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Telemarketers Plan Counterattack

simoniker posted more than 11 years ago | from the saturation-by-other-delightful-means dept.

Spam 587

Chris Hoofnagle writes "CNN reports that companies who heavily use telemarketing are planning to counterattack consumers with a barrage of spam and junk mail in October, when the new do-not-call registry goes into effect. Slashdotters should be aware that, as well as anti-spam email software, there are tools to avoid junk snail-mail, such as Junkbusters' free Declare, Private Citizen's excellent service and the Postal Service's Prohibitory Order service, which is described at the EPIC privacy page."

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FIRSSSTTTTTTTT!@!!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6355762)


RReaahh (2, Insightful)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355770)

"We'll be giving the dog what the dog wants to eat," James F. Lyons, president of direct-marketing consultancy Optima Direct told the paper.

The paper said that in addition to seeing more e-mail or junk mail, consumers who call companies on other business may now have to listen to sales pitches while negotiating voice mail messages.

Yeah, that's what I wanna hear- I'm a dog, and I get to listen to kibbles and bits and bits and bits next time I call to get my dog neutered. Tell ya what boys, you pull a voice spam on me while I try to give you business and I'll just be letting my dog hose down whatever he feels like instead. As I close my CNN Money Pop up. I fell for something pretty bad tonight too- got my first land line in three years (cell only since) and it rang for the first time tonight. I hadnt given the number to anyone. I picked it up... listened for about 10 seconds of silence. I go, "hello?" CLICK. Looks like another fake hotmail address for the Do Not Call registry. Crimony. Doesn't it just make you livid? Gah. ...Raah.,

Re:RReaahh (5, Informative)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355879)

google a sit tone. sit.wav or sit.mp3
It's that nasty sounding tri-tone that you get when you call a phone number that's been disconnected.
Go to wally world and buy a $10 answering machine and a $10 caller ID.

Hit -record- on the answering machine.
Play the SIT tone into the microphone at a LOUD level, TWO TIMES in a row.
Then wait two seconds and say,
"I'm sorry, the number you called is not taking calls right now, please call back later." and repeat the SIT tone two more times loudly.
Set the answering machine to announce only, answer on 4th ring and don't let it record messages.

When the phone rings, look at the caller ID.
If it's not someone you KNOW or it says, "out of area" or "name unavailable" let the machine take care of it for you.

They have a computer that dials and listens for human voices. That's why you get silence when you answer it. When it hears you say "hello" it knows there is a living human there and it switches you to a semi-human operator so they can harrass you for 10 minutes.

The dialing computer hears the SIT tone and it asusmes that it has dialed a phone number that has been disconnected. You number is removed from the dialing databank and won't be tried again until the next billing cycle, they assume that you may have had your phone turned off for nonpayment and maybe get it back on later.

I swear to you this works. Just do it for ONE WEEK and this shit will almost totally stop.
And they DO sell/trade/share/rent those number banks with other companies. So after a few months the calls will all but totally vanish.


Re:RReaahh (0, Troll)

oaf357 (661305) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355937)

I'm soooo glad there is a garbage can near my mail box. I forsee Democratic presidential candidates protesting against my filling of landfills.

bwahahaha!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6355772)




Your bleating is not directed at all, shameless and cowardly woman in the direction of the NEWMONT NEWCREST AND BHP BLOOD AND FINANCIAL CRIMINALS !
The body of murdered Corporated Prospector Berth Rutherford pushed to despair and alcoolism & death can well mould in the ground without a thought from you !

The body of murdered Attorney General Evans pushed to despair and alcoolism & death can well mould in the ground without a thought from you !
The bodies of hundred murdered Narla / BORAL & Day Dawn ruined US, NZ, GB etc shareholders pushed to despair and alcoolism & death can well mould in the ground without a thought from the kind of you !
To rob Billions of dollars over a Century _ since the Huge Telfer Mine will last that at least _ from most decent gents !
To consider all those poor ruined people who jumped to their death or who in GB, NZ, Scotland shot themselves in their head, despaired, ruined and dead, in that order indeed ! To consider the nice families well to do people completely broken as a
result of Newmont Newcrest & BHP Crimes ... the nice mother crying softly while the constables take the bleedy body of her husband to the mortuary, and then the funerals ...
at Oxford , Brussels, Kalgoorlie, Dunedin, Dallas, Denver, NY ...
everywhere the same heart breaking scenes at the Graveyards with the Priests , the Ministers, The Rabbins, The Mollahs !

What has happened to Dady ? Why has he left us ? Is is going to come back ?
Why have you done that Dady, we loved you so much !!!
Everywhere the same heart breaking scenes repeated a thousand times of the
little children crying all the tears of their body, and clinging to their
dear mum ready to break down !
And the family and the friends in the background standing in a dark and
mute shadow of accusation towards the Financial Criminals of Newmont
Newcrest and BHP !!!
And the family and the friends in the background standing in a dark and
mute shadow of accusation towards the AUSTRALIAN POLITICIANS SUCH AS CORRUPT

How long is the trail of blood left behind by Newmont Newcrest & BHP is it
going to blaze through the world ???
That is question NOW !

