wood burning stoves*
The moose likes Meaningless Drivel and the fly likes Rebirth of Telemarketers Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login


Win a copy of The Java EE 7 Tutorial Volume 1 or Volume 2 this week in the Java EE forum
or jQuery UI in Action in the JavaScript forum!
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Other » Meaningless Drivel
Bookmark "Rebirth of Telemarketers" Watch "Rebirth of Telemarketers" New topic
Author

Rebirth of Telemarketers

Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
I don't normally post in MD, but I was just putting two and two together, reflecting on the eve of the do not call list having just read another overblown chicken little story about how we're all going to lose our jobs to India.
Anyway, the following thought occured to me. I don't believe most jobs will be outsourced (but that debate belong sin Job Discussion). The ones which can readily be outsourced effectively are things like call support centers. They're been doing that for years. Assuming there are no more legal barriers the US Do-Not-Call list goes into effet Oct 1st. US companies will get fined for calling people on that list.
However, a common trick in many industries is to undertake actions outside US jurisdiction (think spam). Indian companies can set up telemarketing centers. With the low cost of bandwidth, the long distance costs won't amount to much, and the cost of the people and overhead is far lower. Even if the US pressures India to stop these companies, there are other countries which won't be so accomadating. I suspect telemarketers will soon figure this out and start again.
The only advantage is that, because they can't have a US presence, they may have trouble routing through US phone lines. This means advanced caller ID boxes may be able to alert you to ignore calls from certain countries.
Enjoy it while you can.
--Mark
Paul Stevens
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
They still have to be calling on behalf of some entity. That enity is the one that will get fined. The call problem is usually a local thing anyway. Windows and siding to name 2. Since Indiana started their no call list a few years ago I don't receive any calls for things like that.
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Paul Stevens:
They still have to be calling on behalf of some entity. That enity is the one that will get fined. The call problem is usually a local thing anyway. Windows and siding to name 2. Since Indiana started their no call list a few years ago I don't receive any calls for things like that.

Like with spam it's often hard to track down who is really behind the telemarketeer.
They are often not willing to give out the name of the company they're working for until after you've agreed to a deal (if then).
Worst I've seen was when they wanted my bankaccount info and passport number so their customer (whom they refused to name...) would be able to check if their product would be of value to me.
At that point I got frustrated for not having a taperecorder running or I'd have gone on to get as much info for the police as possible as I smelled identity theft in the making...


42
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
Like with spam it's often hard to track down who is really behind the telemarketeer.

Eventually, the guy has to come to your house to put up the aluminum siding. At that point the guy is fined. As to companies trying to hide behind the telemarketer? Somewhere they have some link to the US even if it is nothing more than having an account with a credit card company. The law could easily be changed so that the money that was supposed to go to the telemarketer ends up in the hands of the federal government.


Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
Amazon Top 750 reviewer - Blog - Unresolved References - Book Review Blog
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

Eventually, the guy has to come to your house to put up the aluminum siding. At that point the guy is fined.

Where have you been during the internet age? :-p Everything is done by shipping. The only person who comes to your door is a FedEx guy. It was distributed and shipped from overseas. We can't tell FedEx who they can and can't work with overseas.
However, I think one tactic we could use against spammers is to pressure companies who create the product. I get spam for Viagra and Norton Anti-Virus. Both of those are major US companies. We should pressure them to add a clause to their sales contracts that spam is not allowed as a means of selling.
--Mark
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
We can't tell FedEx who they can and can't work with overseas.
If the foreign company wants to ship free stuff to me then they are more than welcome to do so. If they actually expect to collect their debts from a credit card company then the US government can confiscate that money.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
While I agree with you in principle, the reality is this is impractical to do. You could make the same claim about spammers, and yet no one sees that as a viable solution. The government simply doesn't have the resources to chase after fly-by-night bacnk accunts.
--Mark
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
While I agree with you in principle, the reality is this is impractical to do. You could make the same claim about spammers, and yet no one sees that as a viable solution. The government simply doesn't have the resources to chase after fly-by-night bacnk accunts.
Why don't we do it this way. Explain to me how it would work for an end to end transaction.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
By the way, before you get too carried away, Mark, most people already know never to give their credit card number over the phone to someone who calls them. Telemarketers don't even try that. Only criminals do.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Who said anything about credit card numbers. There are lots of other things they may want from you...
1) They may be telling you how to find lots of "valuable resources" on some web page.
2) They may be calling everyone flying to some foreign country and trying to get them to visit a site, or look at a timeshare.
3) They may simple be finding who is interested in a certain product and then selling that list to someone else to use in a different, legal way, e.g. a direct (but not mass) mailing campaign.
4) They may be telling you why a certain political candidate is great. (Of course, such a campaign would probably be sponsored by someone opposing this candidate. ;-)
Of course, it turns out many people do give out credit card and bank info over the phone. The elderly are particularly vulnerable. Yes, it's a small percentage, but even a small percent can be enough. Ever "win" a prize package which requires a one-time fee to claim (usually a few hundred dollars). They've been in business for decades. People haven't learned.
--Mark
Paul Stevens
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
Maybe it is just me but it seems like one of you is discussing spam and the other telemarketers.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Why don't we do it this way. Explain to me how it would work for an end to end transaction.

