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How To Profit From Telemarketing 329

Posted by timothy
from the please-kiss-this-man dept.
jsprat writes: "From the Seattle PI: A man gets an automated message from a telemarketer. He complains. Two weeks later, he gets a check and an apology! In the article, another man is mentioned who claims to have collected $2650 dollars over the last year for illegal spam, faxes and automated calls. Another weapon to fight these clowns?" What's your personal cash-won record?
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How To Profit From Telemarketing

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  • by qurob (543434) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @08:45AM (#3315599) Homepage
    Telemarketers call YOU so THEY can make money....
  • Hi there - this is a note to the reader of slashdot. If you are reading this message, then the software has cored and the experiment is over.

    In case you aren't aware there aren't really any people posting on slashdot - this is all one gigantic IRC bot specifically designed to make you believe that you are part of a community. You (yes - *you* ) are talking to a very clever computer program.

    Well, sorry if we confused you, and hey thanks anyway. (Oh, yes and because you are the only reader our logs show that you have several 'karma accounts' and a number of 'troll' accounts - you never fooled anyone.

    Even your emails to Taco were ironic - you didnt know, but Taco is actually a QuickBasic program on an old XT!

    Thanks for reading and posting.
    Over, and out.

    Woah! Hey relax - its a joke (I've seen the Matrix too many times)
  • by Jerky McNaughty (1391) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @08:49AM (#3315614)
    Ben Livingston has a web page with a lot of good hints [smallclaim.info] for anyone interested in suing these people. He also has a complete list [smallclaim.info] of everyone he's sued, the outcomes, and in some cases, even a scanned image of the check they sent him.
  • by Saint Aardvark (159009) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @08:49AM (#3315615) Homepage Journal
    No way am I pissing off these guys...I'm gonna make MILLIONS by selling those penis-enlargement pills! And it's not even MLM!

    I hate to brag, Timothy, but I think you're being just a little short-sighted about this.

  • Im gonna be rich (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fabiolrs (536338)
    If a get 1 buck from ever spammer that sends me unwanted messages Im gonna get rich soon! :))

    Is there a law in US that obligates spammers to give people money or that makes spam a crime? Here in Brazil we have no such law neither any law that makes spam a crime. I believe obligating these stupid people to pay some money to people they send spam would descrease A LOT the amount of unwanted messages we get everday...
    • by operagost (62405) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:57AM (#3316436) Homepage Journal
      US Code 47, sec 227 prohibits the use of automated systems to call residential customers. This includes automatical dialers (you know, the kind where you say 'hello' and it takes the salesperson several seconds to answer) along with recorded messages.

      Unfortunately, most people don't know this, and are buying devices that quietly send a signal that sounds like the 'number disconnected' tone when you pick up the line, just to cut down on the problem. Make the telemarketers shell out the cash, not yourself!

      • This includes automatical dialers (you know, the kind where you say 'hello' and it takes the salesperson several seconds to answer) along with recorded messages.

        No it doesn't. The rule reads (in relevant part, emphasis mine) "It shall be unlawful for any person within the United States to initiate any telephone call to any residential telephone line using an artificial or prerecorded voice to deliver a message without the prior express consent of the called party, unless the call is initiated for emergency purposes or is exempted by rule or order by the Commission under paragraph (2)(B)"

    • Actually, I too live in Brazil. And receives a lot of spam.
      From my personal experience, most Brazilians ISP do act agains spammers. I for myself have managed to have dozens of spammers have thier accounts closed, and even a few that got charged by their ISPs. The most sensible exception is UOL (one of the largest ISPs, but which fortunately generated very little spam). SPAMs from Brazil accounts for about 15% of all the SPAM I get.
      In any case, if I had the time, I think I could sue the spammers here, for taking advantage of a service which I pay for (my internet connection), and I think I could win.
      So, don't think everything is helpless here. Just get a good lawyer, and talk to him about the things you can do.
  • the power of noisemakers. When you know it is a telemarketer, just set the phone next to any of the following for an extended period of time. Say . . . 5 minutes. -A blender -A garbage disposal -A TV/Radio speaker -You ass after eating beans -etc. Remember, they pay for those calls. Make them earn em!

    • When you know it is a telemarketer, just set the phone next to any of the following for an extended period of time.