Your kind, indeed crouch low when faced with the conscious realisation of
organised Corporate Crime and you, advocate of Cowardly Forgiving, what do



( since refused by the Libs Freemacs-riddled party and beneficiaries indeed
of the millions of the Mining Criminals )



Great Celtic God, The Unique, The Unnamed, The Blessed One and Creator of
all !
Teach us to love our friends as best as we can with honour,
and hate our enemies and pursue them with our revenge until they pay or ask
for mercy !
Please curse them just as we do, and support our just anger !

Give us strenght to uphold at all time the Blessed Celtic Sword of Justice,
and never falter in the Respect of our Duty & Obedience to the Sacred
Cosmic Laws !!!!



Jean-Paul Turcaud
Hydro & Mining Prospector
Pioneer of Australian Mining
Discoverer of Telfer; Kintyre & Nifty Mines in The Great Sandy Desert.
Discoverer of the South Atlantic Submarine Gold Placers
_ 40 Millions Tons estimate _
Founder of The TRUE GEOLOGY

slashdot = gay (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6355773)

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This'll be great for the environment! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6355774)

Instead of electronic trash to delete, we're going to have real trash that has to be disposed of. Can't imagine how many AOL cds I've gotten and have had to get rid of.

Re:This'll be great for the environment! (2, Funny)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355834)

Nah, it's fantastic news. Just think of all the paper recycling that will be going on!

SPAM (2, Funny)

joeware (672849) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355776)

I didn't think it was possible, but clicking on the unsubscribe links on the SPAM that I get, has actually stopped most of it, and I have a fairly clean inbox. Now, whenever I check my email, I get disappointed to see no new messages. Maybe it was nice to have SPAM keeping me company.

Re:SPAM (2, Funny)

retto (668183) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355883)

Maybe it was nice to have SPAM keeping me company.

Want some of mine? I have plenty to share...

Bah! It won't make a difference. (3, Insightful)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355778)

Those sleazebags will simply move to Canada, where there is already an overabundance of call centers and phone scammers.

Re:Bah! It won't make a difference. (1)

cscx (541332) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355810)

Yeah but will they fork out the dough for long distance calling/mailing? I guess spamming is still an issue, but 90% of my spam comes from Asia or somewhere like that

Re:Bah! It won't make a difference. (4, Informative)

drdink (77) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355849)

From the National Do Not Call Registry FAQ [] :

Are telemarketing calls from overseas covered? Yes. Any telemarketers calling U.S. consumers are covered, regardless of where they are calling from. If a company within the U.S. solicits sales through an overseas professional telemarketer, that U.S. company is liable for any violations by the telemarketer. The FTC can initiate enforcement actions against such companies.

Re:Bah! It won't make a difference. (2, Insightful)

retto (668183) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355868)

I don't think it would matter. If you sign up for the 'Do-not-call' list you probably don't buy anything from a telemarketer in the first place. If a company moves to another country and calls the people on the list, they are just wasting their time and money. I'm on the list, so if I get a call from a telemarketer after Oct 1st, I'm just going to be pissed off, and not going to care what they are selling. I feel bad for people that DON'T sign up for the list, as they will probably get hammered by calls.

sociopaths!!!! (2, Interesting)

willtsmith (466546) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355779)

These idiots just don't get it, do they. We don't want the crap their schlepping.

Perhpas we'll need a "do not mail, and do not e-mail" list now as well.

Seriously, I think spammers should go to jail if they are requrested to stop and DON'T. I'm not even convinced that the death penalty would be considered "cruel and unusual" for these idiots who JUST WON'T LEAVE US ALONE!!!!!

Re:sociopaths!!!! (5, Funny)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355977)

Yes, we need a list that includes do not mail, do not e-mail, do not phone and do not send carrier pigeons. This list shall be known as that STFU List.

Yes... (3, Interesting)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355782)

because this will vastly improve the popularity of their products, putting them in the company of Nigerian scams and penis enlargement systems. Very popular indeed.

Re:Yes... (5, Funny)

Dr Tall (685787) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355796)

If I took every penis enlargement I've been spammed with, mine would be at least 42,000 inches. What am I supposed to do with that?!

Re:Yes... (4, Funny)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355866)

Reach out and touch someone, of course!

Re:Yes... (1)

sharkey (16670) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355979)

mine would be at least 42,000 inches

Wasn't this a movie? []

Is it me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6355929)

Or is the links on the side REALLY FUCKING ANOYING.

Id like my eye not to focus on the REALLY FUCKING ANOYING links on the side of the page.

Why the FUCK was it changed?

Good thing about email (4, Insightful)

sahonen (680948) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355786)

It's a lot harder to have a throw-away phone number than an email address. Thank you Hotmail!

SPAM? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6355789)

This site here [] has absolutely no SPAM whatsoever.

Re:SPAM? (1)

Izago909 (637084) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355869)

Funny... When I click the link, the IP it displays is a loopback ( Is that also the reason most all popups (the FEW I get) as well as in-page adverts I SHOULD see are blank or 404'd?

