People who do business with deceptive telemarketers or deceptive junk mail

So what’s the plan here. Trick me into opening your junk mail by pretending you are sending me mail from the government and then hitting me with a mediocre refinancing offer? Do they really think I’m going to want to do business with them?

Telemarketers are even worse. Put aside the fact that they are disregarding the do not call list, how does pretending that you are with BMW warranty services instill the confidence for me to buy a shitty extended warranty from you over the goddam phone?

So why do they keep fucking calling and sending me junk mail? Well it turns out that it is profitable to trick people into opening that letter or listening to my spiel on extended warranties because of the fucking morons that go ahead and buy shit from them.


I’d guess that a large proportion of the people who fall for this stuff have dementia or other mental issues. It’s the strong (and unscrupulous) preying on the weak. I understand your anger, but it won’t do any good to direct it at the victims. Actually, just being angry won’t do any good at all, but at least you could get your blood pressure up for the right reasons.

If you had some business dealings of any sort with BMW in the past four years the call is legal. You can have them put you on their own DNC list if you ask. Or demand.

Did you miss the bit where Damuri Ajashi said “…pretending that you are with BMW…” ?

For the most part you are preaching to the choir here. The process is so automated and the cost of each individual attempt so small that they are profitable even if only a tiny percentage of the calls are “successful”. That tiny percentage of people that don’t know better almost certainly aren’t reading this.

Because by pretending to be official mail they get people to actually open it rather than just throwing it away. I’m guessing they’re working on the principle of email spam. One in ten thousand is a worthwhile return on investment.

How does he know they are pretending? And at what degree of pretense? My Company A has been contacted by Company B to sell services Company B performs for Company C’s customers. Company C doesn’t know me or Company A from Adam’s off ox; it only knows that somebody is signing up its customers for that service that it wants them to use. I introduce myself as calling on behalf of, not from, Company C, but Caller ID shows Company B. If pressed only slightly I explain B’s relationship with C, and with only a bit more pressure I explain A’s relationship with B. Usually I don’t need to because that number of turtles gets confusing. All completely on the up and up, even expected in business to business, where people know that few companies can afford or need full time telemarketing departments, so they sub it out. Common knowledge in business, but less common with consumers, who think that any call from BMW must originate from Munich or else it’s from some sleazeball trying to rob them.

OTOH, some really are sleazeballs trying to rob them.

I think we have a right to expect that we will be contacted by the actual companies we have done business with or their corporate subsidiaries ONLY, and that contracted third parties will be excluded from any exceptions to the DNC rules.

Actually what I really think is that we should have to opt in, and sign up with each telemarketing company before they’re allowed to call.

Your first suggestion is impractical because companies these days subcontract everything. Do you really believe that every part of your car was made by the company whose nametag is on the back? It’s subs all the way down.

As for your second, that’s not how the National Do Not Call law was written. Like all other laws it was a compromise, thus the four year rule for companies you have a business relationship with.

For the record, I hate calling consumers for all the reasons you hate being called. I like the program I am calling because I’m signing people up for a service they wanted before I called but didn’t know was available. I am thanked for calling several times a day because this service really does make their working lives easier. That’s as good as it gets for a [del]telemarketer[/del] business-to-business salesperson, because it sure doesn’t make me any money.

You may think that, but it isn’t what the law says.

Companies, their corporate subsidiaries, contracted companies. even any unrelated business who agrees to give them a kickback for any customer who signs up – all of them are defined by the law as “having a pre-existing business relationship”, and so can legally contact you. A tremendous loophole in the law!

You must not have a Facebook page. I see friends who I previously believed to be intelligent fall for all kinds of bullshit on FB. They repost obviously made up agendas, get bullied into posting chain signs and generally don’t take the time to be skeptical of the most obvious of scams and ruses.

I’m guessing those same dumbshits answer the phone now and then.

I actually do a lot of business via direct mail advertising. I don’t think the mail piece I use is deceptive, but I do find that a lot of people don’t really read for comprehension and read into the piece things that it doesn’t say. But I didn’t design my piece. I used a standard mailer designed to return about 1.5%. Odds are if you are getting my mailer and you are just throwing it away, you aren’t a very good prospect for me anyway. It’s designed to weed out people who don’t want to talk to me, while getting as many people who would actually like my services as possible to return it.

I know some of these dumb people…

The wife said “I want a car with payments!” (She had a car which was paid off and needed a $300 repair.) Possible explanation - everyone else on “Facebook” (same mental capacity as her) has a car '“with payments”, so she wanted to be like them.

Her husband had a car salesman call and say they were “pre-qualified” for a car loan. So they immediately go to this dealer and wind up paying over $20k for a used car with over 100k miles on it. Also high interest rates and a 7 year loan! But of course it is only the amount of the monthly payments which matters to them.

