexuality is so malleable, try it for yourself. Try being gay. Trying finding other men sexually appealing; if what you believe is right then surely you will be able to reverse the change and choose thereafter to find women appealing, so you have nothing to worry about, right? A simple harmless experiment.

    I anxiously await your results.

    /I’m just sure you will report success with changing your sexuality from straight to gay. I just know it.

  70. Sudonum says:

    @temporaryscars:
    I don’t think he should be banned for being ignorant, and displaying that ignorance on the internet. The only thing he’s insulted is our intelligence.

  71. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    eboostmedia.com/
    New phone numbers starting July 25th:
    866-788-6942
    866-788-7607

    I note that most of the Google results for “eboost media” are about this fiasco.
    [www.google.com]“eboost+media”

  72. Tzepish says:

    @RabbitDinner: I was going to give an answer to your question, but gareki.ga.haikyo.ni has done a far better job doing so than I could have.

  73. RabbitDinner says:

    @Tzepish: I appreciate it, but I was simply backing you up in questioning JeffDrummer

  74. scerwup says:

    It sounded like 2 different people to me. The second one sounded younger, but could have been the same person as the first, but intoxicated in some way. However, if the two phone calls really were 5 minutes apart, that’s pretty quick to become that intoxicated. The second calls words seemed slightly slurred as well. I don’t know, but I would be pissed and all hell would break loose if I got that message.

  75. mhale0 says:

    My guess is that it’s a home business, and the lady’s kids called his number as a prank. “Severely Reprimanded” = asses beat.

  76. EdnaLegume says:

    what kind of cosmic irony fart bubble happened that the alleged “caller ID spoof” not only spoofed the number of the very company he’s having issue with but did it five minutes later?

    Using my highly sensitive and technologically advanced head set, I was able to discern through my highly tuned hearing it is indeed the same woman. I think.

  77. Tzepish says:

    @RabbitDinner: I understand :-)

  78. domo-arigato says:

    The first thing that occurred to me when I heard both recordings was that Denette had accidentally redialed him while mocking him to her co-workers. I can just picture it.

  79. Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

    Folks, let’s remember to keep comments on topic. This means that you should comment on the article specifically – not tangential issues (including politics and the biology of homosexuality). Thanks.

  80. jonworld says:

    @bohemian: I agree completely. There are hundreds of free site modifications that can improve your page rank…all you have to do is search Google. I used to use free scammy PageRank-enhancing services like this for my websites, but now I’ve found it much more effective just to build my sites in ways that make the Google search robots happy.

  81. @baristabrawl:

    I was making the point that you don’t call someone out on name calling with more name calling.

    And I live in California and while I understand what “white trash” and “redneck” are I also understand they carry a regional connotation and generally refer to someone from the South. I think RabbitDinner reinforced that prejudice by calling someone “ig’nant”.

    Working in the hotel business you meet people from everywhere and in every business. I’ve found ignorance is universal as is kindness. People from all over and of every race can be good or bad, smart or ignorant, pleasant or annoying. It’s an individual thing. Name calling just lowers the level of your argument.

    Of course, I’ve been called a “liberal” on more than one occasion just because I believe in the Christian ideal of treating others the way I would like to be treated.

    And yes, sometimes it requires me to be rude, in case you’re wondering.

  82. The real question is why would anyone who did even a little research into this company pay them for anything?

    Come on folks, it’s time to get a little Internet savvy.

  83. crankymediaguy says:

    “Yes Republicans and about 55% Americans do not agree that gays have a special rights such a marriage.”

    What’s “special” about a right that most people already have?

  84. friendlynerd says:

    @Puck:
    Haaaaaaaa love it

  85. JustThatGuy3 says:

    @JeffDrummer:

    Probably not, but being Christian is definitely a choice, so it would be totally fair to tell Christians they can’t marry. After all, they could just choose not to be Christian, right?

    And by the way, the current science is pointing (although not conclusively so) to hormone exposure in utero as a significant biological driver of homosexuality: [www.slate.com]

  86. Asvetic says:

    I’m not buying it. I’ve known some really drunk girls in my lifetime and the first girl didn’t sound drunk… the second definitely did. I’m sure that in the course of 5 minutes Denette pounded like 12 beers or a whole bottle of vodka, but I doubt it.

  87. AD8BC says:

    Me = conservative.

    Yet, me finds the second call to be an insult with no equal, something that, regardless of the pro/anti homo stance of the stupid lady, should have been kept to herself.