If you don't know already and are using Windows, go to Bob's Block List and pay attention to the stuff at the very bottom. Do what it says and add the text list to yuor C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts file. This should stop those shady companies like doubleclick, gain, and many others in their tracks. I'm sure adding the IP ranges to your router or firewall won't hurt either.

Comical. (5, Funny)

sbszine (633428) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355790)

I love it, the article has a popunder : )

Be gone from here!!! (1)

gid13 (620803) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355928)

Anyone who belongs here will have long since banished THOSE from their browsers and (admittedly rather short) attention spans. :)

[OT] Re:Be gone from here!!! (2)

sbszine (633428) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355942)

Sadly I, like many others, do not have the privs to install Mozilla on my work box. : (

Re:[OT] Re:Be gone from here!!! (1)

nuggetman (242645) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355980)

So download Firebird. No install needed, just drop it anywhere and run the exe.

great idea guys! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6355791)

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STOP BUYING. (4, Insightful)

michaelhood (667393) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355793)

Stop buying stuff from the companies that do this. Bottom line. Spam and telemarketing works because of idiots. No one will pay cold callers who can't sell 1 out of 1000 sales. Put an end to the insanity, slashdot.

Re:STOP BUYING. (5, Insightful)

KillerHamster (645942) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355913)

Spam and telemarketing works because of idiots.

Idiots, yes, but I think a lot of their sales come from the elderly. When people's minds start to weaken with age or illness, they become easy targets for these scumbags. My grandparents were constantly being tricked into buying useless stuff over the phone before they went to the nursing home. I don't mind telemarketers calling me so much, I like messing with them sometimes, but it really infuriates me to see them prey on old people.


gid13 (620803) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355914)

While there's a part of me that would love to believe that Slashdotters don't buy such things, the majority remembers that I stopped browsing at -1 a LOOONG time ago. Still, however, it seems to me that although every little bit helps, Slashdot alone has no real capability to end this or any other insanity beyond the skills and spare time of a reasonably large group of geeks.

Re:STOP BUYING. (2, Insightful)

Slurpee (4012) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355965)

Stop buying stuff from the companies that do this. Bottom line. Spam and telemarketing works because of idiots.

Alternatively, shoot all the idiots. And the elderly. And the naive. And the uneducated. And those who should have known better.

And when you and me are left...then cold calling us won't work!

Of course, perhaps it will be easier to stop the telemarketers from calling, rather then stopping people being people (ie idiotic).

They are asking for trouble..... (3, Interesting)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355798)

They want to play dirty??

They better have some heavy duty security in place. And they better have armed escorts to and from the parking lots. Someone is going to get a belly full someday very soon and they will go looking for a pound of flesh..

The odds are against them because they so viscously and relentlessly hound and harrass such large numbers of people so endlessly.
Sooner or later, the numbers say that a certain percentage of their victims will snap..

And you know what? I won't shed a single tear for one of them. Not one....

Re:They are asking for trouble..... (0, Troll)

Izago909 (637084) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355899)

Maybe if they up the junk mail, someone at the post office will go...


DAMN, I'm lame.
maybe now is the time to add some Class A blocks to my router such as: (Asia) (more Asia) (Latin America/Caribbean)
Let's face it, the whole area is 99% garbage and any legit asian company is going to have a much more local front anyway.

EPIC slashdotted (3, Informative)

Anonymous Cowdog (154277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355800)

Here's the relevant section of the page from EPIC. I only included one link, the one to the most important form.

=== snip ===
Stopping Junk Mail with Post Office Prohibitory Orders

Individuals may obtain a prohibitory order to stop junk mail from being sent to a residence. This order can be obtained through a law that prohibits the mailing of advertising materials "which the addressee in his sole discretion believes to be erotically arousing or sexually provocative." Practically, this means that individuals can obtain a prohibitory order against any junk mail sender.

Individuals wishing to obtain a prohibitory order should visit their local post office for "Form 1500" or click on the link provided below.

The Attorney General's office no longer sues under this statute to obtain damages. However, individuals should still obtain prohibitory orders against junk mailers. By doing so, marketers who engage in saturation mailings (heavily-discounted mailings delivered to every residence in the area that are usually addressed with "Postal Customer" or "Resident") must adjust their address lists so that the materials are no longer sent to the address with the prohibitory order. This results in higher costs to junk mailers.

* Application for Listing and/or Prohibitory Order (Form 1500), United States Postal Inspection Service [] .
* 39 U.S.C. Sect. 3008, Prohibition of pandering advertisements.
* Rowan v. U.S. Post Office, 397 U.S. 728 (1970). "In today's complex society we are inescapably captive audiences for many purposes, but a sufficient measure of individual autonomy must survive to permit every householder to exercise control over unwanted mail...Today's merchandising methods, the plethora of mass mailings subsidized by low postal rates, and the growth of the sale of large mailing lists as an industry in itself have changed the mailman from a carrier of primarily private communications, as he was in a more leisurely day, and have made him an adjunct of the mass mailer who sends unsolicited and often unwanted mail into every home. It places no strain on the doctrine of judicial notice to observe that whether measured by pieces or pounds, Everyman's mail today is made up overwhelmingly of material he did not seek from persons he does not know. And all too often it is matter he finds offensive."
* Unsolicited Sexually Oriented Advertising, United States Postal Inspection Service.
* Stop Unsolicited Sexually Oriented Advertising in Your Mail, United State Postal Inspection Service.
* Postal Bulletin PB 21977, United State Postal Inspection Service, July 30, 1998. "The prohibitory order. This order aids in protecting customers from receiving pandering advertisements through the mail. An addressee may obtain a prohibitory order against the mailer of an advertisement that the addressee determines, in his or her sole discretion, to be offering matter for sale that is erotically arousing or sexually provocative, as defined in title 39, United States Code, 3008. Postmasters may not refuse to accept a Form 1500 because the advertisement in question does not appear to be sexually oriented. Only the addressee may make that determination. The order prohibits the mailer from sending any further mail to the applicant (and his or her eligible minor children included in the application), effective on the 30th calendar day after the mailer receives the order."
* U.S. Laws on Direct Mail, Junkbusters.

