Auto Warranty scammers Revenge
May 6, 2009 4:19 PM   Subscribe

It looks like the Auto Warranty phone scammers who keep calling your cell phone may finally be getting their comeuppance, right about ... now.
posted by milovoo (95 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
I haven't posted anything in a while and I realize it's a one-link wonder, but I thought it was interesting to see another community doing their detective work.
posted by milovoo at 4:21 PM on May 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


reddit is the new anonymous
posted by GuyZero at 4:22 PM on May 6, 2009


They've broken into their voicemail system by the looks of it...
posted by PenDevil at 4:25 PM on May 6, 2009


Home address, eh? How about the school his kids go to?
posted by Joe Beese at 4:25 PM on May 6, 2009


it's just a phone spammer, not a supreme court justice, Joe. Sheesh.
posted by GuyZero at 4:27 PM on May 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


This isn't what Metafilter is about....
posted by HuronBob at 4:29 PM on May 6, 2009


Who was phone?
posted by mullingitover at 4:29 PM on May 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


It looks like the mob who keep posting mob-bait may finally be... etc.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 4:30 PM on May 6, 2009


[NOT PEDESTRIANIST]
posted by furtive at 4:34 PM on May 6, 2009


Hanging is too good for them. Those goat fucking shit mongers called me at 3 in the morning on a totally unlisted pre-paid cell phone. They're not just robo-dialing, they're war dialing.

Put those responsible in a small steel box lined with telephones. Replace the telephone ringers with klaxons and air horns, bells, fog horns and other incredibly loud noisemakers. Publish the phone numbers to the world. Place them inside, lock the box and throw away the keys.
posted by loquacious at 4:36 PM on May 6, 2009 [14 favorites]


I've gotten calls on my cell from these shitheads. Since reading that eventually you do talk to a "sales rep" the other day, I've been plotting my revenge.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 4:38 PM on May 6, 2009


But will they still honor the warranty they sold me?
posted by Rykey at 4:39 PM on May 6, 2009


Okay, I understand the urge to give them a taste of their own medicine. But, if this address really belongs to the people sending out these calls, the most effective course of action would be to contact the FCC, not spam their voicemail. Caller-ID spoofing and cell phone solicitation are both illegal under federal law.
posted by shadow vector at 4:50 PM on May 6, 2009


umm, thanks, HuronBob. Good to know who's guarding the content these days.
posted by milovoo at 4:51 PM on May 6, 2009


Oh wait, I take it back. Caller-ID spoofing is still legal, though there's some legislation in the works.
posted by shadow vector at 4:52 PM on May 6, 2009


This isn't what Metafilter is about....

This is exactly what metafilter is about - this is one of the things that the internet does best (er, worst, depending on your view).

Maybe it's a little too close to the situation, but I'd prefer this type of link over a NYT article about the same.
posted by odinsdream at 4:53 PM on May 6, 2009 [5 favorites]


I had thought that ANY marketing calls to a cell phone were illegal, but apparently that is not the case, or the laws got changed at some point (maybe when telemarketers realized that lots of people found them annoying enough to switch entirely to cell phones and lobbied for access).
posted by milovoo at 4:55 PM on May 6, 2009


Awesome.

I'm with loquacious on this one. Maybe they could be chained to posts in a public square where everybody could pelt them with rotten fruit. 1 second for each unsolicited phone call they've ever placed sounds about right.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 5:03 PM on May 6, 2009


Check your fax, David Tabb. Lulz.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 5:11 PM on May 6, 2009


I'm probably missing something obvious, but how did they connect David Tabb with AutoOne?
posted by txvtchick at 5:12 PM on May 6, 2009


I wasn't even aware of this until I read an AskMe about it recently.
posted by P.o.B. at 5:15 PM on May 6, 2009


Yeah, I didn't know about it until I Cockeyed.com covered it. Then I got one a few days later and I was like "I know what this is! This is that idiot from the internet!"

