Step by Step: a Quick $750

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Step by step, how I just made a quick $750 from offline marketing. It wasn't from my marketing, but you'll understand in a second:

Step 1: Signed up for the FTC Do Not Call List.

Step 2: Received unsolicited commercial sales calls.

Step 3: Sent demand letter for violations of federal law. Minimum statutory penalty is $500 per violation which can be trebled to $1500 for willful violations. Unless there is a misdial violations are generally willful.

I asked for the minimum penalty of $1000. They provided some behind the scenes information I found useful about how telemarketing companies try to evade the law and we settled on $750.

Step 4: Received my check.

Marketing lesson of the day: pay attention to those FTC rules in your marketing.

.
#offline marketing #$750 #quick #step
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  • Profile picture of the author ronr
    I've felt like doing this especially for the ones that call over and over. The problem is getting any information on the company. They are really good at hiding. How did you do it, play along with them until you go some details on the company?

    Ron
  • Profile picture of the author Delta223
    Interesting; was the settlement price reached verbally or through a written exchange?
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    • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
      Originally Posted by Delta223 View Post

      Interesting; was the settlement price reached verbally or through a written exchange?
      Verbally. I received a call from their attorney in response to my written demand. They then prepared a settlement agreement, I signed, and received a check.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mwind076
    Who did you send the letter to, the FCC or the company calling you? Wondering, because even though we do this for a living, we have this ONE company that I have spoken with, gotten info, have 4 numbers for, and we are on the DNC for our home numbers. It's truly annoying.
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    • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
      Originally Posted by Mwind076 View Post

      Who did you send the letter to, the FCC or the company calling you? Wondering, because even though we do this for a living, we have this ONE company that I have spoken with, gotten info, have 4 numbers for, and we are on the DNC for our home numbers. It's truly annoying.
      The letter went to the company calling me because that is who violated the law, and who would be sued. The FTC could initiate its own probe and separately fine the company.
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  • Profile picture of the author imsolutionsgroup
    EXTORTION

    ex·tor·tion
    /ikˈstôrSHən/

    Noun
    The practice of obtaining something, esp. money, through force or threats
    • Profile picture of the author BamIPD
      Originally Posted by imsolutionsgroup View Post

      EXTORTION

      ex·tor·tion
      /ikˈstôrSHən/

      Noun
      The practice of obtaining something, esp. money, through force or threats
      Not in this case.
    • Profile picture of the author danr62
      Originally Posted by imsolutionsgroup View Post

      EXTORTION

      ex·tor·tion
      /ikˈstôrSHən/

      Noun
      The practice of obtaining something, esp. money, through force or threats
      So any company that ever settled a lawsuit is a victim of extortion?

      Don't be daft.
    • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
      Originally Posted by imsolutionsgroup View Post

      EXTORTION

      ex·tor·tion
      /ikˈstôrSHən/

      Noun
      The practice of obtaining something, esp. money, through force or threats
      Hard to imagine anyone could be so out of touch with reality as to confuse what the op did with extortion, but I can't think why else you would post this irrelevant and overly broad definition of extortion here.

      Let's see, if obtaining something through threats (of any kind; since "threats" isn't qualified in your post), rises to the level of the crime of extortion, then practically every time someone negotiates anything, they would be guilty. EG: "If you can't beat their price, I will take my business to them"; a threat, which according to you, could result in years behind bars for the "extortionist" who made it. The gas company would be guilty every time they threatened to turn off someone's gas unless they pay their bill; that's using a threat to get money.

      Are you starting to turn red with embarrassment for making such a ridiculous post? You should, after implying the op is guilty of a serious criminal offense, just because he knew what to do about the illegal harassing phone calls.
  • Profile picture of the author Mwind076
    So you're saying you send a letter, from you, to a company about them calling you and instead of telling you to file a complaint, or apologize, or not answer you (which most would do), they offered to settle and pay you money when you had not filed a legal document on them that said they were being sued?

    They will go out of business quickly if they took your letter seriously.

    I could see if you wrote a cease and desist letter, and then had another call - and then filed a complaint with the FCC, but I don't buy this story.

    No lawyer in their right mind would advise anyone to pay you based on your asserting that they had disobeyed the law. Do you know how many letters bill collectors send before people pay them or they legally file against someone?

    Nice story, bro.
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    • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
      Originally Posted by Mwind076 View Post

      Nice story, bro.
      That's why you are you dealing with bill collectors and I'm the attorney and am $750 richer.

