by Mike Masnick

Telemarketer Reveals Tricks Of The Trade Of Cramming

from the sneaky-bastards dept

MSNBC's fraud central has turned up a former telemarketing employee who reveals how his former employer, Epixtar, tricked small businesses into paying them $30/month. The article has an audio file of a phone call that is worth listening to. In it, the telemarketer claims she is just verifying some information, and then in rapid-fire manner gets the guy to say "yes" to a bunch of questions. There's even the really tricky part, where the telemarketer confirms (almost intelligibly) that the guy she's speaking to can verify additional charges on his telephone bill - and then immediately says "the phone number we have on record for you is...". She then says "is that all correct?" which technically includes him saying he has permission to accept charges on his phone bill, even though most people are only responding to the correctness of the phone number. Then, at the very end, (again in an incredibly rapid fashion) the telemarketer points out that they are going to now charge $30/month for this service unless they call to cancel. She finishes this long pargraph with an "ok?". The guy responds "ok" and is clearly about to say something else, when the recording cuts off. Apparently, the firm uses these "edited" recordings that cut off the objections to prove that people authorized the charges. Then, they make it nearly impossible for you to cancel the "service". In the rare cases where you can pin them down to give you a refund, they only refund a small portion of what they scammed from you, assuming that either you won't check, or figure it's too big of a hassle to get back the rest.

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