=== snip ===

Re:EPIC slashdotted (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6355837)

Actually, can I sign up to get nothing BUT the mail that is "erotically arousing or sexually provocative"?

Spammers are people too.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6355801)

Spammers are people just like us, and if they wish to go on the counter attack I will be one to make the seperation clear by putting my foot up the ass of everyone who sends me a credit card application for a 18% APR.

What goes around, comes around (4, Insightful)

PingXao (153057) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355806)

"We'll be giving the dog what the dog wants to eat," James F. Lyons, president of direct-marketing consultancy Optima Direct told the paper.

I usually flush shit down the toilet, not feed it to my dog. What goes around, comes around. I predict there will be a backlash against the sleaziest of these direct marketing firms and the slime that hire them. I already refuse to deal with companies that make me play touch-tone tag on their badly designed voice systems.

Re:What goes around, comes around (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6355842)

he's talking about giving companies that want to advertise what they want you dumb fuck. i hate you pingxao.

Re:What goes around, comes around (1)

Izago909 (637084) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355920)

Where can I find a list of as many real world home addresses of spammers, accused spammers, and telemarketers as possible? It's about time that their mailbox feels the /. effect of bulk mail and fake magazine subscriptions. Who's with me? As they say, you KNOW they want it!!

Why so much advertising??? (0, Offtopic)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355807)

Here is a good explanation: 667 [] .

Re:Why so much advertising??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6355896)

There's an error in that thinking. The error is that he believes prices must fall when machines replace people.

They rarely do. In fact, they increase.

The actual way it works is this:

- Machine replaces persons 1 - 20
- Persons 1-15 get a job repairing machines
- Prices stay the same, production prices fall
- Company makes increased profit, and passes some of that down to the workers
- Workers have more money and are able to afford more
- 5 people have to find different jobs, or quit working (retirement age decreases)

Through this method, inflation of only 2.5% is required, rather than an increase in consumption. And guess what? That's current inflation! And also guess what? Retirement ages are currently decreasing worldwide!

Veiled marxist propaganda... that's what that post was.

Wooooooooah there horsey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6355930)

The whole economic vs growth rate was an interesting bit, but that whole imperial/world domination conclusion?!?!!!!

Come on you yellow belly freedom hating terrorist!!! Just because the guy who invented the internet didn't win the last presidential election doesn't mean that capitalism sucks.

That's not what the story says... (5, Informative)

Arandir (19206) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355814)

"telemarketing are planning to counterattack consumers with a barrage of spam and junk mail in October"

That's not what the story says. Sheesh, don't the submitters even read the articles? This story isn't about counterattacking anyone.

Here's a quote that summarizes the story: ''"We plan to shift into other communication mediums, and rely more heavily on traditional TV advertising and e-mail marketing," Allstate acting Chief Marketing Officer Todd DeYoung told the paper.''

In other words, they will stop using telemarketing and shift over to snail mail and email. Will that email be spam? Maybe, maybe not, but a spam from Allstate is a heck of a lot better than a phone call from Allstate every time I sit down to a meal.

can't they get a fucking clue (1)

kaltkalt (620110) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355817)

We don't want their god damn advertisements. We don't want to hear them, see them, feel them, or so much as share our oxygen with them. The fact that over 12,000 people signed up with the do-not-call registry on its first day of operation should give these jackfucks a hint that they should keep their unsolicited garbage to themselves.

I hope I live long enough to see the day when all advertising is banned. All commercial speech. Banned. Eventually, if they keep this shit up, the government will have a compelling interest in shutting them up, and banning it will be the most narrowly-tailored way of achieving that goal. Champagne's on me.

I'm not advocating violence, but if we can convince psycho fundamentalists that abortions are taking place in advertising agencies, we might be able to make a wee bit of progress.

"If you are in the advertising business... kill yourself." -- Bill Hicks

Re:can't they get a fucking clue (2, Insightful)

MrRage (677798) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355850)

I hope I live long enough to see the day when all advertising is banned. All commercial speech. Banned. Then after that comes banning of all speech. Let's just give up all rights just because of some annoying companies. Well I hope most people realize that to them we are nothing more than consumers. We live in a consumer society and they want to shove their junk down our throats so they can get rich. The real question is when will we as citizens and people realize how this consumerism is destroying or society and cultures and stop putting up with it. Believe me it will be better if people did it instead of "big brother"

Re:can't they get a fucking clue (1)

kaltkalt (620110) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355872)

well that's a pretty slippery slope. the banning of x doesn't mean the banning of y.

