27 posts tagged with telemarketing.
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Welcome to Congress! Here's your cubicle, telephone and script.

What's a day in the life of a typical elected U.S. congressperson like? Do you imagine various committee meetings, constituent handshaking and House floor voting sessions? Well think again. Members of congress are increasingly expected to spend the majority of their working day holed up in a tiny cubicle in a call center down the street outfitted with a phone, a list of numbers and a telemarketing script. On April 24, CBS's 60 Minutes aired an exposé on the real business of congress: dialing for dollars. [more inside]
posted by bologna on wry on Jun 16, 2016 - 83 comments


The Register reports on an audio track a company devised to transfer unwanted sales callers to, which they call "Extension 666," made of detuned singing, distorted hold notices and bursts of garbled static. They posted the track on SoundCloud. Notes: don't have the volume up very high for the sake of your speakers, and it loops after about two-and-a-half minutes.
posted by JHarris on Apr 30, 2016 - 65 comments

If You're Paying for Something, You're the Product

In the wake of its split from eBay, online transaction service PayPal will be changing its policies on July 1st, 2015. Under the new arrangement, U.S. based users may opt-out from using PayPal or "consent to receive autodialed or pre-recorded calls and text messages from PayPal at any telephone number that you have provided us or that we have otherwise obtained. [more inside]
posted by Smart Dalek on Jun 4, 2015 - 128 comments

"Hello, my name is Eliza..."

Samantha West is a telemarketing robot. Someone has hooked up a chatbot with speech recognition and a telemarketing script. It charmingly insists that it is a human. Is this the future of telemarketing? Apparently, robo-calls are illegal, but it is easy for these companies to disappear when caught (as "Samantha West"'s company has).
posted by Galaxor Nebulon on Dec 12, 2013 - 42 comments

"Everyone has pain. It's your job to find it."

Start a home business, get rich quick, win financial freedom! If you watch late-night TV, you've heard it all before. But what's the story behind these slick pitchmen and their dubious schemes? Enter The Salty Droid, your ornery metal guide to the corrupt underworld of scam-marketing scum. This charmingly acerbic bot (owned and operated by mild-mannered Chicago dog-lover Jason Michael Jones [inter-view, long talk + transcript]) is a valiant crusader against the vile con-men who bankrupt the elderly and the desperate with beautiful lies. Exposed so far: A shadowy "Syndicate" of frauduct-pushing personality cults polluting the media with blogspam and woo-woo talking points. Boiler rooms in the Utah desert where telemarketers farm credit from easy targets with cunning, probing scripts [PDF]. Powerful politicians bought wholesale. Believers left to die in fraudulent new-age vision quests. It's a soul-crushing beat, enough to make one feel like a regular catcher-bot in the digital rye. But somebody's got to do it -- preferably someone with plasma nunchucks and titanium skin.
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 31, 2011 - 47 comments

Auto Warranty scammers Revenge

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 on May 6, 2009 - 95 comments

"Like the Fist of God, We Will Smash Them"

"Together, you and I will destroy the gays." United American Technologies telemarketers sell their phone service as a Christian alternative to gay-loving rivals like ATT and MCI. Eugene Mirman recorded a few of their calls. More on United American Technologies here.
posted by LarryC on Jun 1, 2005 - 30 comments

AT&T sells sex favors?!

Verizon trains its employees to accept gays?! What are those mad future robots thinking? (via Wonkette)
posted by shoppingforsanity on May 11, 2005 - 45 comments

We've even got broadband, but we use rope instead of string for that.

Web design guru versus the telemarketers: designer Andy Clarke has posted his experiences with vendors of telephone services, windows, kitchens and advertising, as well as selected lines from other encounters; if the web-design thing doesn't pan out he may have a future in comedy...
posted by ubernostrum on Jan 31, 2005 - 16 comments

This is not the 555 area code

Now it's officially a trend: Attacking the privacy of those who invade privacy (bottom of page) by publicizing their information. What's the verb for this going to be? I think "Barrying" should be a contender.
posted by soyjoy on Oct 14, 2003 - 19 comments

Do Not Call 317-816-9336.

Do Not Call 317-816-9336. Columnist Dave Barry takes on the American Teleservices Association again, publishing their new number (they had to disconnect their old one after he mentioned it in a previous column.) But please, don't call 317-816-9336, because to suggest "calling somebody who doesnt want to be called, even if you have the legal right to call, well, that's just plain rude."
posted by Fofer on Oct 5, 2003 - 39 comments

'Do not call' list on hold

U.S. court rules FTC overstepped its authority when it set up the list to block telemarketing calls. Damn.
posted by MidasMulligan on Sep 24, 2003 - 64 comments