Well, for one thing, I might pay by direct transfer, or check, so there's no credit card company involved. Either someone slams the phone on the telemarketer and there's nothing to prevent, or someone agrees to the transaction and send a check or bank order. Obviously, mail is not searched to this extent. As for bank orders, if they manage to find the account used by the foreign company and somehow flag all transfers to that account from all banks in the US (which clearly takes time to track down and communicate), the company need only set up a new account which takes only a few hours.
Yes, it's stupid to send a check, money order, or use a bank order, but people still do it.
Let's suppose they did use a credit card. Again, the company can operate for months (at least weeks), until the government gets calls and investigates. Finally it says to the credit card companies (who have never had trouble in terms of fraud claims against this company), that they shouldn't do business with this merchant. Within days the telemarketer discovered his credit card account is closed. The next day he created a new business under a new name and sets up a new account.
In short, it takes the goverment weeks to get complains, investigate, and put out the message. It takes a business just hours to set up a new identity.
--Mark
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Paul Stevens:
Maybe it is just me but it seems like one of you is discussing spam and the other telemarketers.

Well, I actually don't see a difference. In short, it's unsolicited marketing. The only difference is whether it's by phone or by email.
--Mark
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hello,
Since we are on telemarketer subject, have anyone of you have been rung then when you pick up your phone you will hear the message: "Thank you for calling us regarding your account. This is just to confirm are you interest in such and such services... rambling on and on."?
I traced with all my accounts and they said when I agreed with the services and they sent out the direct mail for confirmations. The transactions were very much sealed. There was no need to call me for additional confirmation.
My best guest it was telemarketer indisguise avoiding fine.

I would not worry much about telemarketer calling from overseas because they need to spend quite sometimes to learn our westerner cultures. For example, let's ethic bias aside. How many of you encounter sucessful Asians sales rep at work when you are working for a western companies? Yes, there are Asians sales rep working for your company to sell company product to Asian market.
For my Asian example, there are Philippines, Singaporeans, Indians, and HongKongneese. All learn English from grade school. But have you heard them talk to you? Double the accents amount on the phone. The way they conduct themselves on front of you.
Regards,
MCao
[ October 01, 2003: Message edited by: Matt Cao ]
[ October 01, 2003: Message edited by: Matt Cao ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
In short, it takes the goverment weeks to get complains, investigate, and put out the message. It takes a business just hours to set up a new identity.
New law (we can intoduce it as part of the anti-terrorist act): all overseas credit card transactions must be held for 30 days. All overseas bank transfers on new accounts must be held at the bank of transfer for 30 days. All US checks cashed overseas must be held for 30 days. Think the banks will object when we tell them they get to hold the money for free for 30 days? Now we have time to seize their money. Case closed.
As to your other ideas... do you really think an overseas company is going to spend thousands of dollars to sell overseas timeshares? Or go look at some web page? Who would even bother?
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
New law (we can intoduce it as part of the anti-terrorist act): all overseas credit card transactions must be held for 30 days....

You are joking, right? There's no way this would pass. Multinational corporations wouldn't stand for it. Heck, even small companies with websites would hate it. Billions would be lost in delayed interest alone.
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
As to your other ideas... do you really think an overseas company is going to spend thousands of dollars to sell overseas timeshares? Or go look at some web page? Who would even bother?

I guess I'm on different lists than you. Lots of people want to sell me timeshares in the carribean. As for web pages, plenty of email I get directs me to different web sites. Calling may cost more, but it may have a better response rate, too, and thus still be cost effective.
I'll make a bet with you, by Oct 1st 2008, there will be overseas telemarketers calling US households.
--Mark
Anupam Sinha
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 13, 2003
Posts: 1088
Hi all
I think that if a company uses a company in India to sell its products in the market using telemarketing then the company may be sued for calling the people in the DNC list. There was an article sometime back wherein many Inidna call centres were worried about the DNC coming into effect as it would effect their earnings and therefore many decided to change their operations.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
A telemarketer calls Mark about a website:
TM: Hi, I'm calling about our great new web site, bigdick.com
Mark: What?
TM: bigidck.com
Mark: I can't understand you, can you spell it?
TM: B-I...
Mark: P-I..
TM: No, B-I-..
Mark: P-I-B-I?
TM: No, it's bigdick.com. B-I...
Mark: That's what I said, P-I.
TM: No, B-I?
mark: what?
TM: B as in "boy"?
Mark: Wait a second while I get my computer on...
(sounds of phone being put down and falling to the floor... humming... computerish beep)
Mark: Just wait a minute. It takes a little to boot up. (sound of phone being put down again)
TM: (slightly annoyed) Wait!
(more sound of humming for a few minutes)
Mark: OK,it's booted. I just have to dial in.
(sound of phone being put down again... modem-ish sounds in the background)
TM: (more annoyed) wait, can't you just write it down.
Mark: I can't seem to get in right now... do you want to call back?
TM: (really annoyed) Can't you just write it down?
Mark: OK, hold on while I find a pen and paper.
(sound of phone falling to floor.... more humming... minutes pass)
Mark: OK, I found a pen and paper.
TM: B-I...
Mark: P-I...
TM: *click*
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
Calling may cost more, but it may have a better response rate, too, and thus still be cost effective.
The cost for email is zero. That means if you get no responses it is cost effective. Every single response is profit. With a call center you would need a minimum number of hits every single day just to pay for the call center.
By the way, NY state has had a no call list for a couple of years. I have not had a single telemarketer call me since I joined the list.
Paul Stevens
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