(We've probably gotten hundreds of others, but we screen our calls. Look into it.)
posted by DU at 5:20 PM on May 6, 2009


These douchers have been begging for this - also, see the discussion on the green from last weekend.
posted by porn in the woods at 5:24 PM on May 6, 2009


I can't follow that reddit thread at all. How did they figure out the source of these calls? How do they know that it's a single source?
posted by mr_roboto at 5:28 PM on May 6, 2009


D FOR EFFORT.
SEE ME AFTER CLASS - you can do better!
posted by boo_radley at 5:30 PM on May 6, 2009


These calls are the reason I don't pick up my phone anymore unless I know whose number it is.
While I certainly don't think this guy should be killed (come on now) I'd love to see some debilitating fines and hey, maybe even jail time.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 5:30 PM on May 6, 2009


This looks like a job for the FCC. You can file a report here(or at least find out what you need to do to file one). No need for torches and pitchforks(and driving past their office and faxing them). If there is only one company doing this, I'm disappointed the FCC hasn't taken action against them.
posted by christhelongtimelurker at 5:31 PM on May 6, 2009


Is it Ghostbusters 2?
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 5:40 PM on May 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


People really answer cell phone calls from unknown numbers?
posted by desjardins at 5:59 PM on May 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


desjardins, phone calls from overseas numbers often appear as unknown numbers. When most of your family live overseas, yes, you answer cell phone calls from unknown numbers.
posted by mosessis at 6:05 PM on May 6, 2009 [8 favorites]


I, too, cannot get these guys to leave me alone. I get a few calls a day, from different phone numbers, and they fill up my voicemail with the recorded messages. I finally answered the phone the other day and demanded that they tell me who they were (my car dealership reassured me that there was no way my lease would be expired), but they wouldn't. The guy just said that he was from "The Leasing Office" or something, in "the West Coast office". He said that he would take me off their list, instead of telling me who they were. That was an acceptable counteroffer, but then I got another call today. Die!
posted by dammitjim at 6:13 PM on May 6, 2009


I'm not convinced death is too harsh a punishment. Some people don't learn by any other means.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:15 PM on May 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


The reason these people need to be killed isn't because they (fully) deserve that. It's because there's a huge infrastructure grown up around people stealing small amounts of your time - Spammers, fax spammers, and now cell spammers.

We have to make this sort of behaviour stop. The government is extremely reluctant to do the slightest thing to impair "commerce". However, a few cell spammers found brutally murdered would go an awfully long way towards discouraging the rest in a way that fines could never do.

Of course, I think this about politicians and Wall Street criminals too. The fact is that the Wall Street looting will result in the deaths of thousands of people over the years, as depleted government coffers are simply unable to deliver services to keep people alive - services these people paid for but had stolen from them by the banksters. Since this is distributed over billions of people, we'll never know who these victims are but they are undeniably there.

It's funny that Americans think nothing of executing some poor sucker who offs someone in a gas station hold-up, or certainly some sick serial killer who perhaps kills a couple of dozen people, but the idea of punishing their government officials, who have caused hundreds of thousands of needless deaths in the last decade, never seems to get any traction.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:20 PM on May 6, 2009 [13 favorites]


Amazing how these guys have been randomly phoning every single number in the united states 30x over for the last year, in violation of every known telemarketing law, and yet the government is powerless to find out who it is and stop them. Perhaps the FCC is staffed with human beings now rather than porn-sniffing RNC zombies?
posted by benzenedream at 6:24 PM on May 6, 2009


I wonder though, how hard it would be to just name someone, publish some information and a phone number, and watch your poor victim suffer. I don't know why the FCC hasn't been after this harder, but the end result is an angry mob easily directed at your favorite enemy.
posted by pwnguin at 6:29 PM on May 6, 2009


Oh fuck yes. Oh please, internet, make them regret ever picking up a phone. Oh, the thick, delicious schadenfreude.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:30 PM on May 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've always assumed it was a phone company conspiracy. I mean, they're the ones making money off all those calls, right?
posted by Sys Rq at 6:31 PM on May 6, 2009


I haven't gotten any of these calls in the two years I've had my current phone number. Anyone know which database I'm lucky enough not to have been put on?
posted by teraflop at 6:39 PM on May 6, 2009


I disapprove of murder!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:40 PM on May 6, 2009 [6 favorites]


How did they connect David Tabb with these calls? This was linked to in the AskMe. It lists completely different contact details for the spam company as well as saying that the spammers are phone number spoofing. Is David Tabb's company just one of the numbers unfortunate enough to be spoofed?