Re:can't they get a fucking clue (1)

DMDx86 (17373) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355889)

So, are you saying that I wont be allowed to advertise in the classifides? What about eBay?

If you ban commercial speech, then how am I going to be able to look up essential services I need? How am I going to be able to find a plumber when my pipes break?

Re:can't they get a fucking clue (1)

irving47 (73147) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355856)

hope I live long enough to see the day when all advertising is banned. All commercial speech. Banned. Eventually, if they keep this shit up, the government will have a compelling interest in shutting them up, and banning it will be the most narrowly-tailored way of achieving that goal. Champagne's on me.

Wow. Yours is a great post to read right after watching Family Guy on Adult Swim at 11:30/10:30 Central on The Cartoon Network! I kept on thinking, "Wow, is this guy Stewie or what?"

Re:can't they get a fucking clue (1)

kaltkalt (620110) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355894)

Anything other than word of mouth should be punishable by death. If a product or service is worthy, and if I'm in need of it, I'll find out about it from a friend or family member. We can at least start off with a 500% advertising tax to help now, because it will take a few decades before enough people will agree with me regarding using the death penalty for all convicted advertisers.

Re:can't they get a fucking clue (1)

DMDx86 (17373) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355962)

What if my friends and family don't know about it? What if I need a service thats not really used often and known about much?

I'm really glad people like you aren't in power. You would be dangerous to our economy.

Re:can't they get a fucking clue (2, Insightful)

sahonen (680948) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355897)

Advertising keeps Slashdot free. It keeps TV free, it keeps the radio free. Admittedly, the last two I can live without, but you'll have to pay a LOT more to access all of your favorite web sites if commercial speech is banned. Not to mention that advertising sells whatever product YOU are working on. What happens when your product doesn't sell 'cause nobody's heard of it? And don't tell me it can get by just on word of mouth.

Re:can't they get a fucking clue (1)

DMDx86 (17373) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355935)

Not all advertising is bad.

When the local cable TV co mailed flyers informing us that broadband was now avaliable, we signed up immediatley (DSL wasn't avaliable at the time). The CableCo got another customer and I got the service I want.

Banning commercial speech will result in recession and crippling of the economy - how the hell can any business survive if they're not allowed to tell anyone that they exist?

While I oppose telemarketing and spam, I do not at all mind being informed of commercial offers that interest me. Don't impose your rules on everyone - you can opt out of telemarketing, snail mail ads, change the channel on TV, and avert your eyes when you see a billboard.

Hit them where it hurts - in their customers (3, Informative)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355821)

We all hate this shit, but going off at the Telemarketers and Spammers doesn't work - they've proven time and again that they have no respect for the "consumer".

Better is a) Don't buy the stuff, and b) Lodge formal complaints with the CEO of the company's using their services. Most of the top-dogs have little idea their marketing departments are doing this shit so let them know, and let them know you don't like it and won't buy their stuff as long as they do it.

Option C (2)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355878)

Just had a thought... Forget lodging formal complaints - just find the CEO's phone number and call him at dinner time to tell him how you feel about it.

Re:Hit them where it hurts - in their customers (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355887)

Most people already aren't buying, that doesn't protect them. State-wide do not call lists, on the other hand, have proven highly effective. The market didn't "take care of it," the new law will.

No Suprise Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6355823)

Just before the state of Kansas implemented a no-call list,
I ended up getting 3-5 calls a day from telemarketers
(Yes, I'm in Kansas). I'm guess they're still trying to figure
out why everybody wants on the list.

Great reson for more legislation (1)

slaad (589282) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355825)

Sounds like a great way to help push through legislation similar to the do not call registry for mailing and spam. Incendentally, a good way to deal with an abundance of junk mail to to write "refused, return to sender" on it and drop it in a mail box. It will get send back to the mailer and they will pay for the return postage.

Re:Great reson for more legislation (1)

shepd (155729) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355906)

USPS may trash any Bulk Mail they don't wish to deliver (that's why it's bulk, apart from the sorting).

I doubt they want to deliver your returned to sender ads, sorry.

The More... (1)

robbyjo (315601) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355830)

The more they bombard us, the more we hate them and only idiots who make their own consumer hate them. If they at least wear their brains, they should exercise self-control. For me, personally, I never ever buy any products on any companies that advertise through spam and I believe most of you do too.

Now, the problem is that what if they advertise some other / competitor product so that the spam makes customers hate these innocent companies? Well, I suppose the innocent companies can sue these spammers for slander (assuming they can trace the culprits back and have long enough law tentacles to reach them). Therefore, either way, the spammers lose.

There's only one way to stop this (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6355831)

The problem with spam and direct mail and telemarketing is simple: it works. There are people that buy stuff from them. The people that actually buy stuff are the ones that are ruining things for the rest of us.

So, I propose that we set up a fake telemarketing/spam centre that pretends to be your typical telemarketer. But instead of sending you a long distance plan or penis enlarger, it actually just sends out a pyromaniac to burn your house down if you buy something.