      Nahhh.... too easy
      You should piss about with them insted. eg

      Them: Selling double-glassing (very common in UK)
      You: Sorry mate, my house dosnt have any windows (over time, tell em you live in a nuclear bunker or something)

      Them: "I'm carrying out a survay for..."
      You: HAHA.... so am I !!! What are the chances of that!!!

      Just keep 'em on the line and wind them up for as long as possable until they tell you to fuck off and slam the phone down!
      The other alternative is yor very own free porn chatline. Just talk dirty for a bit and see how long it takes 'em to hang up :-)

    • If you participate in that kind of infantile behavoir, telemarketers will put you down as 'not home' and you'll be called again and again and again until you bother to act like an adult.

      Okay, I've been a telemarketer, and let me tell you that the job sucked enough as it was, without clowns like you thinking they where being cute by attempting to screw with us. (There where plenty of people who tried to screw with us, by the way, so the telemarketer you talk to has probably heard it all already.)

      Look, for a while, working as a telemarketer paid the bills pretty well, compared to other jobs you can get as an undergrad student. If you don't want telemarketing calls, just ask to be put on the company's do not call list, which every company must have by law. And be nice to the HUMAN on the other side of the phone. They're just trying to make a living.
      • I think I speak for all the people just trying to spend a pleasant evening at home when I say,

        We don't care how telemarketers feel.

        They don't mind interupting our evenings, we don't mind being rude in return.

        Especially the auto-dialers!
        • I'm sure your job pisses someone off. Keep that in mind.

          Telemarketers get more than enough positive answers to make the activity profitable, so even if it pisses you off, the next person is just waiting for a call about our wonderful point-back credit card, or whatever it is.

          The means and the end of behaving civily are the same. If you take 30 seconds to be polite and ask to be put on the do not call list, YOU WILL ULTIMATELY REDUCE THE NUMBER OF INTERUPTS in your 'pleasent evening.'

          If you enjoy being an ass to a complete stranger more than you enjoy an uninterupted plesant evening, by all means, go ahead with your infantile behavoir. Otherwise, behave like an adult, and you'll curtail the calls you get.
          • I'm not an ass, I'm not infantile, I'm just firm with them. The rudest I get is to re-iterate "No thank you, please do not call again" and hang up on them.

            Telemarketers are not actually very good about not calling back when I instruct them not to, except for the few times (with repeat offenders) that I've threatened to sue them.

            If you enjoy being an ass to a complete stranger more than you enjoy an uninterupted plesant evening, by all means, go ahead with your infantile behavoir. Otherwise, behave like an adult, and you'll curtail the calls you get.

            Now that you're done being insulting, please explain why a 7:30 pm sales pitch should be treated with the same repesct and courtesy as a call from my mother.

            I think it would be nice to require caller-ID info be available on marketing calls.

          • One more this. This statement: "behave like an adult, and you'll curtail the calls you get" is absolutely not true.

            I've had much better success being unfriendly and threatening than I have when I've tried to be engaging and nice about it.

            Also, Mr. Offended Telemarketer, telling your target market to "act like adults" is pretty arrogant. Perhaps your industry should try acting like adults, rather that making crank calls for a living.
          • Your home page sums it up:

            http://www.amishrakefight.org/gfy
      • If you participate in that kind of infantile behavoir, telemarketers will put you down as 'not home' and you'll be called again and again and again until you bother to act like an adult.

        It's infantile to make funny noises when the telemarketer interrupts your life, but it's not infantile to keep calling back where you know you're not wanted?

        Earn your living any way you like, but please don't get all high and mighty when you're going out of your way to annoy people who won't buy your product anyway.

      • If you participate in that kind of infantile behavoir, telemarketers will put you down as 'not home' and you'll be called again and again and again until you bother to act like an adult.

        And that's adult behaviour?

        Nope, sorry, I'm just bloody-minded. If someone tries to inconvenience me I'm going to try and piss them off as much as possible. Same principle as stopping a cheque if someone is trying to steal from you even if it costs you more to stop it than you would lose otherwise.

        And be nice to the HUMAN on the other side of the phone. They're just trying to make a living.

        Trying to make a living by stealing my time, not by providing a service or creating a product. They're parasites. They contribute as much to society as fleas. And I'll make their job as difficult as possible.
  • I tried unsubscribing and sending complaints via email. Next day I received some more email from them, so I actually openned and read some of them and they all offered me GREAT deals on cool merchandise.
  • Hello friends, how would you like to make some easy money?

    human: Sure!