OTOH, I had a really hard time reading that Reddit thread, so it's possible all of these details and more are contained in that mess of threaded goodness.
posted by mosessis at 6:47 PM on May 6, 2009


I disapprove of murder!

It's not murder, it's a service to mankind.
posted by Jumpin Jack Flash at 6:49 PM on May 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


Back before the no call list I used to like to hand the phone to my very talkative three year old son when these kind of guys called. He would keep them going for ten minutes or more sometimes. Nothing is a bigger hose than wasting their time, and my son loved talking to them. " Hi, I am watching Dora. Do you like Dora?" "Can I talk to your dad?" "Sleeper is sleeping." Well, really, he didn't like Dora so much but this was the sort of conversation they would have. These guys just wasted their time asking to talk to me. It was pretty funny.
posted by caddis at 6:51 PM on May 6, 2009 [10 favorites]


shadow vector: "Okay, I understand the urge to give them a taste of their own medicine. But, if this address really belongs to the people sending out these calls, the most effective course of action would be to contact the FCC, not spam their voicemail. Caller-ID spoofing and cell phone solicitation are both illegal under federal law."

I'm pretty sure they know.
posted by merelyglib at 6:57 PM on May 6, 2009


Gah, these fuckers are like 80% of the (very few) calls I get on our landline. I was actually pleased to get robodialed by those teaparty jackasses a few weeks ago just for the change of pace.
posted by cortex at 7:03 PM on May 6, 2009


They constantly hit my work cell, which is an unlisted number.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:08 PM on May 6, 2009


The reason these people need to be killed isn't because they (fully) deserve that. It's because there's a huge infrastructure grown up around people stealing small amounts of your time - Spammers, fax spammers, and now cell spammers.

Of for fuck's sake... Look, when I'm on the clock my company bills me internally at the rate of $4.16 a minute (I don't take home anywhere near that much, but that's what their funny money billing says my time is worth. Personally, I think it's nuts. Or that I should be able to take home more of it...) The most pressing of the woes you mentioned, the phone spamming, takes me about ten seconds to check my voicemail for the call I ignored because I didn't recognize the number and delete the message. For a total cost to the company of about seven cents. Deleting email spam or ditching a spam fax are practically reflexive. I'm sure it all adds up, but so would the cost of the time I spend spaced out thinking about tits if my company could find a way to track it.

Yeah, this shit is annoying and if it's proven scammy it need to be shut down and jail time needs to happen. And maybe my hyperbole meter is just a bit off today, but this whole "KILL THEM FOR TAKING MY VALUABLE TIMEZ!!1" shit is ridiculous.

Short of a loved one's deathbed or a really rockin' orgasm, you don't measure your pain or your pleasure in seconds for the vast majority of your life. Stop White Whining.
posted by Cyrano at 7:08 PM on May 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


White Whining? Is this new? Can I whine in other hues? I would like to whine in magenta and then in paisley and maybe in plaid sometimes.
posted by spicynuts at 7:22 PM on May 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


They've broken into their voicemail system by the looks of it..."

A federal felony and illegal at the state level practically everywhere.

Cyrano writes "For a total cost to the company of about seven cents."

You dropped a decimal, it's actually 70 cents for 10 seconds at $4.16 a minute.
posted by Mitheral at 7:24 PM on May 6, 2009


Here's some more information about National Auto Warranty/US Fidelis, a big offender:

The founder is a convicted thief, burglar, check-forger and counterfeiter. Take a look at the house he's built with the money from his company. The sidebar lists his other extravagant properties.