Well, I actually don't see a difference. In short, it's unsolicited marketing. The only difference is whether it's by phone or by email.
--Mark

The NO-CALL-LIST doesn't apply to email. There is also a big difference. Email doesn't force you to get up and answer the computer.
You can also just get a new email address if one starts getting too much junk. Granted you can get your phone number unlisted but there is a cost with that.
Another difference is many people don't want to seem rude and just hang up a phone. This is how many people get scammed they don't want to be impolite and just hang up. What do you do with spam. Do you read it and give a polite reply saying "I'm not interested." Or do you just delete it.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
The cost for email is zero. That means if you get no responses it is cost effective. Every single response is profit. With a call center you would need a minimum number of hits every single day just to pay for the call center.

You're right, clearly call centers wouldn't work, which is why telemarketers don't exist. Oops, I guess you're wrong, call centers are profitable. And given that they are profitable in the US with minimum wage laws, I suspect the can be profitable in countries with lower standards of living.
Of course, you don't even need people. You can use automated machines. They're illegal in the US, but we're outside US jurisdiction.
Sure, maybe Indian companies can be sued, the US and India have good relations, but I'll bet you can find some tiny nations which won't enforce US claims.
Perhaps calling about websites isn't great. But the other ideas still stand, as does my claim.
--Mark
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Paul Stevens:

The NO-CALL-LIST doesn't apply to email. There is also a big difference. Email doesn't force you to get up and answer the computer.
You can also just get a new email address if one starts getting too much junk. Granted you can get your phone number unlisted but there is a cost with that.
Another difference is many people don't want to seem rude and just hang up a phone. This is how many people get scammed they don't want to be impolite and just hang up. What do you do with spam. Do you read it and give a polite reply saying "I'm not interested." Or do you just delete it.

Paul, I think you're confusing the issue now. I never claimed that the DNC list applies to email. I have, however, claimed that spam and telemarketers are similar in approach (i.e. shotgun) and response rate (a few percent at best). There's no question that people are more annoyed at telemarketers, but as you note, they're also more likely to respond, compensating for the higher cost.
--Mark
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
Perhaps calling about websites isn't great. But the other ideas still stand, as does my claim.
Which other ideas? Call centers work because they are selling a service like long distance or aluminum siding where the person doesn't need a credit card number. That is why I wanted you to explain how it would work from end to end. I don't think you have uncovered a business model for this that could be even remotely profitable. No one is going to buy a time share over the phone. They are going to want you to send them information. They are going to want to talk to a representative in person. They are going to want to see the place. All that takes time which is what you say the government won't have. As far as selling products that is just too funny. No one tries to get credit card numbers from people on a cold call except criminals. Would you give your credit card number to a stranger who called you on the phone?
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Which other ideas? Call centers work because they are selling a service like long distance or aluminum siding where the person doesn't need a credit card number.

Once again, you and I are on different calling lists. I get called by people to come look at their timeshare. The timeshares themselves are located overseas. I can get a 2 night, 3 day stay for free if I just fly to some island country (at my own expense) and spend 1 hour listening to their sales pitch. At that point I would presumably give them a credit card number or a check or cash, or maybe when I come home. This works fine no matter where the call comes from. I am not buying th etimeshare over the phone.
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
As far as selling products that is just too funny. No one tries to get credit card numbers from people on a cold call except criminals. Would you give your credit card number to a stranger who called you on the phone?

Bullshit. You wouldn't and I wouldn't, but other people would. I know one. He's a doctor even (although seems to have lost some mental faculty in his age). It happens--and not all are scams (in that technically, you are buying someting, you're just way overpaying.)
There's also a great scam companis play on my fraternity (and others). They send a package of good (like lightbulbs) and include an invoice for something like $200 (way overpriced). They assume that because officers change frequently, the current one will assume the last one ordered it and just pay it. (We actually bought a soda machine that way--although it wasn't an intended scam.) Sometimes they also call to remind you of the "payment due." Now legally, when they send you unsolicited items, you can keep them, but enough places still pay the bill. While these places are perhaps unethical, they are not illegal.
--Mark
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
subject: Rebirth of Telemarketers