John Tedesco of the San Antonio Express-News was badgered last week by a telemarketer who wouldn’t take no for an answer. He decided to keep her talking for a while to see how many ways she’d try to get him to hand over his credit card number for a “free” cruise. Here were all the tricks she used during her sales pitch. [More]
Inc21 supposedly sells web hosting and other Internet-related services, but the FTC says that in reality it contracted with offshore telemarketers who helped it cram charges onto unsuspecting customers’ phone bills, earning $19 million over the past five years. Customers who complained about the charges said they were either never contacted in the first place, were promised a free trial, were told that the telemarketer was just verifying business information, or explicitly refused Inc21′s offer and were charged anyway. [More]
You can always just not answer your phone, but if a telemarketer calling you on your Blackberry sends you into a rage, you might want to look at Call Control. The app relies on the telemarketer database at everycall.us to screen out known spammers. The free version screens out the top 100 telemarketers; an $8 version uses the entire database and includes updates.
Earlier this week we posted a warning to watch out for calls from people asking for donations on behalf of local police or fire departments. Today an alleged former employee—who says he quit after two days of training and one day of seeing what it was really like on the call center floor—wrote in to tell us a little more about how a company on the other side of that phone call works.
Today the FTC banned pretty much all telemarketing-based robocalls starting Tuesday, September 1st, 2009. At that point, “violators will face penalties up to $16,000 per call,” notes the Los Angeles Times.
Megan sent us this transcript of a recent phone conversation she had with someone from a mysteriously generic “cardholder services” that called her.
We know how you feel; telemarketers suck. But no matter how much they’re in the wrong, please don’t threaten to burn down their place of business and then kill them and their families—even if they call you a jackass—because they may report you to the police. Then, if your police are anything like the ones in St. Louis, Missouri, you’ll likely be arrested and charged for making terrorist threats, like poor Charles Papenfus.
“Oh hell no!” Federal District Judge John F. Grady told a marauding group of car warranty robocallers who managed to annoy pretty much everyone over the past few months. The judge slapped two Florida companies with an immediate restraining order and froze their assets, which should be enough to finally end those maddening robocalls.
As anticipated, the FTC has filed suit in federal court in Chicago against many of the companies behind the car warranty robocalls plaguing the nation.
Protip for telemarkers: If you’re going to engage in random robodialing to unlisted cell phones, pray very very hard that you do not dial the attorney general of a state in which you plan to continue doing business.
Missouri’s Attorney General has won a $300,000 judgment against a telemarketer that violated the state’s do-not-call list. It is the third-largest award so far.
Feature Films For Families—the company that’s been phone-spamming random people over the past few weeks—follows no man’s law! The nonprofit Smart Television Alliance, which works to educate parents on how to improve the television experience for kids*, discovered that the company was using its name without permission.
Pat is our consumer action hero of the week. He writes: [More]
This telemarketer has had it up to here with all of you people at home hanging up on her every time she needs to sell you something! Randall Whited in Austin, Texas, received an earful recently, when he answered the phone shortly after hanging up on the unnamed telemarketer.