Target Point Consulting Calls Stranger At Home To Insult Him

Jon says someone called him earlier this month and claimed to be from a company called Target Point Consulting, and asked Jon to answer a survey. When Jon said no and asked how the caller got his number, which is on the Do Not Call list, things got interesting.

Here’s his letter to Target Point Consulting:

[On June 3rd] at 7:43 PM I received a call on my home phone from your company, a person asking to do a survey. Since my number is on the do not call list, and I never give it out I asked where he got my number. Something was mumbled, and I was unable to understand him. I asked “What”, and he repeats loudly “Are you stupid? Little bitch.” I said what again and he goes “You’re my bitch”.

I don’t understand why your company was calling me, especially around a time when many people are sitting at the dinner table with their kids. I don’t know why your employee was cursing at me, epically when he could hear my 9yr old daughter repetitively picking up the phone, and me telling her to get off the phone. This was completely uncalled for, your employee ruined my family’s dinner, and I want something done about it.

Jon sent that email on the third. He says the next day he got the following response from someone at the company: “Thanks Jon. I will check into this and get back to you.” He adds,

I got [that response] on the 4th, and I believe that was the only time I heard from that company. I called them directly, and was told no one was available to help me.

I received a phone call from one of their contractors, requesting information but never heard what came of it.

One thing worth noting is the National Do Not Call Registry does not apply to telephone surveyors, provided they only do surveying and don’t also try to sell you something. This does not make you the caller’s bitch, however.

Comments

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  1. Javin says:

    “This does not make you the caller’s bitch, however. “

    Well, apparently it does.

    • uber_mensch says:

      “I’m not your bitch, bitch.” – Dave Martin contestant on Top Chef (Bravo Network)

  2. Southern says:

    If I don’t know the number calling me, it goes to voicemail. If it’s important, leave one and I’ll check it when I’m done doing whatever I’m doing. My life does not, and never will, revolve around answering the damn phone every time it rings.

    • cape1232 says:

      Amen! The phone is there for *my* convenience, not everyone else’s.

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      I feel the same way. I find the sound of a ringing phone to be extremely irritating and I will mute my phone’s ringer for hours at a time unless I’m expecting a phone call. I hate being interrupted by the telephone and I hate spending lots of time talking on the phone when I’m trying to get things done.

      • newfenoix says:

        I wish more people felt that way. I have a home phone and a cell phone. I DO NOT answer the phone unless I know who the caller is and/or I am expecting a call. The phone is a tool for my convenience and my only. I am not interested in surveys, etc. My ex wife had the gall to ask my current wife why I would never answer the phone when she called. It was explained to her that I didn’t have to and didn’t want to.

        I don’t have overdue bills or other legal items to deal with some I have no reason to answer the phone unless I want to.

        • Dallas_shopper says:

          Exactly! I also tend to text or e-mail people rather than calling them and if I do call them the first thing I say is “Are you busy? Are you able to talk right now?” If they say “Yes” then I say “OK, call me back when you’re not busy…no biggie!” Durrrrr!

          • Theodore the Proud says:

            “Are you busy? Are you able to talk right now?”

            How do you know which one they’re answering “Yes” to?

    • Milch says:

      Bad thing about that is they will continue to call until they get an answer, and the ringing from the phone is just as annoying. Jon’s daughter had the right idea – pick it up / hang it up.

    • Etoiles says:

      Ditto. The only times I answer instead of kicking it to voice mail are if it’s my husband or my parents. (None of us is much of a phone-talker, so if I’m getting a call from those numbers it’s important and urgent.)

    • wee_willie says:

      Amen. People don’t realize that my phone is for *my* convenience, not theirs.

  3. smo0 says:

    I friggen LOL’d at the “you’re my bitch” comment.

    Otherwise, how horrible. Sounds like the economy MUST be picking back up if they are hiring bottom barrel scum.

    I’m sorry for you sir, I hope you get justice.. or at least this dude’s name and personal phone number….. then the REAL fun begins :D

  4. morehalcyondays says:

    I always tell the survey callers (when I bother to answer) that being on the Do Not Call list means that we don’t like to be called. Whether they have a right to call is immaterial.

  5. dragonfire81 says:

    “I don’t understand why your company was calling me, especially around a time when many people are sitting at the dinner table with their kids.”

    This is when a lot of companies will call you, because they know you’ll be home at that time. Before the DNC, dinner time telemarketing calls were a frequent occurrence around my place.

    • DarthCoven says:

      I got a fundraising call from the DNC early last week. The nice young lady on the phone started off on her spiel and got to the line “..and we have a very tough election season coming up and the Democratic party does not have the corporate backing that the Republicans rely on so we look to the American people..” I was laughing so hard at that point that she had to stop and wait for me to finish. Needless to say, I didn’t let her continue her pitch.

