Telemarketers Continue To Sneak Around Do Not Call List

from the as-expected dept

Last year, even before the federal “Do Not Call” list went into effect, we wrote about how some companies were already working on ways to get around the list by using a sweepstakes with fine print that signed you up to receive phone calls from their “marketing partners.” In the comments to that article, a number of people have been writing about one particular Canadian company selling vacation packages that has been particularly nasty in evading the “Do Not Call” list by calling with a recording, and any time anyone asks them for information about the company, they immediately hang up. It appears that these sorts of tricks are on the rise. The FTC says they’re cracking down on such practices – even for companies that abuse the spirit, if not the letter, of the list (though, I wonder if that’ll get them into legal trouble). The craziest accusation in the article, though, is that AT&T mis-billed over 1 million people (many of whom weren’t even customers), and when those people called to complain, they were hit with a sales pitch. As for things like sweepstakes where the fine print says you’ve signed away your Do Not Call rights, the FTC says you can only sign away you’re rights to a single company. In other words, despite what the sweepstakes companies think, they can’t pass on your number to “marketing partners.”

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Telemarketers Continue To Sneak Around Do Not Call List”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
August Jackson (user link) says:

AT&T violate the DNCL? Never!

It’s interesting to see the AT&T approach mentioned in this piece. See this entry below from my blog about a recent experience I had with AT&T that might have been related to this, because when I called to get the mis-billing sorted the first rep to whom I spoke WOULD NOT STOP with the SALES PITCH. Both she and the second rep outright lied to me:

AT&T? Buh-bye!

We subscribe to one of Verizon’s all-you-can-eat local and long distance plans. Withoin a range of a few cents our phone bill is the same every month. I was a bit taken aback when I saw this month’s bill and found it to be about $9.00 more than the standard bill. A quick trip to the on-line bill presention shows that AT&T are trying to charge me $8.73 for long distance. “This is very odd,” I think. Why would I subscribe to AT&T for long distance when I’m paying for an all-you-can-eat plan with Verizon?

So I submit a service ticket to Verizon. About a day later (yesterday) they came back with a message directing me to AT&T customer service, saying that they cannot credit AT&T charges on my bill and I must get the issue sorted with AT&T. Today I finally got my chance to call.

What a group of scammers and liars! The first agent I talk to is clearly offshore. This is actually less of an issue to me so long as agents are sufficiently trained in how to handle customers in the American millieu. Well, she clearly was not. The first thing she tried to do was tell me that I was being charged because the Verizon long distance network was “filled up” when I had made some of my calls, so they had handed them over to AT&T, and that’s why AT&T had sent me a bill. I told her that was nonsense and that if Verizon wasn’t going to disclose that fact I would deal with them but first I wanted to get my credit for $8.73. She said she’d put me over to a billing specialist, but then kept trying to sell my on AT&T’s unlimited plan. “While I’m trying to fix AT&T’s billing error is not a good time to try and sell me on your service. I just want to deal with my current bill,” I told her. She would not drop the subject of having me switch providers. I asked her to drop the subject at least five times. Finally I had to ask to either listen to music while I was on hold or speak to her supervisor. I was getting very angry.

So, after a minute or two on hold I’m dropped into the touch-tone maze. Press “1” for this, “2” for that, “*765#2” to speak to a represenative and all of that garbage. Finally I get through to the billing specialist.

AT&T are blatently lying to me here. They’re telling me Verizon aren’t able to carry long distance calls, so I cannot POSSIBLY have Verizon as my long distance provider and therefor must actually still be an AT&T customer. So I had to open up with my telecom whoop-ass and explain to her Section 271 of the Telecommunciations Act of 1996 and how Verizon received relief under that section of the Act to provide intra-LATA voice services in the Commonwealth of Virginia some time ago (I apologised for not knowing the exact date). She seemed a little taken aback and dumbfounded by this, so finally agreed to look at my account for my change order way back when I cancelled my AT&T long distance. “Oh… oh… THERE it is. November of 2002. I guess we have to give you a credit.”

Jerks. I’m astonished that AT&T would lie so blatantly to somebody as they did here– not once, but twice.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: AT&T violate the DNCL? Never!

” The first agent I talk to is clearly offshore. This is actually less of an issue to me so long as agents are sufficiently trained in how to handle customers in the American millieu. Well, she clearly was not. “

Tell us again how great offshoring is for this country, please !

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...