    It's simple, all you have to do is listen to this message, follow a simple procedure and BOOM! its money in your pocket

    human: ... (hmm... accentuated silence!)

    Simply send 10 dollars to the following address, or leave us your credit card details, and we'll send you all the information you need to complain about us! Yes, it is that simple!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @08:51AM (#3315628)
    Send one dollar to:
    "HAPPY DUDE"

    742 Evergreen Terrace
    Springfield, USA
    You have the power!
  • stat 101. (Score:2, Insightful)

    Schroeter, who already works at home and consequently hates telemarketing calls more than the average person...

    right...
    he hates telemarketers more on average then i do, just like i'm smarter then the average person and drive better then the average driver.
  • So far, about $3250 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @08:55AM (#3315638)
    And counting. Not bad for a poor grad student. I make sure I post to Usenet quite a lot and surf random porn sites. This seems to be the way they get hold of your address. Once they have it on one list it will soon migrate.


    The key here is persistance. Its amazing how almost anyone will crumble when faced with a legal threat. Think about the way Scientologists went after slashdot, thats how I go after spammers. I may even be on thin legal ice so to speak, but the mere threat of the law usually sees these guys settle. At the moment, its cheaper for them to do this.


    Its also worth noting that I am Canadian which makes it a whole lot more complicated (and therefore expensive) from a legal perspective.


    I would urge slashdotters to take up my hobby, it takes about 1hr/week and can be very lucrative.

  • by prisoner (133137) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @08:55AM (#3315639)
    and we just got (pinky in mouth) One Million...oh wait, this is enemy territory....never mind...
    • Irony (Score:3, Funny)

      by freeweed (309734)
      Anyone else find it extremely funny that someone called 'prisoner' also works for the RIAA? :)

  • $500 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Blue23 (197186) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @09:00AM (#3315654) Homepage
    You know, $500 is not a lot. Especially compared to the actual cost of a lawsuit. The number of people who know their rights, and properly preserve the evidice is low. It might just be part of business-as-usual for YourHomeCareer.com to pay those who know the law.

    They get PR (and all PR is good PR), come across as "ok, we did something wrong but we're good upstanding people who are willing to be good members of the community and make amends." They come out smelling like roses for a fairly paltry sum. It's a wonderful thought.

    =Blue(23)
  • by Gruneun (261463) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @09:06AM (#3315679)
    (I was on the fence about putting this out as someone may start doing it, but...)

    I received a phone call a few months ago. The call rang once and ended before I could pick it up. When I checked the Caller ID (never go home without it) it had a number outside of my area code with a label, "Prize Claim Dept" attached.

    When I checked the area code it was somewhere in the Carribean. I have seen more than a few jobs listed in the classifieds that had similar numbers, charging $20 a minute (legally) without warning.

    This was pretty crafty, though. First, they get you to initiate the call, making it much easier for them to get your money. Second, if there ever was a problem, they could easily argue that they dialed the wrong number, realized it, then hung up. They didn't expect you to call them.

    Ethically lacking, but pretty crafty.
    • I wouldn't really call that telemarketing, but it does remind me of a scam that was going on when pagers were becoming popular.

      There was a 'company' that somehow got a hold of large lists of pager number and would page them with their toll number. I think they were charging $90 a minute or something obsurd. I don't remember the outcome, but they were heavily sued by several large parties.

      ~LoudMusic
    • Most telemarketing systems call a bunch of people (say 4) at a time, then connect the first person who picks up to the available operator. That way they don't waste time on people who aren't home, etc. This is why you get so many hangups when you answer your phone....they don't need you anymore.
    • by Alexius (148791) <alexius&nauticom,net> on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:18AM (#3316091) Homepage
      I saw this warning a while ago, in an email. I figured it was about as realistic as the warnings about my kidneys, but before I told the person that it wasn't true, I called my operator and asked. It turns out, this may be legal, but while I was on the phone, I found something else out. My phone company, PennTelecom [penntele.com] will not a.) pass along any third party bills, (except for a long distance provider specified by me), and b.) will not give out any personal information on me. The effect is that if I dial any number that is supposed to collect money from me, the company that is supposed to collect the money has to send me a bill themselves, they can't just add it onto my phone bill. However, they also can't send me a bill because my phone company adheres to their privacy policy and won't give them my name or address.


