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.
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.
Jay’s parents have gotten quite, uh, spendy with their retirement income, and now they’ve got a lot of debt they can’t pay off. This has become Jay’s problem not because he’s a party to any of the debt, but because they’ve put him down as a reference and now bill collectors are harassing him.
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.
The website Consumer Affairs (which is not related to us or our owners in any way) is warning people in Oregon to watch out for calls from people asking for donations on behalf of local police or fire departments. It’s a good reminder to everyone that telephone solicitations should be ignored: “At best, the solicitor will probably take the lion’s share of your donation. At worst, the caller is an outright fraud,” the site reports.
Vonage apparently rustled up a map and is now apologizing to customers who were accidentally charged international rates for their domestic calls. Reader J.R., who in April received a $38 bill after Vonage billed a call to Los Angeles as a call to Algeria, sent us the telecom’s apology note…
Tim thought he was entering an innocent giveaway at his local Subway in Warrenton, Virginia earlier this month. Nope. It was just timeshare bait. We wish the Subway would have known better than to allow the dropbox in their store to begin with, but after reading Tim’s story you’ll know what to watch out for should you run into a similar contest.
A 20-year-old in Aloha, Oregon, called 911 on Memorial Day to complain that he wasn’t given the orange juice he ordered. While he was on the phone describing this emergency, a McDonald’s employee also called 911 to complain that the 20-year-old was blocking the drive-thru. And somewhere in the city, a kitten died in a tree fire because the emergency lines were all tied up. UPDATE: We’ve located the audio of both calls.
Vonage charged J.R. $38.94 for a three-hour call transferred from Texas to Los Angeles because Vonage apparently thinks L.A. is somewhere in Algeria. After some digging, J.R. learned that if you transfer a call without adding +1 to the number, Vonage will mistake area codes for country codes and bill at the international rate, even though the calls are domestic.
Pretty much every problematic customer service story these days includes some reference to the Notes—that unseen record of what you’ve been told, and by inference what you’ve agreed to, on previous calls. The funny thing is, you never get to see them.
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.
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.
Ralph discovered a mysterious $18 charge on his most recent AT&T bill. A little research turned up OSP Communications, which is apparently a front for a fraudulent biller that has repeatedly hit AT&T customers with a cramming fraud. Read Ralph’s email below, and be sure to check your own phone bill for charges like this each month.
Idolina was targeted this morning by a U.S. National Bank scammer. As he was prattling on with his heavily-accented seesaw of threats and incentives, she Googled the bank. (And no, we’re not anti-anyone, but there’s something funny about a supposed U.S. National Bank and/or government representative who sounds like he’s currently calling you from a foreign country.) The third search result was our interview last October with Laurie Lucas, who faced a similar scam. Idolina writes, “I was reading it while I was on the phone with him.”
Kushal wants to know how Time Warner verifies the call logs for its installer technicians, because when they say they call, his phone doesn’t ring.