      • Krobar says:

        not sure if you’re trolling or what, but in this instance by DNC he meant Do Not Call list… :)

        • DarthCoven says:

          frak me…

          not trolling. apparently today i’m just being a complete dumbass. i chalk it up to too little caffeine this morning.

  6. temporaryscars says:

    How did he know the OP owned a “my bitch”?

  7. Splendid says:

    when opinion surveys call i just say “no thank you” and hang up. i might be somewhat rude, but they are selling a service (opinion research) and i’m not their customer, and have no time to give them.

    • rtwigg says:

      I also always say, “No thank you” and just hang up. I also save the number in my cell (Survey) in case they call back. I also never answer calls with blocked Caller ID.

    • dreamfish says:

      I agree. My default response is to say ‘no thank you’ and expect them to reply with something like ‘OK. Sorry to bother you. Bye’.

      However, if they try to persist I feel that’s when I have licence to be a snark – though I still feel bad as the caller’s job description may *require* them to be persistent (i.e. it’s not really their fault).

    • Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

      If I have the time, I politely play with them. Basically I point out that:

      1) You are making money off this call (ie you are getting paid)
      2) Your company is making money off this call (someone is paying for the information)
      3) The company paying for it gets valuable information (to make more money)
      4) I am providing the most important part of this multilayer transaction (the information). What do I get for providing that? Nothing? Does that sound fair to you?

      No one yet has offered to compensate me for my info at home, but at work they have, but not enough to make it worth while (a $5 starbucks card for 20 minutes).

      The fun part is that very occasionally, the light will go off in someone’s head that this is really a raw deal for the person answering the phone and providing the info. Their reactions are worth the 3 minutes of my time for the above.

      • Emperor Norton I says:

        I’ve been asking how much I’ll be paid for my time & the answer has always been: Nothing!
        So then I tell all the survey takers to go the hell!

      • Not Given says:

        If they tell me they want to do a survey I ask how much it pays. If they say nothing I ask, “then why are you wasting my time?”
        I have done a couple of surveys that included calls but it was arranged in advance and I knew what the compensation would be.

    • PencilSharp says:

      You’re not rude, dude. You’re efficient. Before Caller ID, I would always hang up once I heard any of the following:
      1. Silence (means “Robocaller” trying to connect me to a salesslut)
      2. A click (means “Robocaller” too busy to connect me to a salesslut, but not too busy to waste my time)
      3. “This is not a sales call.” (Oh, yes it is…)
      4. Anyone who gets my last name wrong. (It’s easy to do, and usually means someone wasting my time)

      • Bibliovore says:

        Actually, “This is not a sales call” may not always be a waste of your time. As I recall, Discover’s fraud-prevention robocall told me that when they called to say they’d detected possible not-mine activity on my account and would I please call back and speak with someone as soon as possible. They were correct, had caught it the same day, and canceled that card and issued me a new one on the spot. My insurance company made a useful not-a-sales-call robocall once, too, when they’d screwed up my address change and my new auto-insurance cards were returned to them as undeliverable.

        Likewise, getting the last name wrong might not be a time waste, if you’ve got a tricky surname; a receptionist calling to say your doctor/mechanic/stylist/whatever is out sick and needs to reschedule your appointment can mispronounce it, too.

        Which is not to say that those aren’t usually good warnings for a call you don’t want to take, just that they’re not universal indicators.

    • JamieSueAustin says:

      When I was a telemarketor I loved people like you. I didn’ t have to say the speil, I didn’t get yelled at, and I got to mark you off the list and go on to the next. Telemarketing is a hellish occupation. Most of the time people say stuff that they’d NEVER say to another human being. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had someone say they were going kill or rape me or one of my family, damn me to hell, hope I die of some terrible disease, or tell me that I’m worthless peice of shit just because I called them. Telemarking is only a job for those desperate to avoid being homeless… and even at that it’s almsot better being homeless… it’s cetaintly less stressful.

  8. Aquaria says:

    On an aside, I have made the mistake of agreeing to answer a survey before…that “couple minutes of your time” was still going after 20 minutes when I finally said enough.

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      Just hang up on them. Geez.

    • GadgetsAlwaysFit says:

      I had a great time with that one. I told the guy I was watching the clock and at 2 minutes I was hanging up. I warned at the 30 second mark and…. goodbye – click! At least I was up front that he would be held to the 2 minutes he stated at the outset.