      I used one of the 10-10 numbers once, and I got a bill from AT&T mailled to me, addressed to one of my aliases. Obviously they'd pulled the name from some marketting database and managed to match up my phone number that way, but they obviously didn't have any actual evidence to force me to pay that bill, or ruin my aliases credit.

  • How about $10000? (Score:4, Informative)

    by ndogg (158021) <the DOT rhorn AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @09:09AM (#3315689) Homepage Journal
    Well, you wouldn't necessarily get $10000, but the telemarketing firm would have to pay that in fines if you request that you take your name off their list and they do not do that.

    I've worked for a telemarketer before (yes, I have been to hell and back), and I k now for a fact that we were required to immediately, upon request, take a person or business' name and information off our list without any questions asked. If we did not, the firm was risking a $10000 fine. This is federal law. If a telemarketer continues to bug you after requesting that your name be taken off this list, just remind them if this little law.
    • PS (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ndogg (158021)
      This also explains why some telemarketers would be sending people money. They'd rather pay $500 to $2500 instead of $10000. This is just a way to keep people from saying anything.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I think it would be nice if we could get a copy of this law. Print it out, set it by the phone, wait for the telies and the start reading....
    • Re:How about $10000? (Score:2, Informative)

      by amunter (313014)

      If we did not, the firm was risking a $10000 fine.
      This is federal law.

      I think the federal law you are talking about is the Telephone Consumers Protection Act. The relevant law and complications with using it are analyzed pretty well at Junkbusters U.S. Laws on Telemarketing [junkbusters.com].

      The amount is not $10000, but $500.

      • Yeah, but you also have to bear the cost of small claims court. Sending one of those corporate lawyers over there is not going to be cheap..

        Business class flights, stay at a nice hotel, reimbursement for full time. Even if the consumer in the end gets only 500usd the company has spent a lot more by then.. overall 10kusd might not be a figure far off.
    • by dirk (87083) <dirk@one.net> on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:20AM (#3316097) Homepage
      The hard part is proving you requested to be taken off their list. You usually need to at the least send a letter before it is "official" that you requested to be removed. You can request it when they call, and a lot of them will remove you, but if they don't there is no way for you to prove you requested it. It comes down to your word against theirs, and the burden of proof is on you. So yes, by law they have to remove you if you request it, but if they don't it's up to you to prove you requested it.
    • I don't think, under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, that they could just take you off their list, per se. Otherwise, your name could pop back on their list since they couldn't track if you were previously on the list. Instead, Telemarketers must put you on their "do-not-call" list when you ask them to, and they have to keep your name on that list for 10 years. Then if you still get a call from them, you can sue for $500.
    • I thought that it was more effective to request to be placed on the "Do Not Call" list. If you simply request to be removed, your number is taken off but can be added again later since they don't have any record of it existing. If you explicitly ask to be placed on "Do Not Call", they must keep a record of your number for X years and they must not call to it in that time.
  • A local telemarketer has ignored my do-not-call requests seven times in the past two years. At $500 a pop, that's quite a bit of money, especially when you consider the possibility of treble damages (it's obvious that they are willfully and knowingly ignoring their do-not-call list, since we've reminded them every time). I've written a letter demanding payment for damages, but how should I proceed if they ignore it? The damages are too high for small claims court. Is it worth the trouble of going for the full amount, or would it be better to lower my sights and stick with small claims? Have any of you ever (successfully) sued a telemarketer for more than $3000?
    • shoot, just make sure that the part of the suit against them that details damages (punitive and real) includes lawyer's fees...
      that's not uncommon in many suits, just ask any public (city, county, etc) attorney.
      that way, you get the benefit of your money, and your lawyer is paid for by your opponent!
    • File separately. (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheMCP (121589)
      File a separate suit over each incident in which they called you illegally. I would guess that the small claims court's limit would allow for a $500 suit. (Wouldn't it?)

      It'll be slightly more of a pain in the ass for you, and you'll have to pay the seven filing fees, but it's probably easier and cheaper than hiring a lawyer and going to a full regular court over it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @09:18AM (#3315722)
    so I wouldn't know about using the law to get back at spammers (as in the article), but here in redneck country we have much more effective methods.