The best part is it only has to be done once or twice to have a strong dampening effect; it may not actually need to be done at all, since the people that buy stuff from spam/telemarketers are probably the same people that believe urban legends and those 'pass this to your friends' e-mails.

It's a foolproof plan. Quick, someone start the chain e-mail!

Re:There's only one way to stop this (1)

sahonen (680948) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355931)

Just send them Sen. Hatch's computer nuker program. Then you don't even have to pay the Pyromaniac.

The best way to avoid spam (3, Funny)

sc00p18 (536811) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355832)

Another slashdotter said it best:

"The best way to avoid spam is to never give out your e-mail address to anyone."

It's good advice. I've been using that method ever since I read that, and it's working beautifully.

Hell (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6355858)

I don't get any crap from friends or family either!

Re:The best way to avoid spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6355886)

That's the trouble with spam... email requires others to have your address. In many cases, it is desireable to allow email from complete strangers, making it all the more likely that some of these complete strangers will be spammers.

When even that doesn't work (2, Insightful)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355932)

The tragedy being that after eliminating all legitimate email, that method may still leave you receiving spam.

One sleazy spammer tactic is to target a domain and autogenerate a zillion possible email addresses, in what's called a Rumpelstiltskin attack. If you have an email alias common or simple enough that you couldn't use it as a password, then it's vulnerable. If it's on some high-profile provider like Hotmail, it will be attacked.

Re:When even that doesn't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6355963)

in what's called a Rumpelstiltskin attack

That sounds like a fun name, but where I come from we call it a dictionary attack.

Wow, thanks genius! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6355953)

Another slashdotter said it best:

"The best way to avoid spam is to never give out your e-mail address to anyone."

Duh, it doesn't even take another slashdotter to realize that is true. I've had a hotmail account since the days where you could register with a 4 character password and have never received a single spam email. In fact, I've had that email account before slashdot was around to have a slashdotter give me that candy piece of advice!

On that note, the best way to avoid a crusty ass is to wipe it clean after a nice big shit.

Re:The best way to avoid spam (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6355968)

Absolutely. I have two email accounts. One, my actual one that REAL people email, and another that I give on websites, to Amazon, to every other bastard that wants it when I sign up for some piece of shit. OK, so my Hotmail gets dozens of emails a day - but it's not my regular email address, so I don't really care.

Why are people so willing to give their email address away, but at the same time question the clerk in the store when they are asked for their phone number?

Answer: because most people need to be burned before they learn.

Another one bites the dust (5, Funny)

rzbx (236929) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355833)

Well, ok. First we have RIAA going all out sueing people left and right. Then we have SCO going all out crazy on the OSS and Linux community. Now we have the infamous telemarketing companies "counterattacking" their customers. Next up, grocery stores throwing tomatoes at shoppers.
Businesses are supposed to provide products and services, not shove them down our throats. It is our choice what we buy anyway, isn't it?

Re:Another one bites the dust (2, Interesting)

jpsowin (325530) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355944)

They obviously don't think it is our choice...
I know it's hard for a company to get promoted these days with all the competition, but I agree, this is going too far.

I always wonder who keeps these people in business, because I know that I never buy from spammers. I even email them and tell them that... ;) But seriously, is it all the 65+ people who just want someone to talk to and so they buy? I don't get it...

Hmm... (4, Funny)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355839)

"companies who heavily use telemarketing are planning to counterattack consumers with a barrage of spam and junk mail"

Not a problem, as I'm reasonably certain that such tactics will lead them to the promised land of lawsuits, Chapter 11, and finally, Cellblock 6A, which houses Bubba's Fudge-Packing Factory. Spam on dear telemarketers. Spam your way to an 8x10 cell where you can push your wares on a 300lbs man who hasn't seen a woman in 15 years.

Why don't they get it? (5, Interesting)

Chiascuro (179381) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355841)

I can understand the logic behind a company who's business model relies on calling customers switching to spam and direct mail when the DNC registry is implemented but why can they not see that the reason it is being put in place is because of them and if they persist they will merely succeed in getting do not spam and do not mail lists created.

If your business model requires hassling your customers then when they prevent you doing it via the phone it's time to change business models not the method you use to hassle.

It's self defeating and why business's think that customers want you to cold-contact them I do not know. Find a market, advertise on mass media or in media that your customers read and then sell to them. Don't bother everyone else with your crap.

Telemarketers ?= RIAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6355852)

Does it strike anyone that the approach of the telemarketers is comparable to the approach of the RIAA customers?

Maybe not the same thing here, but why is the new trend to piss off potential customers through means that will surely deter interest from buying their products?

I hope more organizations don't go this route, this surely isn't what I would think to do as a business leader. (but im a geek, i might be wrong)

How about the libertarian angle? (1)

Thinkit3 (671998) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355871)

*Gasp*, a libertarian on /. is unheard of. Now why should government be getting involved? If there are any libertarians out there, how can you justify this _regulation_? Now libertarians tend to be intelligent and intelligent people tend to hate advertising, so how do you reconcile?