  9. PsiCop says:

    Just another example of how toothless and deficient the government “do not call” list is. Congratulations to Washington for, once again, wasting everyone’s time and tax money on something that was specifically designed not to accomplish its ostensible goal.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Well, the goal was to prevent telemarketers from hounding people all the time – for the most part, surveys are an important part of the entire practice of polling, not just political polling. Pew bases a lot of their studies on polling and surveys.

      • PsiCop says:

        I get that pollsters still need to make calls. I don’t even object to them having an exception to the “no call list.” I do, however, object to the long list of entities that are excepted. These include newspapers, charities, political organizations (gotta get them robocalls out!), and so on. I suppose all those exceptions can be justified — somehow — but when you pile them all together, they make the “no call list” ultimately toothless.

        It would be better if the “no call list” had included ways for consumers to opt in or opt out of these categories of calls. Personally I’m not looking forward to the political “robocalls” I will, no doubt, get this year. They will likely intensify right before the primaries (which, here, will be on August 10) and again right before the election. If I could opt-out from those, I would. But I can’t. Because the federal government won’t permit it!

        So like I said … thanks, Washington, so very much.

    • mommiest says:

      It’s much better now than it used to be. We actually got a call from a cemetery once, and not only was it a robocall, it had multiple choice questions for us to answer after which it tried to sell my parents a burial plot. Calls around dinner were a constant.

      I agree DNCL is not perfect, I would like it to be expanded. At least now, when a business calls me, I know they’re shady.

  10. Why is this on Consumerist? says:

    I make my own bitches at home.

  11. SkokieGuy says:

    When I get a request for a survey (“your input is valuable to us”), I explain that I frequently participate in surveys and focus groups and receive compensation for my time and input.

    The call is normally terminated quickly.

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      Rather than trying explain anything, I just tell them I decline and thank you and hang up.

    • Jacquilynne says:

      I just ask them if they’re going to disqualify me when I tell them I work for a media company. They always say yes and end the call, feeling at least somewhat grateful that I didn’t waste their time. Since I don’t hate phone surveys like I hate telemarketers, I’m happy with that mutually agreeable outcome.

  12. PunditGuy says:

    It’s nice to see that John Romero has landed on his feet and found a good job at a marketing firm.

  13. Wang_Chung_Tonight says:

    people still own home phones?

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      You can’t seriously be surprised by that.

      • Ben says:

        Yeah, why would people still pay $10 a month for phones with unlimited minutes that don’t cut out in the middle of a call?! Crazy!!!

      • Dallas_shopper says:

        I don’t know anyone under 50 who still has a land line.

        • Pax says:

          I’m on a low, fixed income. My state has a program whereby basic telephone service is subsidised – I get a dial tone and local calling for only $10/month. But that subsidy is only for a land line, not a mobile phone.

          And I don’t live alone, so there’s more than one person using the one line, and the one piece of physical equipment.

          So, yeah. I’ve got a land-line. No mobile company has yet managed to beat the price I pay, for the services I get.

        • JulesNoctambule says:

          Do you know anyone under 50 with a home security system?

        • jenjenjen says:

          I’m under 50 and I have a land line. It’s bundled with my Internet and includes a crazy good deal on long distance to Canada which is pretty much the only place I call long distance. I rationalize whatever minimal extra cost there is as “insurance” since our city’s 911 service still works much better on land lines vs cell phones.

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      yeah. my great-grandmother does.

  14. Jacquilynne says:

    I’ve read occasionally about prison-based call centers — and also prison-based identity theft scams. I suspect Jon may have just run into one of the above.

  15. rbcp says:

    Not that I agree with what Target Point did, assuming that was really even a Target Point employee. But the victim in this case is the biggest whiner ever. This phone call RUINED HIS DINNER?? And, oh no, his 9-year-old daughter heard THE B WORD? Unless he keeps her locked in the basement, she’s heard at least most of the curse words by now and I’m certain she’s not traumatized by bad words.

    I can’t believe a simple phone call can ruin anyone’s dinner. He acts like he’s never been insulted before in his life. I bet this guy will start getting counseling over the phone call he received, then he’ll try to sue Target Point for the doctor bills.

  16. spessa says:

    I was having a hard time figuring out this mystical telephone thing until reading the comments on this post. Thanks to everyone that pointed out things like “don’t answer calls unless you know the caller” or “hang up on people you don’t wish to talk to.” Is that really how it worked this whole time?

  17. TheRealJon says:

    Wow, had a good laugh when I saw this. Glad my story made it. My home like doesn’t have caller ID, and we rarely get calls on it. It is for emergencies only, mainly because we don’t trust e911. So when this jerk called, I answered.

    • digisplicer says:

      Is it possible that he was referring to your daughter, the one who kept interrupting the phone conversation?