    For example, just last Tuesday I got $574 dollars and a $200 Rolex from a salesman who failed to notice the "no solicitors" sign on my front gate. He said he'd sue for excessive force and I said he's welcome to have his other eye blacked out too, and to get the fuck out of my house before I take that spiffy suit to go with my new rolex.

    Must be new to the area.

  • Telemarketing Calls (Score:2, Interesting)

    by karnal (22275)
    I don't receive any telephone calls from telemarketers (that block their ID), since I've got this nifty little "privacy manager" service.

    Basically, it just asks the caller for their name, and then prompts me whether I wanna accept or deny (similar to collect calls). I notice that nowadays I have 0 messages on my answering machine, whereas before, I'd get 2-3 junk calls a day.

    Also, whenever I sign up for "advertising" promotions (kroger plus card, big bear card, etc) I use my modem line. I've actually heard someone call it, probably to the tune of once a month. I can imagine their suprise when they hear the modem on the other end..... :)
  • by defile (1059) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @09:21AM (#3315734) Homepage Journal
    See this page [bacarella.com] for a method that would surely destroy the telemarketing industry if enough companies did it.
    • I suppose we're starting to mildly drift off topic, here, but I've actually been doing this sort of thing (at home) for some time now. While I can't exactly transfer the telemarketers around, I do find great entertainment in keeping them on the phone for quite a while (once I managed to hold one captive for about a half hour), feigning interest, passing the phone around to various members of the household (works best when I'm visiting my parents, and I have half a dozen or more bored people at my disposal), or just acting(?) very stupid and making them explain things over and over. Naturally, when get bored with them, I'll cheerfully wish them a good (day|evening|weekend) and remind them to put me on their do not call list.

      I even managed to get some form of sweet revenge with the Lexington, KY newspaper. I was called one evening, at home, and told about some special weekend offer for home-delivery. Understand that ordinarily I would refuse, simply on principle. The irony is that I had *just* finished looking up the number for home-delivery, so that I could take it with me to work the next day and order home-delivery. I figured that in this ONE case, they actually had good timing, and a service that I was going to buy *anyway*, so... fine: I'd order the paper. One problem: the woman that called me could *ONLY* sell me their weekend package, and I wanted the full-blown, 7-day-a-week, normal-price service. I was dumbfounded.

      So, the next day, I gave the paper a telephone call and asked to be connected to new subscriptions. I was connected to a very helpful gentleman who explained the whole subscription plan to me about seven or eight times and then I told him the story that I just related. I explained to him that I was a customer that was ready to buy -- all they had to do was take my money. I then told him that because of that experience I was no longer interested in receiving the paper, and that I would be buying the Cincinnati newspaper at my local Kroger instead. He got rather offended at this, and accused me of calling just to waste their valuable time. I somehow supressed a laugh and told him that I knew *EXACTLY* how he felt, since that's the feeling I had after their telemarketing call.

      All in all, I doubt that anyone there will ever notice, or even know how I felt about the whole thing... but, still, making an unsolicited call to a telemarketer (yeah, I know, it was just to the company that contracted a telemarketer, but, still) just seemed to drip with delicious irony.
    • by Croaker (10633) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:07AM (#3316024)

      Hmm... imagine what could be done with this technique given:

      1. A reserved phone extension someplace.
      2. A phone sound card connection for this phone.
      3. A PC with voice recognition/voice synthesis software. Voice synthesis would have to be very convincing... perhaps just using canned voice samples. For voice recognition, you might only have to catch a phrase here or there, or maybe just detect silence.
      4. Faux "AI" software, such as Eliza or Racter. Perhaps seeded with marketspeak phrases ("yes, but what's the ROI?", "How do you address the currently shifting business paradigms?") The longer the conversation gets, the more surreal and random the AI should get ("Is it effective on monkeys? Our server room is full of monkeys. Flying ones. They glow blue. And they are tiny.") The AI should also throw out bones form time to time, to keep the marketeer on the hook ("Excellent!" "I can see a need for this in our organization, RIGHT NOW!").
      5. An MP3 server to let everyone else listen to the precious sounds of a telemarketer slowly going insane.
      • The AI should also throw out bones form time to time, to keep the marketeer on the hook ("Excellent!" "I can see a need for this in our organization, RIGHT NOW!").

