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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Phone Spam Alert


Beware of rude service on the phone.

Not when calling to make a complaint (although that's entirely possible). I'm referring to receiving unsolicited sales calls. Specifically from a company that claims to be able to help you when you have a lot of credit card debt.

Last summer, I finally got around to placing my home phone number on the national do not call list. It did help reduce the number of calls that Car Guy and I received.

But several months ago, we started getting calls from a credit agency. Whether we answered the phone or let the machine get it, it was always the same: a recording stating that they could help us reduce our enormous debt, just press 1 to speak to a representative, or call us back at 866-213-1862.

Several times over the next months, I would press 1 and let them know that I was on the Do Not Call list, and please remove me from their list. Each time, the marketer hung up on me.

Last week, they called again. As soon as I asked the marketer what company she represented, she hung up.

Now, I'm not so naive as to give these people any personal information over the phone. But the calls are annoying. We get at least one per week, sometimes more. It's like email spam, but on the phone.

Today they called again. I pretended to be interested in their services, knowing that saying anything else to the first marketer would get me nowhere (besides, I could barely understand her around her very thick Indian accent). She transferred me to another marketer. I led him on for a few seconds, then asked him to please repeat the name of the company he represented. He said, "North Side." I told him that I was on the Do Not Call list, and to please remove me from their calling list. He indicated that he would do so, and then terminated the call.

So far, so good. Until the phone rang again 30 seconds later, with a different number on the Caller ID. Lo and behold, it was the first marketer again. She asked me what the problem was. Why was the previous call so short? When I told her about the list, she called me a MF-ing bitch. I hung up on her.

Amazing. Can't speak English worth a darn except to read (poorly) off a telemarketing script and curse people out, despite the fact that she's the one calling Americans and bothering them during their daily routine.

So here's the deal- even if you do need debt consolidation, I beg you not to use this company. (I'll post the pertinent info below.) Find a reputable agency near you, if you are unable to work with your creditors directly.

There are 2 numbers to avoid when they show up on your caller ID: 702-520-1236 (identified on the ID as US Service Grp) and 408-531-6205 (ID'd as SNJS South, CA). The 702 number is the first one that called me today; 408 is the number from which Miss Potty Mouth called the second time.

I found a lot of complaints about this place at callercomplaints.com, by searching for "North Side Credit" in Google, then by searching their site for the two numbers (702 and 408). Someone there has indicated that the number is registered to Northside Lead Services, at 41 West Hedding Street, San Jose, CA 95110. Feel free to use that address if you receive harassing calls from them. They also apparently use the number 619-801-8154, and you supposedly can reach a real, English-speaking person at that number.

And for further information, you can check out the FCC's page about unwanted telemarketing calls. That page includes instructions and a web address for filing a complaint.


mamachef said...

Um wow is all I can say. Some people are amazing!

chefann said...

My favorite part was when the woman cussed me out for wasting her time (on the previous call) because I'm on the do not call list. I wish I could have billed her for all of my wasted time every time this place has called here.