Quest Communications built fiber to their facility, "to create a unique voice and data solution that improves the company's sales processes. This new solution helps... generate leads, process sales, and route prospects right to their call center."

It's situated in a smaller town outside St. Louis, and is the fourth largest employer of that town, with 350 employees.

Currently, the founder and his brother run their company out of a previously abandoned mall they bought. In addition to the 350 employees who work for them there, they also donate office space to Volunteers Impact Prosperity, because "US Fidelis is a faith-based company."

It's also for those values that they've either rented or given space in their mall for The Exodus, "an all ages nightclub promoting Christian values and family entertainment" which is a "$2.5 million, 100,000 square-foot nightclub is one of two phases of a non-alcoholic, smoke-free environment that will include a bowling alley, rock-climbing wall, video arcade and possible cinema."

The founder's faith comes from a strong connection with his church, Element Church. Element Church now conveniently offers a great video on their church website about how to Maximize Your Money.
posted by Houstonian at 7:28 PM on May 6, 2009 [20 favorites]


They don't deserve death but they deserve all the harassment the internet can muster. It's not just about lost time, it's also about the fraud.
posted by substrate at 7:31 PM on May 6, 2009


Metafilter: Spaced out, thinking about tits.
posted by dr_dank at 7:39 PM on May 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is excellent. Thank you. I have been wishing white hot death on these scumbags ever since they started calling my cell, as well as just about everyone else I know. None of us own new cars or have bought cars with any warranty in years. I think they're just robocalling cell lists. Nobody that I know so far has said they've given any money to these guys, but I'm sure some people have. Someone is always willing to believe anything, no matter how random or far-fetched it all seems.

I always wait for a rep and then ask them which car they're calling about. They never seem to have an answer for that. One guy said, "Which ever one you want." Then I told him I don't own a car (I do, but it had 150K mi. on it when I bought it and was nine years old). Then he tried to start a conversation with me, right out of the blue, like what's up, how's it going? Like none of the previous conversation happened and he just wanted to hang out on the phone. I asked him how does it feel to rip people off? He dodged my question completely said he just wanted to chat, that why was I so uptight? It was surreal. Some of the Reddit conversations posted remind me of the strange detached amusement someone there seems to have. It's very obvious it's a scam. Fuck them. I hope this gets slashdotted and 4channed hard, to helen back.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:50 PM on May 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


BTW, they robocall our business phone multiple times a day, although I do admit we haven't had any for a week or so, but normally it's at least a few if not more. That has a cost attached to it, since it is a customer service/tech support line for our ISP customers.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:54 PM on May 6, 2009


"A federal felony and illegal at the state level practically everywhere."

At this point that really doesn't bother me at all. These warranty guys are involved in some pretty serious fraud. It's hardly surprising that they invite this sort of reaction. I mean, sure, there is a legal risk, and frankly I'm personally not going to start messing with it, since it's out there like that right on Reddit, but if they start making criminal complaints against the callers, it's going to get very interesting when the police start investigating. I don't think the warranty guys want that at all, and it looks to me from the conversations happening with the people at the company that they're not all that surprised people are going off on them.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:02 PM on May 6, 2009


Based on their tactics, I wonder if they are trying to sell warranties. Heck, I doubt their business is even able to provide such a service. Wouldn't it make more sense if they were social engineering to get people's names so that there is a registry of names associated with cell phone numbers, thus creating the elusive cell phone telephone book? Trying to keep you on the line and get your name no matter what sounds like the common denominator of all the reported conversations, whether you express interest in purchasing the warranty or getting on their do not call list.

I don't know if this would be worth all the man hours, but we've no reports of anyone actually buying warranties, so what is their business?
posted by mosessis at 8:07 PM on May 6, 2009 [5 favorites]


I don't even have a car and I get a call from these shitheels every single fucking day.