        Er, no, and that's the problem with this suggestion. If the AI says anything that can be plausibly represented as consent, the telemarketer can use the "bone" on you (e.g. "slam" your long-distance service to the carrier he's selling).

        Pity -- your idea sounds like it would have great entertainment value.

    • 1. Answer the phone politely. Determine that it's a telemarketer.
      2. Say "One moment please."
      3. Put the phone down and go about your business for 5-10 minutes.
      4. Pick up the phone, say cheerfully "Hello!", (telemarketer reminds you), say cheerfully "Sorry, of course! Just a sec."
      5. GOTO 3.

      I watched a friend's mother waste someone's time for close to an hour this way...
    • ... two month after such a stunt, you hire a new guy whose name happens to be Feynman. The poor rookie will get all those cranky telemarketers' calls...
    • This won't work universally.

      Most legitimate sales people with any experience will see through this ruse in a minute. They'll quickly stop wasting time on your company and move on. They won't sell this "contact" information to anyone. Sales leads that produce sales are valuable and can be sold. Sales leads that don't produce sales are junk and only tar the seller.

      Many businesses, especially those that have sales forces, will not pursue this strategy because they value sales contacts, even if they don't buy anything. Some sales people are interesting to talk to and can provide valuable information, even stuff they're not selling.

      Sure, there are some sleazy sales people but they're easy to hang up on. But there's a lot of legitimate people trying to do business.
    • Great idea, one problem though.
      Mr. Feynman doesn't exist!

      He doesn't [google.ca]? He's one of the worlds leading physicists, I'm reading one of his books right now! Now research will be slowed to a crawl because he will be eternaly tormented by telemarketers!!
      Damn you! Damn you all to hell!!
    • What ever happened to the good ol' days, before all of this digital switching crap, when the lines were directly connected by copper running from my phone to his? The days when telemarketers could be dealt with by liberal application of a 25-kV spark coil? Never did have a return call from those companies...
  • by Peyna (14792) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @09:28AM (#3315768) Homepage
    Here [in.gov] is more information on the state of Indiana's anti-telemarketing law that was recently passed, and everything that goes along with it.

    We might not have daylight savings time, but at least we are trying to keep out telemarketers. I suggest you look over the text of the law before making any comments, since it provides many ways for people to legally call you, such as not-for-profit orgs using their own volunteers, etc. Anyway, I think it has helped tremendously, and I'm still waiting for a business to get sued over it to really enforce it. (That will be the true test of the law.)

    I also believe it is being challenged by a number of groups right now. At least it is a step in the right direction. Heck, the attorney general based his entire last campaign on this issue alone.
    • We might not have daylight savings time

      Parts of Indiana DO have daylight savings time. I like to think of Northwest Indiana as the more advanced portion of the state that is ranked 50th in technology related jobs. I mean we didn't even beat Rhode Island...RHODE ISLAND...geez....

      *turns and pouts*

      • Yeah, NW, SW, SE all have DST, because they are close to major metropolitan areas that are on a different time zone, so the only way to really effectively get business done is to adopt the timezone of the big city near by, otherwise you're going to be on the same time or an hour off half the year, which is a big problem. If the whole state went one way or the other it'd solve many problems. Northwest Indiana would be more advanced if Gary wasn't there to give us that prestigious Murder Capitol of the World title or whatever it is.

        Indiana: Top Ranked in: Syphilis, Obesity, Smoking, Murder (in Gary at least).
        Bottom Ranked in: Education (K-12), Jobs, and right now competent politicians who can't pass a friggin budget for crap but have no problem trying to pass a law to indemnify themselves of all past wrongdoings!
  • Checkout Spamcon [spamcon.org] to see if there is a local law allowing you to sue spammers.
  • A home page testimonial says that "Anthony P., a former corporate employee, now works from home and earns over $35,000 per month!"

    Yeah, work from home by just picking up telemarketers' calls, and then collect the loot...

  • by Jonny Balls (543700) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @09:43AM (#3315843) Homepage
    When ever telemarketers call me, i usually play songs on the keypad. mary had a little lamb usually goes over well
  • What about Canada? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kawaichan (527006) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @09:49AM (#3315882) Homepage
    Does Canada have a similar law regarding to this as well?

  • META Spam anyone? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sluggie (85265) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @09:57AM (#3315957)
    "Hey, asdasd!

