Regan (gothic_hamlet) wrote in bad_service,

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A plague of telemarketing

I normally don't have much of a problem with telemarketers. I mean, it is a living after all. But there really are some who give the business a horrible name.

I work for a small software company that owns a block of 100 telephone numbers. When I began working here recently, I discovered that many of our numbers were regularly plagued by one particular telemarketing company - a certain "Paul from the Prize Patrol at 1 877 256 7894" who would call in with an automated message about how we won one of his top four prizes and should call in (interestingly enough, we would also recieve a second type of call from this number... simply a recording of a man saying "I'm sorry, I must have the wrong number" most likely to verify that the number is used). My personal phone line alone would recieve one to three of these a day, and I know that my boss would regularly empty the general mailbox, which was stuffed full of these messages.

About three weeks ago I set forth to take us off their list. Calling in to "claim my prize" I asked the general number and my direct line to be placed on the do not call list. Unfortuantely, this did not seem to work well enough, since they continued to call the other ninety eight numbers in our block, many of which would then filter back to us. So attempted to call back and force them to remove every other number that could reach us. Surprisingly, this proved to be a challenge, since every time I attempted to call in, I would sit on the line and listen to the "please wait" music before suddenly being disconnected. Figuring that they were blocking my number, I moved to a different phone across the office and got in. The telemarketer on the other end informed me that he could not place more than one number at a time on the do not call list, so I would have to call back ninety seven more times. Not having any of that crap, I asked for a supervisor, who was kindly able to remove me from the list after I explained the situation.

And it worked... for about three weeks.

Now the calls are worse than ever; today alone I have recieved four calls in the last three hours. This is absolutely ridiculous considering that we offer customer support and do not need to be wasting our time with calls from an unknown numbers once an hour (although fortunately it seems as though the majority of the calls are filtering to me). The real problems comes in the fact that - now that I have supposedly entered our block of numbers into their do not call system - ALL of our numbers are set to be dropped whenever I call in, basically making it impossible for me to call them and either complain or remove our block yet again. Logically I would think to call them from home or my cellphone, but the last thing I want is to be plagued by a neverending slew of this crap on my personal line as well because I was foolish enough to give them the number. Some googling turns up that they're a scam timeshare company who attempts to get people to attend a pitch meeting in exchange for a "fabulous prize." They've used these tactics on other people as well: constantly calling cell phones, harrassing people on the national do not call list, hanging up on certain phone numbers who call in to complain, refusing to allow people to talk to supervisors, and even cursing out callers. It seems as though people have filed complaints about them.... but apparently to no avail.

My question for you guys is: what do you think the best method is for me to get these calls to stop, since I am unable to contact them through our business line? Googling indicates that someone who blocked his number was able to bypass it, but I have no idea how to do that.

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