Die in a fire.
posted by Mikey-San at 8:11 PM on May 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


You can file a report here(or at least find out what you need to do to file one)

I submitted two reports to the FCC months ago. The only response I got was that they printed out the web form and mailed it to me. Go FCC!
posted by smackfu at 8:15 PM on May 6, 2009


we've no reports of anyone actually buying warranties, so what is their business?

CNBC News report

The Today Show report

St. Louis newspaper report, with information about the Better Business Bureau's involvement and state attorneys' investigations, and follow-up report with statement from the auto warranty company
posted by Houstonian at 8:24 PM on May 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


...the cost of the time I spend spaced out thinking about tits...

If I had a nickle...
posted by BoatMeme at 8:26 PM on May 6, 2009


"At this point that really doesn't bother me at all."

Oh ya I agree. I was just a little shocked that the people over at reddit we're being so open about breaking so many laws in one fell swoop. IE: WTF guys! Show a little discretion for Christ sakes .
posted by Mitheral at 8:31 PM on May 6, 2009


My car is so old it's old enough to drive itself. I just hang up on those calls and laugh.
posted by jonp72 at 8:40 PM on May 6, 2009


"Show a little discretion for Christ sakes ."

Yeah, good point. Although the unbridled wrath of the stoked up interweb is pretty fun to watch.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:55 PM on May 6, 2009


...the cost of the time I spend spaced out thinking about tits...

If I had a nickle...


I'd settle for two shiny pennies.
posted by codswallop at 8:58 PM on May 6, 2009


sorry i cant fae syys req's comment right now but yes the telecos benefit from wardialing.
posted by yesster at 8:58 PM on May 6, 2009


and thank u houstonian sunshine oh godly sunshine is wht these slugs hate
posted by yesster at 9:04 PM on May 6, 2009


How did they connect David Tabb with these calls? This was linked to in the AskMe. It lists completely different contact details for the spam company as well as saying that the spammers are phone number spoofing.

Speaking as the person who ASKED the AskMe, I'm also concerned by the fact that we seem to have come up with two entirely different "culprits" here.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:56 PM on May 6, 2009


"the warranty on your vehicle is about to expire!"

my '89 oldsmobile? no shit, really?
posted by sexyrobot at 10:20 PM on May 6, 2009


Do they have Battletoads?
posted by C17H19NO3 at 10:22 PM on May 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm not entirely satisfied that Tabb's Auto One is responsible for all the robocalls, but they do seem responsible for some of them, and may be connected to people running a similar scam by postal mail. Seattle Weekly
posted by dhartung at 10:25 PM on May 6, 2009


Yeah, this shit is annoying and if it's proven scammy it need to be shut down and jail time needs to happen. And maybe my hyperbole meter is just a bit off today, but this whole "KILL THEM FOR TAKING MY VALUABLE TIMEZ!!1" shit is ridiculous.

I agree and also I do not approve of murder. Surely the feds have a case against this company. Perhaps calling the congressmen who represent the district these swine have this converted shopping mall might help. If /b/ weren't under DoS attack right now, maybe they'd be willing to get their Guy Fawkes masks out for this one.

And cutting fiber cable is a much lesser crime than murder.
posted by Catblack at 10:32 PM on May 6, 2009


These people are why I have a silent ring tone on my cell phone and have the ringer on my home phone turned off. (Well, these people and working a third shift job.)
posted by crataegus at 10:41 PM on May 6, 2009


Any time anyone calls to sell me anything, my response is the same:
- Let them go through their entire spiel, occasionally saying "wow that sounds great!" or some such.
- Tell them I'm definitely interested, let me just go get a pen and paper, hold on a second.
- Leave the phone on the table and go about my business.
Oh they'll hold on all right. Sometimes I can hear them yelling from across the room.
posted by zoinks at 10:44 PM on May 6, 2009 [8 favorites]


The most pressing of the woes you mentioned, the phone spamming, takes me about ten seconds to check my voicemail for the call I ignored because I didn't recognize the number and delete the message.

