Out of the shadows steps a dark figure, sporting wrinkled khakis, a retractable namebadge, and a headset dangling from his ear. It’s the telermarketing insider, and he’s going to confess to you how his industry really works and how you can resist and even fight back:
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.
First they pissed off Verizon, then they pissed off the internet, the attorney general of Indiana, and Congressmen Mike Doyle. Now the group of companies responsible for the car warranty robocalls have annoyed New York Senator Chuck Schumer by calling him during an important meeting about health care.
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.
The Today show recently aired a terrifically entertaining exposé of US Fidelis, one of the biggest companies behind the auto warranty racket that you’ve probably encountered via junk mail, telemarketing, or even on TV. They start by looking at an individual who spent $3,180 on one of their auto warranties only to be left stranded when her car overheated and they refused to pay.
Verizon continues its recent campaign of turning robocallers into charitable contributions, this time by settling a lawsuit against two of the companies behind those awful car warranty calls. Last time it was for $25,000; this time it’s for $50,000, all of which is being donated to the Joyful Heart Foundation, which Wireless Week describes as “a nonprofit devoted to empowering survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse.”
You know what they need to make? A zombie film starring reanimated furniture. The whole walking corpse thing is just so done. But an undead end table stalking you through your house and hacking through the closet door to reveal your pathetic hiding spot and devour your flesh? Now that’s something I’d pay to see, even if it wasn’t in 3- as, apparently, all movies will be in the future. Until that cinematic masterpiece hits the silver screen, I guess Steve’s story of how Ashley Furniture wouldn’t stop calling him until he sent their headquarters an Executive Email Carpet Bomb will have to suffice…
Allison filled out one of those “win a free cruise” forms at a local cask ale festival and almost got dunked in a barrel o’ scam fun for her troubles. Here’s her story:
You know those car warranty robocallers calling your cellphone? Of course you do, you hate them. This how reader Eyebrow McGee deals with them, and gets to have a little laugh at the same time:
We’ve been getting a lot of emails from people saying that a company is using a robocaller to call their cellphones and pretend that their car warranty is expiring. Too bad that some of these readers don’t even have a car. Has happened to you? Do you know who is behind it?
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.