    Do you want to get rid of all those spammers? You can earn BIG MONEY by suing them.. bla bla bla...

    Just click here to buy the unique 'How to sue the bad guys' whitepaper for just 9.99!

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  • pennsylvania law (Score:4, Informative)

    by mach-5 (73873) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @09:58AM (#3315959) Homepage
    Pennsylvania just passed a law that could make telemarketers liable for up to $3000 for each call. The new law allows residents to be placed on a "Do Not Call" list. The list will be made publicly available to telemarkets, and if they make the call then they get zapped with the fine. Here is the press release [state.pa.us].
    • It's $10,000 and a federal law. There is a federal DNC list that you should be registering at. You won't be seeing that 10k though, because the FCC steals about 9k of it.

      You can also tell the telemarketer (calmly) "please place me on the do not call list" and they will stop calling you (trust me, it works. They aern't idoits and they will put you on a DNC list). If you don't say the word list they are NOT legally required to stop calling you, so "please stop calling me" or "don't call here again" or "I dont take these kind of calls" will all be ignored, and you will probably be laughed at for being an idoit.

      If you spaz on a telemarketer, they probably mute you and start laughing at your idocy. It requires no effort to get off of all telemarketing lists, forever, yet people like you seem to think that its a huge thing.

      TCPA was passed in '92, why don't you learn a little more about it if you hate telemarketers so much. It's the law you should be worried about, and it only requires a quick call to the FCC to get everything rolling.

      If you think I'm just making stuff up, I used to work at a telemarketing house in college, with alot of other college kids who were trying to make money. In general, there are some fuckups (I know one kid who lied to about everyone he called) but most telemarketers are just doing thier job. If you don't want them to, just say "Put me on the do not call list please", wait for them to say "goodbye" after rattling a little speech, and hang up. It's not hard, and it's idoits like you who give telemarkters a bad name, because your too stupid to learn your own rights.

      (It's also interesting that the same people who hate telemarketers are the ones who think that telephone CSR's owe them something, the amusing part is most often they work for the same outsourcing company -- and often will call one day and take calls the next)
      • If I'm not mistaken the federal "Do Not Call" list is still a proposal. Plenty of state-level ones, though; I'm looking at the one for Florida right now.

        Still, a 10-grand fine for the telemarketer and I _only_ get to keep 10% of it? Fine by me!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:04AM (#3316009)
    Here in NJ, when most of these companies are located out west or south, it's easy. I sue for 499 a pop, they never show, auto judgement for me, and if they refuse to pay I can fill out and file for free an asset seizure on their bank accounts.

    The deal is that anything sent to my business domain name is for business (in or out). I clearly have a statement at the bottom of the site that states that unsolicited email will result in an hourly charge, with a two hour minimum for my services and time. The judges here crack up when they see that, but they have yet to rule against me. I just don't do it enough to be annoying to them.

    Specifically, I have filters with auto responders in place stating that the email was unsolicited and that I reserve the right to bill them for time and expenses per my companies standard policy. My email details that they should remove me from their list and immediately disclose the source from which they acquired my private email (which is NOT listed on the site or given out freely on the net). If they don't respond, fine, if they respond negatively or I recieve email from them again unsolicited, I sue. If they actually hand over their source for the mail address (a few have), I sue that company for disclosing my private email and information without permission (that suit is automatic by the way in NJ).

    Most just remove me and don't send any more mail, a few are irate and spam me some more or repsond directly in a derisive way (they get sued), a couple have given me their sources and remove me from the list, and a few even apologize (usually the larger, more legitimate outfits).

    So far I have spent about four hours in court (I only make 175-200 an hour, so I profited here) and about six hours on the net or working towards filtering and responding. I laugh my ass off at the ireate repsonses, and even more when I have their bank acount frozen until they pay their legal obligation to me settled by default in small claims court.
    • Collecting money is not that easy, and not that cheap. I had a service business for many years, and had to deal with a lot of deadbeats. Getting judgements was not the problem. Collecting the money was. Even if you already have the bank account info, and even if there's money in it, it costs a lot to collect it. At the very least, you have to get an abstract of judgement, then there's a fee to file the lien. Last time I did this, the courthouse fees alone were almost $200. On top of that, there's another fee to actually get the money from the offender's account. You have to pay this up front- the marshalls won't just take a commission, like lawyers will.
  • If you live in the UK here's how to stop unwanted telephone marketing and fax spam, just go to these wonderful web sites and sign up. It really is as simple as that.

    http://www.tps-online.org.uk/

    http://www.fps-online.org.uk/

    These are the links to the telephone preference service and fax preference service.