Re:How about the libertarian angle? (1)

shepd (155729) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355947)

>Now libertarians tend to be intelligent and intelligent people tend to hate advertising, so how do you reconcile?

Just because one is a libertarian doesn't mean one must feel compelled to be forced to listen when one doesn't want to.

Everyone has the right to decide what free speech they want to hear, and when. The only time the libertarian ideology says that free speech shouldn't be prevented is when it is done on public property (and, in a libertarian country, there wouldn't be all that much of that now, would there?).


- Government workers receiving spam at work against their will = A-OK
- Governemnt worker receiving spam at home against their will = Trespass

Catch the difference? Your free speech goes as far as the edge of my land -- after that you have to ask my permission.

Re:How about the libertarian angle? (1)

Sir Toby (660923) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355978)

Well, its an old press release, but seems to apply to the current discussion:

LP Press Release: Bill banning dinnertime telemarketing may be popular, but it's not needed (February 13, 2001) []

Basically, libertarians don't want government interfering with our lives, even for the perceived benefit of getting rid of the annoyance of telemarketing calls. There are plenty of technological means for dealing with telemarketing calls that seem to work reliably well without needing to get the government involved.

Snail-mail spam (5, Funny)

peyote (9579) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355882)

Personally, I don't care much about snail-mail spam. I figure if they're paying for it, the more the merrier. Gives me the chance to use that big, shiny dumpster right by the mailbox.

Babies (1)

ClubStew (113954) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355891)

Apparently they weren't spanked as children.

Seriously, what a childish thing to do! I know they're losing revenue - but that's the point! Sure, 1 out of 10 (stupid) people may bite, but that's 9 out of 10 people that would love to rub their face in year-old Spam (the Hormel kind*). The government - and the people actually backing them for once instead of being apathetic or unheard - have spoken! Perhaps they should get a real job that is more respectable by far - like flipping burgers, cleaning sewer systems, or trying legal cases.

* Note to Hormel: even you can't deny that year-old Spam is bad on its own, no matter what "Spam Alert LLC" may imply!

Fun ideas (3, Interesting)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355893)

Telemarketers and spammers alike don't deserve respect.

If you get mail, try to always reply... on their dime. E.g. when they have business reply stuff.

Otherwise, if there is a return address mark "dead" on the mail and send it back.

If you're getting calls always try to find out things about the caller. Ask where they go to school [most are students]. Ask what political party they voted for, etc.

The bottom line is instead of trying to run and hide from them why not have fun instead? Answer the phone, just don't give them useful information. Lie through your teeth while learning things about them.


Embedded sales pitches? (1)

Chazmati (214538) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355895)

The paper said that in addition to seeing more e-mail or junk mail, consumers who call companies on other business may now have to listen to sales pitches while negotiating voice mail messages.

Oh, this is great. I could barely contain myself when some credit card company couldn't accept my multiple "I'd like to cancel my (zero-balance) account, please" without subjecting me to twenty questions about why, and would I consider this offer, oh I'm sorry but I have to ask you this, well what if we gave you this rate, etc.

Sure, if one finds embedded sales pitches offensive there's always the option to find an alternative... the 'vote with your dollar' argument. But damn that seems slow, and worse yet subject to interpretation. Will the company recogize that profits are lower than they could be, and identify the reason? Better off to lodge a complaint and tell them why they're not getting your business.

The real victims... (0)

Alan Holman (607935) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355902)

The real victims of this battle are the people who must make their living as telemarketters. Also, Market Researchers are victims because people automatically assume they're trying to sell something.

Targeted email? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6355904)

Hopefully the telemarketers won't be using "directed marketing" with the email addresses of those in the "do not call" registry, in order to "fight back". The privacy statement on the registry says that they will not share email addresses with telemarketers. I hope they stick to it.

Do your part (2, Interesting)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355905)

Do whatever you can to discuss the issues and downsides of this kind of viral marketing with anybody you can. Speak to people in your industry. I'm doing my part too. I'm in the Advertising Industry, and whenever someone mentions something like this I describe in gory detail the kind of customer backlash they would experience.

Instead of pranking a telemarketer next time they call, get the phone number of the company on whose behalf they're calling. Get in touch with that companies marketing department and explain to them exactly why you will now NEVER consider their services. Make sure you tell them that you will tell other people. If there's a big enough backlash, believe me, they WILL listen, because eventually the backlash will be costing them more than they'd make by doing this shit.

Seems like a waste... (1)

Viper168 (650370) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355909)

I know I already dont pay attention to junk snail mail.... And the difference here between making calls and sending emails is, materials cost money. Is it really productive to dish out cash to send papers and other stuff to people who wont even read them? I'd hate to know how much AOL spends on throwing all these CDs at people.... But I cant complain about AOL's CDs, because they often come in a fancy DVD case that I can use :)

Death penalty to anyone who spam!!! (0)

siyavash (677724) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355912)

I DO HATE those mother fuckers!!! They eat 10GB of my bandwidth each month SENDING SHIIIIIIIT TO MY WEBHOSTING CUSTOMERS!!! OMFG! I'm so mad! I'm gonna explode.

wee (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6355915)

i like poo

Re:wee (0)

siyavash (677724) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355919)

I think we got a spammer here. :p

Re:wee (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6355933)

me too!