She now has a car with “payments”, and does not have enough money left each month for food - they run out before the end of the month. Of course they shop at the most expensive grocery store and buy name brand products.

The husband has a Fingerhut account (charged up to the max) and they notified him around Christmas that he had an additional $800 of credit available. He quickly purchased a bunch of stuff totaling that amount - including some shoes for his kid which cost over $100 (only lasted a month).

These folks are real financial geniuses!

Well this is how the calls usually sound (I’m doing this from memory):

“Hi, Mr. Damuri, I am calling from the warranty services department about your 2010 BMW X5, your warranty has recently expired and I am calling you as a courtesy to remind you that you only have a few more days to extend your BMW warranty with us for another 5 years. Failure to do so will leave you unprotected against costly repairs and maintenance unless you extend your warranty during this grace period.”

I am convinced they are in no way affiliated with BMW. I asked them and they hemmed and hawed by saying that they provide extended warranties to BMW owners and they are the “warranty services department” but I couldn’t get them to say that they were with BMW or how they got my information (probably from public records)

It’s a dead giveaway when the scammer asks what make and model year of car you have. I fondly remember the one who started cursing and hung up when I told him I have a 1985 Trabant.

The car thing I will never get to start with. I’ve had many, many people tell me I should trade in my 2012 Honda Fit, if not now, then definitely at the five year mark.

I make my car run ten years. And it’s a Honda - like my old Toyotas, repairs are affordable and the cars run really well a long time. I have no reason to trade it in - it’s completely paid off, why would I want a car payment?

Now, if you can afford it, sure, I guess, if you want to trade in your car every three years, go ahead. But the people who can’t afford it seem to trade it in just as often!

And those calls are not BMW, I get the same exact call for my Honda. What would be amusing is if they tried to charge me the same as the BMW costs. That’s why I didn’t get a Beemer, I can’t afford the upkeep! Now Beemers make sense to trade in after the warranty is up!


My conversation went like this:
TM - Hi, I’m Joe from Warranty Services calling to inform you that your vehicle warranty is about to expire.
Me - Yeah, I figured the original warranty had to be about over by now.
TM- Well, I can help you out! Would you be interested in getting an extended warranty?
Me- Oh, yes! That would be wonderful - as long as it’s also affordable.
TM- Understood, sir! We have the lowest prices in the industry on all our warranties!
Me- And coverage? The coverage has to be good…
TM- The best in the business! Bumper to bumper for up to 5 years!
Me- Outstanding! How do I sign up?
TM- It’s easy, I just need a few minutes of your time to gather some basic information.
Me- Absolutely, I’ve got the time! What do you need?
TM- Let’s start with the year, make and model of the vehicle.
Me- OK. It’s a 1985 Nissan 300zx.
TM- ::click::

What techniques do you use to get past the intro when folks often hang up?

I didn’t even get that far…
TM - Hi, I’m Paula from the Warranty Department calling to inform you that your vehicle warranty is about to expire.
Me - What company are you with?
TM - I’m in the Warranty Department.
Me - The name of your company is the Warranty Department?
TM - ::click::

Yeah, so am I. Total sleaze. Unfortunately, those are the ones who only stick around long enough to rip some people off, but not long enough for the Feds to catch them.

Don’t need to, since they’ve already hung up! The rule is that if I’m hung up on after I’ve identified myself and my client to the lead it’s a refusal. Rarely happens because it’s a worthwhile, usually desirable, service. Somewhat more common is an idiot receptionist (don’t these offices know that a good receptionist, both intelligent and polite, is worth their weight in gold?) who dismisses me out of hand. It’s not usually worth it to try again, but sometimes I will call a few days later and lead with “May I speak with Rhonda*?” instead of my normal “My name is dropzone, calling on behalf of Company C. May I speak with Rhonda?” Mostly not, since it probably won’t work and I have a couple million other leads to try.

Also, while my company’s philosophy is “Two noes and a go,” Company C feels it goes against its Midwestern values to even go for the second no. Well, that and they don’t want to antagonize these offices because they have a continuing business relationship with them. If I’m told, “We aren’t interested in a new system,” I say, "That’s fine! I know how medical billers love their codes, so I’m coding this as “R7–Happy with current setup.” But my sales:refusals hovers around 7:1 because it’s a needed product and I’m so damned charming.** :wink:

    • I swear to God I have called every last Rhonda in the country in the past six months!

** - Today, end of the day on Friday, long after most offices closed if they opened at all, I spent ten minutes extra talking with a lady in Roswell-yes-that-Roswell about it as a potential place to retire. Sounds real nice.