The Caller You Have Reached is Unavailable and/or Annoyed

The day the dinnertime phone calls stopped. We've previously discussed the new national do-not-call list on Mefi, but this Salon piece puts a new spin on the subject. Millions of rural Americans will inevitably lose telemarketing jobs because telemarketing will be regulated out of business. But the government isn't regulating them out of business, it is just providing a way for people to choose not to participate in this business scheme. The people who add their names to the list are the people who are going to hang up in the telelmarketer's face anyways, so where's the harm in this list? And what about the DMA's 10 reasons to protect the teleservices industry?
posted by archimago on Jul 15, 2003 - 64 comments

No More Dinnertime Telemarketing Calls

No More Dinnertime Telemarketing Calls Finally, over the objections of the telemarketing industry and to the delight of every American who ever had a romantic dinner at home interrupted by some schlub with a headset, an autodialer and a terrible sales script, the National Do Not Call Registry is open for business.
posted by twsf on Jun 27, 2003 - 54 comments

FTC's National

The Federal Trade Commission's National "Do Not Call" Registry, intended to stop unwanted telemarketing calls, became law yesterday. Do telemarketers have a First Amendment right to call you? The Direct Marketing Association, and industry lobby, thinks so.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood on Mar 12, 2003 - 27 comments

Telemarketers beware ...

FTC creates national ‘do not call’ list While there have been state lists for quite some time, and some organizations (like the DMA) maintain do-not-call lists requiring members to honor DNC requests, the FCC is now talking about a single, federal list that would require compliance from all telemarketers, and levy fines for non-compliance. Is this the end of telemarketing as we know it today?
posted by MidasMulligan on Dec 18, 2002 - 40 comments

Fight the Power!

Fight the Power! "Telemarketers make use of a telescript - a guideline for a telephone conversation. This script creates an imbalance in the conversation between the marketer and the consumer. It is this imbalance, most of all, that makes telemarketing successful. The EGBG Counterscript attempts to redress that balance." It's own medicine time!
posted by Carlos Quevedo on Oct 26, 2002 - 73 comments

"Through your vision, creativity and dedication, you'll be able to reach for the stars and help your customers reach for the stars," she encouraged them. "You are at the forefront of a revolution in understanding the way people use their imagination and creativity to interact with information and interact with each other."

Source of this quote:
(a) CEO Carly Fiorina giving a pep talk to HP employees.
(b) Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao addressing striking west coast dockworkers.
(c) Former gubernatorial candidate Janet Reno speaking to Florida election workers.
(d) Hillary Clinton channelling Mother Teresa at a bible sales meeting.
(e) Astronaut Sally Ride providing encouragement to a convention of telemarketers.
(via Washington Post)
posted by Wet Spot on Oct 20, 2002 - 57 comments

Telemarketers to take tomorrow off.

Telemarketers to take tomorrow off. According to the story, telemarketing companies will instruct most of their employees to not come into work for September 11, "recognizing that many Americans won't be in the mood for getting sales calls that day." Umm... we all pretty much have the same reponse in our heads to that line, don't we?
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Sep 10, 2002 - 55 comments

If you live in Cali and have been getting bizarre hang-up calls from this number -- 954-623-4620 -- here's the skinny (scroll about a third of the way down). Telemarketing legislation, where are you?
posted by artifex on Apr 5, 2002 - 22 comments

"Hold on, please..."

"Hold on, please..." Please! Do this! If we all do it, we can change the world! A national No-Call list would be great, but that assumes that telemarketers will follow the law.
posted by o2b on Feb 11, 2002 - 45 comments

The Federal Trade Commission is seeking to curtail the activities of telemarketers through the creation of a national 'do-not-call' registry. But the telemarketing industry says the FTC's plan would violate their First Amendment rights.
posted by jjg on Jan 23, 2002 - 20 comments

"Hi, this is Savita Balasubramanyam... er, um... I mean Betty."

"Hi, this is Savita Balasubramanyam... er, um... I mean Betty."
A telemarketing firm based in India trains its local agents to speak not just English, but 'American.' They are assigned to watch Friends, Ally McBeal and MTV. They are taught to shoot the bull on baseball, basketball and (American) football.
posted by Dirjy on Jun 20, 2001 - 13 comments

Protecting England's elderly

Protecting England's elderly from encyclopedia salesmen.
posted by Steven Den Beste on Jan 6, 2001 - 0 comments

Aha! Telemarketers ARE the Devil Incarnate.

Aha! Telemarketers ARE the Devil Incarnate. I always suspected as much...
posted by quonsar on Aug 24, 2000 - 6 comments

I get so much phone spam that I leave my ringer off all the time.

I get so much phone spam that I leave my ringer off all the time.
posted by grumblebee on Jun 18, 2000 - 8 comments

I hate telemarketing calls. I've done a number of things to amuse myself in the process of dealing with such calls but that doesn't stop them. Here's how to cut down the calls you receive.
posted by plinth on Apr 10, 2000 - 19 comments

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