Sounds like a nice place to work, (0, Offtopic)

JVert (578547) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355927)

Yep I really want to work for a direct mail company. Thats why this holloween i'm gonna get as many mail order addressess I can and send them my resume! I have a few friends interested in it too maybe if someone had the time they could make a large list on a website so everyone who is interested can apply!

My my, I hope I havn't hurt my chances, all those resumes that they have to keep on file how on earth will mine stand out? well maybe i'll make it out of cardboard! Yea!

National DNC overhyped (5, Informative)

Necrobruiser (611198) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355939)

It appears that consumers are getting overexcited by the hype, and not paying any attention to the details regarding the national DO Not Call list. What it boils down to is that there is no infrastructure in place to deal with any complaints. And there will be complaints. When you sign up for a credit card, or subscribe to a magazine, you become a customer of that particular company, giving them the right to call you. You also give that company the right to share your information with their "affiliates". On October 1st, when everyone and their brother is calling the FTC's as yet non-existent call center to file their complaints, they will discover that they have no legitimate complaint. For the few people who actively send the required opt-out letters to their credit card companies telling them that they do not wish to have their information shared with the "affiliate" companies, when they call to make a legitimate complaint, what are the chances that they will get the required information to make a complaint. According to the National DNC website, "You must provide either the NAME or the PHONE NUMBER of the COMPANY that called you, as well as the DATE OF THE CALL and YOUR PHONE NUMBER. I don't think that there are many telemarketing companies out there that will be very forthcoming with their Name or Phone Number for angry victims, especially when each violation will cost them $11,000. And please note that the FTC does not yet have any specifics on how to file a complaint, or who to file it with. Let's face it; 46 states have had do not call lists for years, and it hasn't stopped the telemarketers yet.

(offtopic) Additionally, the conspiracy theorist in me thinks that this is the best idea that the government ever had for creating a database of names and numbers and email addresses. Peole are entering their data for the FTC as fast as they possibly can. And with nothing to show for it in the end.(/offtopic)

Because... (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355948)

We all know that pissing off the customer is the best way to get him to buy your shit. Uh huh. It appears that a good portion of the population is already sick of the incessant jabbering of commercial speech, which is not unlike the hundreds of monkeys in yonder trees. Perhaps the federal do-not-call list will be the catalyst which incites people to actively boycott companies that insist on harassing them in their private space. One can hope.

Bring on the junk snail mail .. (4, Funny)

adikt (552154) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355952)

.. it will save me having to buy all those equally useless newspapers to start the fire with in the cold winters evenings.

Re:Yes, Cold winters do suck! ;/... (-1, Offtopic)

siyavash (677724) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355958)

Yes, Cold winters do suck! :\... .. .

Advertising as a substitute for Service (2, Insightful)

The Famous Brett Wat (12688) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355959)

From the article:

The paper said that in addition to seeing more e-mail or junk mail, consumers who call companies on other business may now have to listen to sales pitches while negotiating voice mail messages.

Rough translation: "we will advertise at you by any and all legal means available, no matter how annoying we have to be." I do sometimes wonder if there isn't a viable place for, "just concentrate on giving the customer good service," in this world. Nobody seems to believe in that quaint old idea anymore.

I havn't read anything yet (1)

headbulb (534102) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355966)

But wouldn't Bugging supposibly potential customers that are on the do not call list, Really arn't potential customers. So wouldn't bugging them just tick them off, then say leaving them alone and letting them find you if they need service/product. --Just a thought.

My phone number is my property! (3, Insightful)

bruce_the_moose (621423) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355970)

Don't think so? I'll show you the receipt for the money I send to the phone company to rent the number. As such, calling me to sell me something is nothing short of trespassing--it is using my property without my permission.

Howizzit telemarketers don't grasp this concept? Howizzit the lawmakers fail to? Whyizzit we have to finely craft laws such as the don't-call-list to leave loopholes so I still have to hang up on the statetroopers whoopee fund. It is so demonstrably clear that my phone number is mine and using it is not free speech. Leaving the loophole is like leaving a loophole that says it is okay for the local repugnican party to put "elect tusch" signs in my yard.

And same argument goes for my email address. It's mine, I pay good money to my cable company to have it.

Oddly, snail mail doesn't trespass in the same way. The marketer has to pay to for their soon-to-be-trash to be brought to my house. Then again, I do have to pay to have it hauled away.

Leislative insanity (1)

smokestacklightning (550330) | more than 11 years ago | (#6355971)

I don't enjoy starting my Sat's off turning down offers for whatever it is these jerk@sses are peddling either, but is there any need for a piece of federal legislation restricting this practice???

First off, this law will effectively destroy an entire industry which does produce quite a bit of revenue and provides employment to many americans.

More importantly, does the government have any real business legislating yet another means of which to curb the pursuits of commerce. Every time a topic galvanizes the public, the politicians rally bekhind the flavor of the month, and a new law restricting our freedoms is passed. Once this privilge is outlawed, the feds will never give it back; IT'S GONE. I half expect to be goose stepping to work within a decade.
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