Far worse than the annoyance, and hell, the violation of FCC/FTC regulations, is that these companies attempt to defraud people. And fraud being fraud, the scam targets individuals who are easily confused or persuaded—people who are usually short on funds to begin with, and need whatever they happen to have.

I'm in my 20s, and don't own a car. It's pretty easy for me to silence my phone and delete the message. But, given that the calls nearly always begin with the words "this is your final notice," your older relatives, or your neighbor with a learning disability, or, hell, your friend who's so used to creditors calling he doesn't immediately question things, might not be so lucky. And all three are people who particularly can't afford to lose cash on some scam.

The warranty dialers had no qualms about trying to convince my dying father—whose liver had failed, resulting in some pretty serious cognitive imparement—that his warranty had expired, and that he needed to ante up. My dad didn't have a car. Fortunately, he did have friends and relatives who could dive for the phone, press one at the prompt, and tell whomever was at the other end to die in a fire.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 12:05 AM on May 7, 2009 [7 favorites]


I've never understood why in America you guys have to pay to receive calls on a mobile phone. What's the deal with that? Talk about adding insult to injury.

Also, can't they use all the wiretapping gear they installed to catch terrorists to locate and prosecute these guys instead?
posted by onya at 12:20 AM on May 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


War dialing cell numbers to compile a book of cellular call- and do-not-call phone numbers. Those people with cell phones who give their name and number are incredibly valuable sales prospects. Even those that insist their number be recorded on a do-not-call list are valuable to the telephone marketers. IOW, what mosessis¹ said.

¹ Moses' sister?
posted by five fresh fish at 12:22 AM on May 7, 2009


From the anecdotal information here it sounds like this is a phone bank service that several warranty companies unthinkingly subscribe to to increase sales.

Sue their pants off, expose them, and plunder their coffers. The FCC should have a most wanted list for people like this.
posted by saysthis at 1:34 AM on May 7, 2009


There are few irritations I have to deal with in life that piss me off more than these guys. Which means I'm living a pretty sweet life, really, I guess.

Nevertheless, I do wish the owner of that company would fall down an elevator shaft.
posted by darkstar at 1:43 AM on May 7, 2009


The fuck behind this company owns 10 houses? Christ.

Nice to see stltoday.com publish the addresses. I mean, it'd be a shame if anything, y'know, happened to them houses.

(Don't worry. I'm sure he has a warranty on them.)
posted by caution live frogs at 6:00 AM on May 7, 2009


I'm inclinded to believe like mosessis that they can't even provide warranties if people wanted them. as some have mentioned, they call people who don't own cars. the one time i was so tired of hitting the "remove me from your list" button that i decided to talk to a person to ask to be removed the conversation went like this.

him: "Thank you for your interest, can you please tell me the make an model of your car?"
me: "wait, you know my warranty is expiring, but you don't know the make and model of my car?"
him: *hangs up*

since then, i always push the button to talk to them, then set my phone aside to see how long they'll talk to noone. sometimes it's surprisingly long.
posted by jermsplan at 6:17 AM on May 7, 2009


Now do something about the 1-866 number that calls me twice a day trying to tack on stupid services to my car purchase.
posted by spamguy at 6:46 AM on May 7, 2009


Speaking as the person who ASKED the AskMe, I'm also concerned by the fact that we seem to have come up with two entirely different "culprits" here.

There is more than one company doing this.
posted by empath at 8:08 AM on May 7, 2009


There is more than one company doing this.

It's organized crime. There will be many companies doing this.
posted by Nelson at 8:11 AM on May 7, 2009


If you really hate them make sure you Digg this.

My fiancee has been screening her calls and got 8 calls on her cell from the same number one day this week. I keep telling her to let me answer the call so I can wreck some hell on whoever it is.
posted by daHIFI at 9:07 AM on May 7, 2009


People like this have ruined what was once an incredibly useful communication medium.