      Most disputes are resolved without the need to file a lawsuit. If it is your business plan, after receiving a demand letter from an attorney to ignore it and force the filing of a lawsuit, then, respectfully, you're an idiot.

      In this type of case a lawsuit would have ultimately meant the company also would had to pay my filing fee ($430) plus pay their court appearance fee ($430) plus pay an attorney several thousand dollars to try and settle the matter anyway. No business in their right mind would do that, especially when they have liability.

      Additionally, I may have had a colleague file as a class action. The company was using a call center and on one website alone is the subject of more than 300 complaints about its unsolicited calls. So let's see ... $500 minimum times 300 complaints to one website is $150,000 in damages. You can be sure the company has called many multiples of consumers beyond those complaining on the one site.

      Or, I may not have filed as a class action, but when I won it would have been something called collateral estoppel against the company so that when they then got hit with a class action from someone else they lost as a matter of law. Their attorney did ask if I might file a small claims case, and I said no because of the collateral estoppel issue. Literally, the next sentence out of his mouth was a settlement offer.

      Again, you are you and I am the one with the knowledge of the law.

      It gets better. A judgment against the company could then be used by the FTC to impose administrative penalties. Since you have obviously not been paying attention to legal issues, FTC penalties are up to $16,000 per violation and FTC fines regularly run into the millions of dollars. Basically, whatever a company has.

      You may want to check out the FTC website to see how many millions of dollars are being paid out in Do Not Call violations.

      So, faced with a documented violation of the FTC Telemarketing Sales Rule, and a legal demand letter from an attorney willing to let you off the hook for $750, you're going to blow him off and insist they file a lawsuit? The fact is bravery from anonymous posters like yourself evaporates real fast when you get the demand letter.

      Consider it lesson #2 for the day: attorneys sending demand letters are not bill collectors to be ignored. They can, and will, file actions. When you force a filing then means you get to pay for an attorney, have numerous sleepless nights, explain things to your family, etc., and then it starts getting really expensive. Bro.

      .
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    The calls I usually get are from India or a similar country, barely able to speak English and if I ask a question, they usually hang up.
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  • Profile picture of the author socialentry
    If the call center is in South East Asia or the Phillipines or you simply don't know the name of the company what do you do?Can you go after Europeans or Canadians as well?

    To what extent do you have to rely on the local government to get what you want?

    Also what are the costs to you if they don't take the bait and how would you be rewarded? Would you actually go contacting each of these 300 people on that website? Do you expect that most of them would respond in the affirmative?How much time would it take on your part?
  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    My Dad was an attorney and I worked in a legal environment for almost four years before I decided not to go to law school.

    So, Kindsvater's points about following the FTC rules are dead on and so is his method of sending a demand letter, or "lawyer letter" for other disputes.

    Of course some businesses will ignore a demand letter from an attorney, but most businesses will automatically send the issue - whatever issue the "lawyer letter" is in regard to -to their legal department or legal decision maker. Once they see that letterhead stationary, they take the issue out of their normal channels and send it to legal.

    Similarly for a well worded letter promising you will resolve the issue through whatever legal avenues possible.

    I once got most of my investment money back - and the check for $6500 was good - from a scam outfit by promising to get a lawyer if needed, and promising to go to consumer advocate journalists(especially a certain one who was nationally known at the time).

    Also, it turned out that the device being marketed needed approval from a regulatory agency, which they did not have. So, I also indicated I would call them to the attention of the regulatory agency.

    I was young and dumb (in some ways) at the time and it should have been a class action suit, but I could only afford to cover my own stuff at the time.

    Dan
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  • Profile picture of the author Marvin Johnston
    @Kindsvater - How did you get their contact information? Did you have to play along to get it?

    I get about 10 calls a day from recordings, people who hang up, and idiots using a predictive dialer who don't answer immediately. In all cases, I'm left without their contact information.

    The idea of getting paid for these unwanted interruptions is attractive .

    Marvin
  • Profile picture of the author dave147
    Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

    Step by step, how I just made a quick $750 from offline marketing. It wasn't from my marketing, but you'll understand in a second:

    Step 1: Signed up for the FTC Do Not Call List.

    Step 2: Received unsolicited commercial sales calls.

    Step 3: Sent demand letter for violations of federal law. Minimum statutory penalty is $500 per violation which can be trebled to $1500 for willful violations. Unless there is a misdial violations are generally willful.