    Of course, I am also usually offended by “fuck you” as well. And neither insult would deserve a place in my professional environment.

  88. mmartinphd says:

    Used to be my favorite blog, comments devolving big time. Remember when you had to “audition” to get approved to comment?

  89. SkokieGuy says:

    To make a posting related comment -

    I am unable to determine what state Roger is in. Depending on the state, they may have human rights laws that protect Gay & Lesbian men & women. Most of these laws are written to also protect those ‘perceived to be’ Gay or Lesbian. If Roger lives in one of those states, this company has potentially committed a criminal act. All Roger needs to do it report it to the police.

    2nd, no discussion of how the recordings are made. Depending on his state’s notification laws, Roger may have also committed a crime if proper consent was not obtained.

  90. theblackdog says:

    Does canceling a credit card remove the ability to make a chargeback?

  91. Listen to the second message again. If I’m not mistaken, she punches a key on the phone at the end. A lot of phone systems allow you to review and delete your message with a key-press.

    My theory is that Denette (and her friends, as evidenced by the giggling in the background) was bad-mouthing Roger after she called him and decided to call him back, leave a nasty message to impress her co-workers, and then delete it.

    Oops. Looks like Roger’s phone didn’t get the message.

  92. ppiddy says:

    That sounds like the same person to me. Ever call a spouse (or anyone you know very well informally) and reach them on their business phone, only to be shocked by how different they sound when they’re using their “work” voice? The inflection on the “Hey Roger” at the beginning sounds mighty similar, too.

    Anyway, wtf is up with the comments up there? Maybe I’ve lived in college towns too long to remember what the rest of the world is like, but I thought we’d moved past this stuff. Even my 60 year old parents who’ve lived in bumfuck rural michigan no longer thing gays are somehow unusual or scary or worthy of ridicule or unworthy of equal rights. But whatever…everyone needs someone to hate.

  93. SkokieGuy says:

    @ppiddy: Hate can never be tempered by logic or reason.

    An interesting FACT: Massachusetts was the first state to permit gay marriage. For marriages granted since that time, the divorce rate for gays is lower than that of heterosexuals.

  94. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    Sounds like somebody lost a bonus by not convincing this guy to stay with the service. Still this is no excuse for that behavior.

    I would be interested to know what the terms of the service were. Search engine optimization (usually done by spamming other sites with links to increase page rank) takes time, and often considerable resources. The effects can be delayed and somewhat long lasting, so if the service has been attempting to increase his rank they MAY have spent considerable resources. The benefits may show up in a few weeks or up to 2 months.

    Issuing a refund could allow him to benefit without paying..

    I suspect that they need to refund his money anyways now to apologize for that call, in order to avoid a lawsuit.

  95. Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

    RudeBellman, crankymediaguy, JustThatGuy3, SkokieGuy: Again, you’re hijacking the comments. Keep comments *on topic*, meaning discussion of the calls in the post is fine, general discussion about gay rights and politics is not fine. This is a warning; please keep your posts on topic.

  96. JeffDrummer says:

    @gareki.ga.haikyo.ni:

    So are you saying that psychologists until about 1970 were and that being gay is genetic defect? I would never have gone so far as say that…

    But how do you explain the fact that previous to the late 60’s gays constituted about .1% of the population, now about 1.5%, the answer is of course that it is a choice… and if it is not a choice then I guess you let pedophiles roam free “because they were born with those desires”

  97. SkokieGuy says:

    @Consumerist-Moderator-Roz: Duly noted and deserved, I should have controlled myself.

    To return to my previous on-topic questions, does anyone know what Roger’s state is? He may have violated consent laws regarding recording the conversation and the company may have violated human rights laws.

  98. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @MMD: It will probably get better as more and more people turn in those making comments not in line with the code.

    I think it’s the same person, she’s just not using her “business” tone of voice. I also agree with those that think she’s on a cell phone.

    I can’t believe anyone would be stupid enough to leave a message like that on someone’s answering machine (or voice mail). If this is the result of being inebriated then she was doing something harder than alcohol in that 5min.