    Telemarketeers are not allowed to call you by law if you are signed up to these services. And any half decent telemarketeer with respect them (I know that's an oxymoron) otherwise they won't be in business for long.
  • heh (Score:4, Funny)

    by sinserve (455889) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @10:12AM (#3316060)
    > What's your personal cash-won record?

    Telemarketing his highly profitable. I *can* make 2000 dollars
    a week, working from home, and being my own boss.

    Even a wyoming highschool dropout can do this [411diet.net]

    If things go as planned, I will retire at the tender age of 35, married to a russian
    woman, and grow my penis upto 25".

    --
  • I have been doing work in a lot of Insurance Agency offices and a lot of them have war-dialers. THey start @ 9am CST and stop @ 5pm CST and start @ XXX-0000 and dial to XXX-9999. They generate reports and call back those that get machines at a different time of the day.

    I HATE FUCKERS THAT CALL ME WITH THAT SHIT. It fucking drives me NUTS. Everyone I know hates that automated calling shit.

    One office set it up 2 weeks ago and last week they had 4 appointments based off the calls and 2 new accounts created.

    The other office I know that uses it averages 5 new accounts per month from that machine

    We hate them - yet they are suprisingly effective and cheap to own/use
  • I always use my cell phone number whenever I give out my number to anyone. In fact, since my non-cell phone belongs to my roomate, I don't really have any other number to give. In any case, while I used to get phone solicitations on a regular basis, I've gotten exactly 3 since I got the cell phone almost a year ago. Yes, I could have sued for $1500 (3x$500), and I may have won, but it wasn't worth it for me, because they stopped.

    It's really nice getting zero telephone solicitations. Unfortunately, I can't sign up for USPS payment services [usps.com] (can't give them a cell phone number, has to be your home number), and had to fudge the truth when I signed up for Netbank [netbank.com] (can't give them a cell phone number, so I gave them my efax voice-mail). I probably would have given the USPS my efax voice-mail number, but then they started asking for my SSN and my driver's license number, and I thought that was a little too ridiculous.

  • There have to be five articles a week on Slashdot about some schlub who got some money from a spammer or telemarketer! Give it a rest already!

  • Here's how! Get your name and number on everyone's telemarketing list, and then sue them when they call.

    For more information, send your (certified) check for $500 to [ADDRESS CENSORED]!!!!
  • by macsox (236590)
    um, any way to to block stories from the 'please-kiss-this-man' department? it's not really my lifestyle choice.
  • My problem is worse then spam and soliciters, it's faxes. The kicker is I don't even have a fax machine. I finally borrowed one from a friend so I could get the number to call back and cancel but it takes time, and fax spamers don't seem to care what time it is, I get calls at 2am with no regard for the fact I am sleeping.

    Most of them marketing faxes, some are from large companies who say they can't figure out were the fax is comming from (I haven't gotten any since my last call so I hope they figured it out), one is from the Nigeria scam. This is crazy, there needs to be a law regarding caller ID on faxes, If I hadn't borrowed a fax machine I would still be unable to call them. It's illigal to fax unsolicited, but I have to pay for the fax machine to find out who it is?

    I would change phone numbers but I've had this one for about 6 months now, at first it was not bad but it got 100 times worse since then. Based on some of the faxes I am quessing my number used to belong to a realestate agency.
  • I know I'm just preaching to the choir here, but...

    Telemarketing should be outlawed. Seriously. All it does is annoy people and invade their privacy, and for what? So someone can get an easy paycheck? Come on. Get off your you-know-what, find a real job, and stop supporting an industry that does NOTHING but piss people off.
  • by Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) on Wednesday April 10, 2002 @09:51PM (#3320697) Homepage
    You know, the company might actually be happy about the whole thing.

    Many people read their website name in that article.

    Sometimes even negative publicity is good publicity. Unfortunate but true, they are likely to get some sales as a result of that.

"The only way for a reporter to look at a politician is down." -- H.L. Mencken

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