In the largest settlement yet for violations of Do-Not-Call regulations, Sprint will pay $7.5 million to the FCC to resolve the commission’s investigation into Sprint’s failure to honor consumer requests to opt out of marketing phone calls and texts. [More]
While the person who calls you to ask for a charitable donation is probably representing a non-profit organization, that telemarketer may be employed by a for-profit fundraising company hired by the charity. But just how much of what you’re giving ends up going to the charity, and how much goes to line the telemarketer’s pockets? [More]
Remember Samantha West? That was the name of the most definitely recorded voice insisting that she was a real person on a telemarketing call about buying health insurance. And while there probably is no Ms. West sitting by the phone dialing up potential customers, she’s not exactly a robot, either. [More]
At the urging of the FTC, a court in California has shut down a telemarketing racket that has a little bit of everything: resale scams, fake designer goods, and illegal legal threats. It’s a scam trifecta!
Back in 2007-8, the Federal Trade Commission shut down a sketchy telemarketing company called Suntasia Marketing, Inc., for defrauding consumers and charging their bank accounts without consent programs they never enrolled in, like memberships in discount buyer’s and travel clubs. Two of the defendants behind the scam were hit with $11 million settlements and barred from getting involved in these sorts of shenanigans in the future, but that apparently wasn’t sufficient penalty to set them on a righteous path. [More]
At some point in your life, you’ve probably received a call where the name and/or number that showed up on caller ID was not the actual name/number of the caller. It’s known as spoofing, and many people assume it’s illegal. Those people would be wrong. [More]
It’s bad enough to call up an elderly person and mislead him or her into paying a pile of cash for a medical alert service they don’t need or want. But what takes one Brooklyn-based telemarketing scheme to the next level was its alleged tendency to bill consumers thousands of dollars for something they never ordered. [More]
One might think that if you’re a company that runs both the Do Not Call registry for a country as well as a telemarketing division, the two departments might compare notes once in a while. Because how embarrassing would it be if the company’s telemarketers called people on that Do Not Call list? So embarrassing, and worth a $110,000 fine. [More]
For several years, American consumers have been receiving unwanted robocalls with a recorded message from “Rachel” or one of her fictional co-workers at the vaguely named “Cardholder Services.” Not only are these calls often in violation of do-not-call regulations, they are also a scam to trick people our of their cash. Today, the Federal Trade Commission announced it had pulled the plug on five companies behind these scammy robocalls. [More]
Ah, the cherished dinner hour. Peace, quiet and if that stupid telemarketer doesn’t stop calling I am seriously going to throw my fork really violently at something. If that sounds like you, you aren’t alone. Even with the “Do Not Call” registry, there’s been a spike in complaints against telemarketers, especially those pre-recorded phone calls that always seem to come when you don’t want them to. Although, does anyone ever really welcome a telemarketer’s call? Doubt it.
We all likely know at least a few people who have endured being a telemarketer, and while it sounds like an awful, horrible no-good very bad gig, hey, it’s a job. But one telemarketer had simply had it up to here with people hanging up on him. And so he did something a bit extreme to express that frustration — he called back and told the homeowner there was a bomb in the house.
Sears, Sears. We know that you’re desperate. But acting clingy and desperate is no way to win over customers, especially the ones who have just made a purchase in your store. While it seems like every retailer is pushing their service plans on customers, they don’t usually resort to phone stalking, like what you did to your poor customer Mike. He had to resort to contacting the FTC and your corporate offices about the stalking.
It’s over, Sears. You should have taken the hint one of the first few dozen times you called. Now Mike really never wants anything to do with you again.
Telemarketing itself isn’t a crime (more’s the pity) but using that method to cheat 22,000 people out of around $30 million sure is, as one one woman sentenced to 15 years in prison found out recently.
Since ’91, it’s been illegal for telemarketers to use autodialers and other robot-like devices to call your cellphone. Last week, a bill was introduced to change that. While in the past email hoaxes have gone around saying that your cellphone could be opened up to telemarketers, HR 3035 seeks to let businesses contact your cellphone “for informational purposes.”
Now this is how you mess with a telemarketer. Reader areaman in the comments on “Annoy Telemarketers Into Leaving You Alone” pointed out this clip of comedian Jim Florentine taking on one of those debt consolidation companies. She keeps trying to read through her pitch and he keeps insisting that there was a part in it he didn’t hear and makes her go over it again and again. “No, no, before that,” is his constant refrain. She tries to soldier on but eventually hangs up in frustration. Classic.
One of our readers works sales in an insurance telemarketing operation. He’s stepped forward to give us the skinny on how he gets commission, the real reasons that drive some of their tactics, and what personal information you should never give over the phone to a telemarketer.
Here’s a weird possible scam going around. Our reader Chris writes, “Every day for the past week, I’ve been getting an automated call that asks me, ‘This is Survey 2010. Do you have a small dog?'”