  99. RabbitDinner says:

    @SkokieGuy: The sound clips attached to the article are from voicemail messages. He may have recorded previous conversations, but all he needs to prove harassment/criminal acts is the voicemail messages

  100. RabbitDinner says:

    @The Rude Bellman: Yes and I realize the irony in my comments by resorting to name calling myself. I retract my statements, but I do believe that what the representative said is indicative of a lack of education/culture/class

  101. SkokieGuy says:

    @RabbitDinner: So assuming the voicemail has an outbound message (please leave your message after the beep or similar), Denette and the 2nd caller have received notice of recording.

    By the caller not hanging up after hearing this outbound voicemail message, they have given consent, so Roger cannot be liable for the recording.

    In most states without Human Rights laws specifically including GBLT people, it is perfectly legal to call someone faggot. If Roger’s state does not have that protection, he could try for harassement, but I would imagine that would require a pattern (multiple calls) and proving intent.

  102. harvey_birdman_attorney_at_law says:

    I have to confess I called someone at Verizon a motherfucker once. But in fairness, I had been on hold for over 2 1/2 hours trying to cancel internet service that I never received, yet they continued to bill me for it for the past 4 months. Every time I called to cancel they had said it had been taken care of, and every month they hit me up for the charge again. I wasn’t even looking for the refund, just an end to the service and they were completley unhelpful, and continued to try to sell me the product every time I tried to cancel. I know I let the situation get the better of me, but I was too exasperated to care at that point.

  103. harvey_birdman_attorney_at_law says:

    @JeffDrummer:
    You are assuming that people were honest about their sexuality before the 1960s. It is only very recently that people have felt free enough to publically anounce who they are attracted to.

    And to compare homosexuality with non-consensual sex with children is a ridiculous analogy.

  104. ekthesy says:

    @harvey_birdman_attorney_at_law:

    I got physically thrown out of a New Jersey DMV (pre-privatization) for calling their policies “fucking bullshit.”

  105. HeartBurnKid, creepy morbid freak says:

    @drjayphd: Can’t listen to them at work… Did “Danette” threaten to make the OP humble?

  106. Rogier says:

    Re: “no discussion of how the recordings are made. Depending on his state’s notification laws, Roger may have also committed a crime if proper consent was not obtained.”

    Name’s Rogier, actually.

    My answering machine plays a beautifully clear 20-second outgoing message identifying the name of my business, my name, even my wife’s name (she was quite surprised to hear of my apparent trysts with guys! I mean, 14 years of marriage and NEITHER of us knew of my ‘Greek’ proclivities!). Anyway, whoever leaves a message does so with the explicit understanding (and the implicit consent) that it will be recorded — that’s kinda the POINT of leaving a message, I think.

    Because I live in Maine, it’s a moot point anyway: Maine is one of the states that doesn’t require consent to record a telephone conversation (as long as you’re one of the parties).

    Re: “I would be interested to know what the terms of the service were. Search engine optimization (usually done by spamming other sites with links to increase page rank) takes time, and often considerable resources. The effects can be delayed and somewhat long lasting, so if the service has been attempting to increase his rank they MAY have spent considerable resources. The benefits may show up in a few weeks or up to 2 months. Issuing a refund could allow him to benefit without paying.”

    You raise a good point, but the terms were perfectly simple: I would see results within a week, ten days tops. eBoost promised that anyone in an 80-mile radius typing in search terms like “Maine photographer” would see my listing at or near the very top. After a week, no dice. After two weeks, no dice. After three weeks, still nothing, and I put them on notice that I needed to see results. After three and a half weeks, no results, no satisfactory explanation, and I asked for a refund. You know the rest.

    Re: “Depending on the state, they may have human rights laws that protect Gay & Lesbian men & women. Most of these laws are written to also protect those ‘perceived to be’ Gay or Lesbian. If Roger lives in one of those states, this company has potentially committed a criminal act. All Roger needs to do it report it to the police.”

    I’m made of sturdier stuff than that, as you’ll discover when you read my blog (www.bakelblog.com). I’m very much pro gay rights (that is, equal rights), but as a First Amendment freak, I don’t believe in hate crime legislation and won’t go down that road myself. I think I’d feel the same way if I were actually gay but who knows.

    Re: “why would anyone who did even a little research into this company pay them for anything? Come on folks, it’s time to get a little Internet savvy.”

