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.
Hooray for Verizon Wireless! Wait, what? The cellular carrier has just filed a lawsuit against Feature Films For Families for illegally telemarketing. Specifically, they’re accusing the company of using an auto-dialer to cold call hundreds of thousands of Verizon Wireless customers earlier this month, which is illegal according to NJ state laws (where the suit was filed) and the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
What’s up with this deceptive edit in the ShamWow commercial?
We were wondering how Feature Films For Families, the company that’s randomly calling home lines and cellphones to sell a movie to people who are on the Do Not Call list, was able to get around federal and state telemarketing rules. It turns out they’re hiding behind a non-profit, and non-profits are exempt from following the Do Not Call list. Something similar happened in 2006 between Feature Films For Families and a different non-profit named the Dove Foundation, and the state of Missouri fined them $70,000. It might be time for you to start filing complaints with your state Attorney General and the FTC.
Oh no, someone’s gone and made a terrible looking half-animated, half-live action, religious-on-the-down-low version of this beloved children’s book. That’s bad enough, but then they decided to direct-market it to households by cold calling strangers and offering them a “producer’s guarantee” that if they don’t like it, they can purchase other movies from FamilyTV.com for $4 each. Update: Here’s how the company producing the film is sneaking past the Do Not Call rules.
Several readers have pointed out that American Express has made some changes to its contract “in response to the challenging environment” — the most offensive of which seems to be a new clause that gives them the right to call — or text message — any phone you use to contact them including cellphones, for the purposes of offering you American Express products and services.
You know those annoying robocalls on your mobile phone about renewing your car warranty? The companies behind the calls use spoofing to remain hidden, but AT&T Mobility just filed suit in federal court to track down the culprits, then hopefully make them stop. This is great news, because judging from the quotes given to RCR Wireless, the FTC and FCC both don’t seem too concerned about the matter.
Asta la vista, robo callers! As of December, all pre-recorded sales calls need to have a way for consumers to opt-out of their mailing lists, either by pressing a button or saying something.No doubt this will happen at the end of the call. So the good news is that you have a way to get off their list. The bad news is…