  18. evilpete says:

    Wallgreens calls me every 3 to 4 months promoting their pharmacy rewards program, even though i request to be removed from the calling list every time

  19. RDOlivaw says:

    Some phone companies offer a service called “selective call acceptance” (a call whitelist) and also selective call rejection (a call blacklist). I use Cox’s selective call acceptance to block all incoming calls except for about 10 – 15 numbers. I know that if my home phone rings, it’s someone on that list. Callers not in the whitelist hear a message stating that my number is not accepting calls.

    What’s really interesting is that with Cox’s digital cable box, caller ID info will show up on the TV screen and is also logged for later review. If I’m watching TV, I can see that someone who is not on the list is calling and hear….. silence.

    • ldavis480 says:

      So, I have AT&T, which has two services that I subscribe to:

      One is Anonymous Call Rejection (ACR), which, as most are probably aware of, blocks numbers that have had their CLID numbers blocked (block the blocker basically). This means that if I receive a telemarketing or unwanted call they either must be dialing from a phone network that cannot interpret the caller-ID information (this, annoyingly shows up as “Unknown” on the CLID display), or unblock their caller origination with *82, if they are blocking the calls.

      Secondly, I find a number in my exchange, that when dialed, generates the familiar 3-tier high pitched tone and announces “We’re sorry, the number you have reached is not in service [...]“. I then use a service, Selective Call Forwarding to forward a list of numbers to this unlisted number.

      The effect is that once I receive an unwanted call, I can add them to the list of unwanted numbers. The next time they call they will be sent to the number that announces the number is no longer in service. The added benefit of using this service is that predictive dialer systems that automate dialing with a computer will instinctively recognize the 3-tier (high pitched audible) tone prior to the recorded message. This is used by most automated dialing systems to have your number removed from their lists. After all they no longer want to waste any cycles on their systems dialing a number that is disconnected.

  20. JulesNoctambule says:

    I have no problem with survey calls in general, though I think whoever called Jon should rethink their tactics. The spouse did post-care medical surveys for a company during college (his job was to collect data on how satisfied the insurance company’s clients were with their providers), so I have a soft spot. Also, it’s briefly amusing to think up answers that might skew statistics.

  21. ITDEFX says:

    “your employee ruined my family’s dinner, and I want something done about it”

    Are you for real?!?!?!?!

    Should they send you a 100 dollar gift card for the calling you a bitch? How can you justify that this caller “Ruined your family’s dinner”?….did the food go bad from the sound of the callers voice? Where you on the phone with the caller for 2 hrs?

    There is more to the story then what you said and honestly Target shouldn’t waste their time responding to this joke.

  22. Sys Admn says:

    Long ago, a company I worked for paid for a second home phone line so that I could fix problems in the middle of the night. Since the company wouldn’t pay the extra $3/month to have the number unlisted (fair enough), I put the listing in my dog’s name. Pretty easy to tell the telemarketers and pollsters then.

  23. donovanr says:

    What we need is a telco who will offer an opt in service that will block all known unwanted callers. The idea would be that when a customer gets a crap call they would hang up and hit *92 or something and it would block that # permanently. When 5 customers block a number then it would be blocked for all customers who opted in. I don’t want surveys, campaigns, or charities calling me. I get the phone for calls to and from family and friends. I didn’t buy a phone so that some telemarketing/survey company could make money. If I wanted to send money to a charity I would research and identify the most deserving charity. I would never give money to a charity that called me.

  24. savvysavingbytes says:

    It surprises me that people still answer their phones today without knowing who’s calling — either through caller ID or an answering machine. Many of these pest calls (surveys, political, a company dealt with earlier) are automated and the second they discover an answering machine is picking up, they sign off. After a few tries these pests give up.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I answer my landline, because people I know call me on it rather than my cell phone in the evenings when they know I’m at home. I don’t have caller ID on my landline because they charge extra for it. Why should I pay for something that is free on my cell? I understand charging extra for voice mail because I have an alternative (answering machine), but not caller ID.

    • Arthur Pennant says:

      Pretty much from the end of highschool I’ve refused to answer my mother’s landline, unless I’m walking past at the time and recognize the number. It drives my mother and brother crazy. It also drives my Miami relatives crazy, since I won’t get up to check who it is. But they call back and get eventually my mother. I’m not sure why they don’t just call her on her cellphone though, given they usually call after 7 and on weekends any rate.

    • abberz3589 says:

      Actually, that’s not true. I work for a survey company (not evil, it’s government job vacancy/workforce stuff) and we call answering machines forever. The only way you can get us to stop calling is if the phone is disconnected or threats.