SEARCH

The How-To Geek Forums Have Migrated to Discourse

How-To Geek Forums / Off Topic

Telemarketers

(11 posts)
  • Started 5 years ago by BobJam
  • Latest reply from BobJam
  • Topic Viewed 1155 times

BobJam
BobJam
Posts: 1052

With the stock market meltdown these days, I've noticed an increase in telemarketing calls.

My assumption is that this is because these scams think that people are more desperate for "free" stuff and will be more inclined to say yes.

And I've noticed too that telemarketing has switched to recordings a lot more, where the "victim" can voluntarily choose to be put through to an "agent". That tactic ensures that the live call (which goes through an autodialer) is more likely to bear fruit for these scam artists.

My wife still thinks that there is a telemarketer on the other end of the phone when it rings. I've told her that it's done with an autodialer now, and typically the first five or so to answer get put through to a live telemarketer, who is also waiting for the phone to ring (announcing the presence of victims). If you answer after that, then all you hear is either a dial tone, a busy signal, or no tone at all. So, if my wife picks up the phone and she hears a tone, I tell her that she was not fast enough to be in the autodialer screening. Sometimes, she'll pick it up and hear a click and she says "Hello . . . hello . . . " and finally a person comes on. That click is the autodialer putting the call through to a telemarketer.

On recordings, there is an option to get taken off the call list . . . typically the recording says something like "press 1 to speak to an agent, and press 9 to be taken off the call list".

There are two that are particularly infuriating to me.

One is that "auto warranty" nonsense. They say something like "Your warranty is about to expire" (the unspoken sales pitch being to extend the warranty by buying it from them). What's particularly annoying about this is that the car we have is vintage 1994 (it's a Honda), and the warranty coverage has long since expired and is certainly not renewable, neither for time nor for mileage.

So, one time when we got one of those calls (interrupting dinner of course), I rushed to the phone and got it in time for the autodialer to put me through. I was furious, and right away I told the person on the other end that I was going to report them to the FCC for not taking us off the call list (as we had requested more than 30 days before that . . . the FCC gives them 30 days to take you off). There was a click and the phone went dead. They had hung up on me.

So, the next time, I acted nice at first, and gained their confidence. The telemarketer first asked me for the vehicle ID number, making it sound like I had already agreed to this outrage. That's a standard sales tactic. After a few more questions, for which I remained pleasant and compliant, I finally sprung my trap. I asked the telemarketer their name. They gave it. I asked for the name of their supervisor. They gave it. Then I asked for the name of the company. I asked it again and repeated the spelling slowly as though I were writing it down. At which point I threatened, nastily, to report them to the FCC, and sue the pants off of them, their supervisor, and the company. They said, sheepishly, that I might get the call again within 30 days. I said "I'd better not, because I already requested this more than 30 days ago!". I haven't heard from them since, and that was several months ago.

Here's another one that gets under my skin. The mortgage refinancing scam (which is what got us in this subprime mess in the first place). As it happens, our house is fully paid for . . . no mortgage. Clearly then, the call list they're working off of, has only a phone number on it . . . maybe a name . . . and nothing about whether or not the victim qualifies, or even indeed needs a mortgage refinance at all.

So far, these have been recordings only, but I plan to catch the autodialer and spring my standard trap.

I was going to get call blocking, but now it's down to only this mortgage scam, and I want to have some fun with it.

And I was going to keep them on the line with nonsense questions just to make them pay more for the call, until I found out that they get large discounts in a package, and get a certain number of minutes for free, so unless I kept them on VERY long, they wouldn't pay any extra. And I don't have the patience with these morons to be nice that long.

Anyway, thoughts???

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
Scott
Scott
Posts: 5618
 
raphoenix
raphoenix
Posts: 14920

@BobJam,

Don't take your wrath out on the person on the telephone.
Most probably they (don't) have a real job and are getting paid minimum wage plus maybe?? a small commission for doing the dirty work for the real perpetrators of telemarketing who are wealthy companies.
The government is responsible for letting these companies get away with using auto dialers and such.
==============
I know and (agree) telemarketers are aggravating but the person on the other end of the phone line is (NOT) the cause of the problem. They are calling for food so to speak.
Think about the situation for a minute.
Kindest Regards,
Rick P. ♥ :)

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
ScottW
ScottW
Posts: 6609

Bob, you need to listen to some of Tom Mabe's work. His first album was "Revenge on the Telemarketers" and it's just like it sounds. He baits those annoying people in, then annoys them back. Some are funny, others just cathartic.

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
mpc104
mpc104
Posts: 286

do not call list 1-888-382-1222 this # may be for the us only.but it has slowed down crap calls for me.

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
whs
whs
Posts: 17584

Ya mpc. It has stopped mine nearly 100%. I'll see whether it held up when I get back to FL next month.

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
mpc104
mpc104
Posts: 286

good to know it works for our friends on the other side of the world.

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
whs
whs
Posts: 17584

mpc, that was for my Florida number. But I have not been there since Mai. Here in Germany we have something similar and that works well too. But here it is best to have an unlisted number. They are inaccessable.

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
BobJam
BobJam
Posts: 1052

There's a loophole in the FCC's "Do not call" list (and that 888 number is the same). It only covers NATIONAL firms. It does not apply to local companies. For example, one of the local papers here called me frequently, and they were not compelled to adhere to the FCC prohibition. I did ask them to stop calling, and they very kindly agreed.

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
whs
whs
Posts: 17584

The rule I know is that it does not apply to companies with which you have previously done business. Nor does it apply to charities - who are the biggest pain in the neck.

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
BobJam
BobJam
Posts: 1052

Yeah, we gave to the police and the fire department, and it was a chore to get them to stop calling for more donations. Once you're on their list, they keep calling. They start off asking for $100 bucks ('platinum member" is the sales pitch), go down to $50 ("gold member"), and when you continue to say NO, they end up at $5 bucks. I've never said it to them, but I would think that $5 bucks barely covers their administrative costs (because they hire telemarketers to do it for them), so they pretty much break even . . . assuming the postage is free.

In addition to the "platinum member" pitch, these telemarketers also go into detail on gut wrenching stories about fallen policeman and fireman. No doubt, there are fallen heroes in there, but these guys make it sound like their survivors are thrown out into the street unless you donate.

My wife, who has Alzheimer's, is convinced that if we don't give, we'll be stopped on the street, arrested, and shot, or if our house catches fire the fire department won't respond. She also thinks that it's a cop or fireman on the other end of the line, and not a "professional" telemarketer. When they get ahold of her, it's an easy sell.

Don't misunderstand . . . I have the highest regard for policemen, firemen, and soldiers too. But if we're going to donate, the money we give to charity is better spent for us on something like the Alzheimer's Association. Of course, since we've given to them they keep calling, but I really don't mind.

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 



Topic Closed

This topic has been closed to new replies.

Enter Your Email Here to Get Access for Free:

Go check your email!