When laws are not made to prevent this kind of abuse, or when such laws are not enforced, people eventually resort to vigilantism, as we're seing here.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:34 AM on May 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


People like this have ruined what was once an incredibly useful communication medium.

This is my exact problem with these guys. I work odd shifts sometimes and I have to turn off my cellphone because otherwise I will be woken up by a spam call - that also means that if there is an emergency with either work or my family or friends, then I will miss it. I can no longer use my cell phone in the most useful way, as a priority communication device. They have reduced the value of my cell service, for their profit. They are stealing from me and a lot of other people and yet they are not being effectively punished by either the FCC (for cold calling cell phones) or the FTC (for fraud).
posted by milovoo at 10:34 AM on May 7, 2009 [5 favorites]


I've been getting calls from these scum. I've started waiting for the sales rep and then blasting Darkthrone into the phone speaker at high volume. It doesn't stop em but it feels good.
posted by Liquidwolf at 11:26 AM on May 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


God, I hate these people. Not only for their calls to my cellphone (usually very early in the morning, and it's not like I own a car anyway) but for their daily calls to my lab. The lab phone's damn near useless these days; no one answers it because it's not worth pausing an experiment to hear the robot voice talking about car warrenties.

I hope these bastards fall in a hole and die. In the meantime, watching internet vengeance is pretty satisfying...
posted by ubersturm at 2:46 PM on May 7, 2009


From the anecdotal information here it sounds like this is a phone bank service that several warranty companies unthinkingly subscribe to to increase sales.

Most likely it is.

Sue their pants off, expose them, and plunder their coffers. The FCC should have a most wanted list for people like this.

To do that, we have to know who the hell they are. I don't think the person targeted in the original link is that person.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:50 PM on May 7, 2009


ยน Moses' sister?

I come bearing baskets, tambourines, and inedible veal.
Oh, and conspiracy theories. Gotta have those.

posted by mosessis at 5:53 PM on May 7, 2009


I've never understood why in America you guys have to pay to receive calls on a mobile phone.

Onya, not sure if you're in the UK or not. In the UK at least, I remember that it was more expensive to call mobile numbers than landlines. In the US, it costs the same. This is important, because cell numbers share area codes with landlines, unlike the UK where they are separate codes. So it's not possible to identify a number as belonging to a cell phone.

I think this might have evolved the way it did because mobile phones had a slow adoption rate in the US, there were political and regional rules set up for how new area codes were allocated, and initially they were associated with excessive wealth (while mobile phones seemed commonplace in Europe, in the US they were being used pretty much exclusively by the affluent and businesspeople until 10 years ago or so). There were a few mobile phone plans initially that did actually have free incoming calls that charged the person calling; this didn't last very long.

So Americans have basically become used to paying for all cell phone usage. We pay to receive text messages and we pay to receive phone calls. We pay for data usage. It's like AOL for mobile phones and we're still buying into it.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:12 PM on May 7, 2009


Didn't the UK used to pay for outgoing local landline calls? That was generally free in the US/Canada and so if you could receive cell calls free you'd end up with the situation where the originator and the receiver were both making a free call.

Having to pay both ends of a text message is stupid though.
posted by Mitheral at 7:24 PM on May 7, 2009


So Americans have basically become used to paying for all cell phone usage. We pay to receive text messages and we pay to receive phone calls. We pay for data usage. It's like AOL for mobile phones and we're still buying into it.

In Canada, we'll even pay fees that don't mean anything.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:02 PM on May 8, 2009


Update: looks like something might be done about this...
posted by JoanArkham at 1:41 PM on May 12, 2009


What a failure of government, that the FTC only pursued this after Senator Chuck Schumer personally got a call on a cell phone and had a press conference on it. Are we supposed to believe there were no constituent complaints?
posted by smackfu at 7:48 AM on May 15, 2009


I wouldn't be surprised if there were no such complaints, smackfu. I'm often surprised how often people complain to everyone but their congressman about legal and political matters.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:24 AM on May 15, 2009


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