    I’ve been publishing on and writing about the Internet since well before the days of Netscape, so I think I’m reasonably savvy. But in this case, absolutely, I blew it. On a Monday morning, before I’d even had my coffee, I responded positively to a telephone solicitation from eBoost Media, and I HATE telephone marketers. No idea what got into me. “Ashley” was sweet and plenty persuasive, so in a temporary fit of insanity (one assumes), I signed up. I even ignored obvious warning signs such as the fact that she had a Yahoo address, not an eBoost address. (The same is true for acting CEO Michael Luvano — confidence-inspiring, huh?) I was an ass for not doing my due diligence, no question. I have no defense and deserve to be flogged!

    Re: “Does canceling a credit card remove the ability to make a chargeback?”

    According to Denette, it does, so I told her (and her boss, Michael Luvano) to just mail me a refund check. I wonder if it’ll be made out to “Roger van Fucko.” Will let you know.

    Thanks to all of you here for weighing in. It’s been an interesting ride!

  107. Shadowman615 says:

    I’m not sure I understand why it’s so important whether or not this was the same woman. The CEO admitted it was someone from the company who made the call. So what’s the difference? Why would that be something worth lying about?

  108. Shadowman615 says:

    Sorry to double-dip. Whether it’s relevant or not, it’s still fun to try to figure out.. Listening again, it sounds to me like the same woman talking while holding her nose shut…

    Feeble attempt to disguise her voice?

  109. campredeye says:

    @LouDobbsChivasJersey

    “I think it sounds like different people. Or maybe in the second message she’s drunk. Either way, no excuse for the ignorance and bigotry, and no excuse for customer service to devolve into name calling.”

    I wish I could get drunk in 5 minutes.

  110. Haltingpoint says:

    Let’s put this SEO debate to rest…yes there are scammy SEOs out there, but there are also plenty of legit ones. The practice as a whole means that do things that should increase your rankings in search engines.

    The SEOs who do this the ethical way are helping their clients create good quality content and distributing it in a manner that gets them quality backlinks. They also help ensure the client’s site is coded according to web standards, because guess, what, thats one of the best SEO tactics you can do.

    The SEOs who operate in an unethical way (and give the rest of the industry a bad name) are the ones who promise you top rankings, won’t disclose their methods, and are likely submitting you to link farms and utilizing other grey/blackhat methods to get your rankings, which will most likely only be temporary.

    I am not an “SEO” per say, but my background is in interactive marketing and I perform SEO on my personal sites and deal with an SEO/PPC firm for work and have much experience in the field. Just like any industry, there are the people who do it the correct, ethical way, and then there are people like these jerks that give the rest a bad name.

  111. SinisterMatt says:

    @SkokieGuy:

    But aren’t violations of “human rights laws” (not quite clear on what you mean there– hate speech laws, perhaps?) usually more civil than criminal? I.e, if you believe someone has discriminated against you, then you sue them, and they can get fined by the government? I’ve never heard of anyone ever being arrested for making hate speech (unless they incited a riot or something). Of course, it just may be me living in my isolated away-from-cable-tv North Texas bubble.

    Cheers!

  112. evilhapposai says:

    @JeffDrummer: Think I have to agree here. There are a ton of people that are “gay” that are making the choice to do it mainly because they feel it is trendy or rebellious to whomever their peers are. The rest that are born gay in my opinion is a legitimate mental illness that should be treated with therapy and medication the same as the other mental illnesses out there.

    As for the post, Professionally NOT acceptable and should be fired immeadiatly. But infringing on her right to free speech no, she is just an idiot.

  113. drjayphd says:

    @HeartBurnKid, creepy morbid freak: Nope, although no one can really prove Rogier isn’t actually Brian Blair, when you think about it…

  114. Green Goth Brit Chick - AlternatEve says:

    Wait, she called him a meatball? I didn’t know you got Mr Brain’s Pork Faggots in the US. [en.wikipedia.org])

    Ok, irreverent comment over. Whoever it was, was way out of line. In the call centre I worked in (made redundant, long story), that would be instant dismissal for gross misconduct.

  115. Anonymous says:

    EBOOST is up to scamming again! Now called TOP RANK LISTING and they are trying to fraud business owners into paying for their free Google listing.

    This is the comapny that keeps on giving, and now they are looking for companies that have not “claimed” their listing on Google to scam them out of money. They will even threaten to remove the listing if you don’t cough up the $89 to them. THEY ARE SICK!!! The rep even told me that they had created the listing! (Total B.S. – I created it)
    I can’t believe these Eboost guys have not been shut down for good yet. Here is their current number in case anyone wants to call them up and ask why they are still trying to scam people : 951-894-8620 BILL LEONARD.