    I asked for the minimum penalty of $1000. They provided some behind the scenes information I found useful about how telemarketing companies try to evade the law and we settled on $750.

    Step 4: Received my check.

    Marketing lesson of the day: pay attention to those FTC rules in your marketing.

    .
    Are you that desperate for money that you have to use your knowledge of the law in this way? :confused: or is it just for fun? Do you have to go down this road? :confused:
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    • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
      Originally Posted by dave147 View Post

      Are you that desperate for money that you have to use your knowledge of the law in this way? :confused: or is it just for fun? Do you have to go down this road? :confused:
      Two phone calls interrupted my July 4th holiday. During the second call the sales rep said I was in their area. So I checked (Google) and the company was nearby. Just a couple blocks from where I used to have an office.

      $750 for less than an hour of work, I don't know how much you make per hour, but that was worth it for me.

      There is also a potential for a monster payday if a class action is filed. However, my office could not file it or be involved if I also had a personal claim. But now I have settled that claim and the company is clearly on notice of a legal problem. I have already setup a web page about the phone number, the company, and the law.

      This is how attorneys are able to pay so much for PPC or leads. All it takes is one person, the right person, to contact my office and this preparatory work will pay-off more than $750.

      Another option I would have is to flip a class action case to another attorney. I have done that before. No work on my end except referring a case and that can be a six-figure "commission" check.

      Marketing lesson #3: You cannot get referral fees from an attorney for referring a case if that involves the sharing the fees paid to the attorney. In short, an attorney cannot share their fees with a non-attorney. But you can be paid for leads, such as for CPA offers. This is why legal leads can pay out huge amounts. Sometimes you will also find lead offers, by email or by phone, in places like Commission Junction.

      Marketing lesson #4: Instead of offering an SEO service, which are a dime a dozen and attorneys are beyond tired of the sales calls, use the SEO on your own website and then sell the leads to attorneys or an attorney service.

      .
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  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    You certainly don't have to be an attorney to do this. Kindsvater mentioned that you can get this form available pretty easily. I searched nolo and found this Demand for Damages for Excessive Telemarketer Calls - Nolo

    I run a b2c telemarketing room and if someone sent me one of these letters I would pay up pretty fast versus dealing with an FTC complaint. In fact, $500 or even $1000 would seem like a bargain.
    • Profile picture of the author BamIPD
      Originally Posted by bob ross View Post

      You certainly don't have to be an attorney to do this.
      You're right. You only need the knowledge. However, I bet a company would act a little quicker receiving a letter on a law firms letterhead rather then a letter from a no-name non-identifiable individual.
  • Profile picture of the author hbhanot
  • Profile picture of the author jacktackett
    OK, for all the clueless out there, the point wasn't about how to make a quick 750, Brian was trying to show yOu why you should be fully aware of the FTC rules in Internet marketing. This shows how quickly someone can hand you your ass on a silver platter for not following the rules.
    Jack
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    • Profile picture of the author AlexCN
      Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

      Additionally, I may have had a colleague file as a class action. The company was using a call center and on one website alone is the subject of more than 300 complaints about its unsolicited calls. So let's see ... $500 minimum times 300 complaints to one website is $150,000 in damages. You can be sure the company has called many multiples of consumers beyond those complaining on the one site.

      Or, I may not have filed as a class action, but when I won it would have been something called collateral estoppel against the company so that when they then got hit with a class action from someone else they lost as a matter of law. Their attorney did ask if I might file a small claims case, and I said no because of the collateral estoppel issue. Literally, the next sentence out of his mouth was a settlement offer.

      .
      This was NOT the original premise of your post!

      Your intent in writing the initial post was to inform people of how smart you were and how you (and presumably other Warriors who wanted to follow your business model as well) could create money out of thin air with a small amount of effort by nailing ONE cold caller (or company) to the wall after they had made a mistake in calling you ONE time with a scare tactic demand notice of 'Failure To Comply' with FTC laws and then demanding payment from them.

      Coming back and LATER justifying your tactics with 'Oh the business had been doing this for a while and had been in violation X number of times from a certain call center of the the previous year' is completely irrelevant.

      The spirit of your initial post was an easy money grab by nailing one cold caller to the wall for one simple violation.

      And as you, yourself have stated all it takes is ONE violation, from ONE individual (even an accidental input of digits into the phone or not having the 'latest' DNC list or whatever) and you can start sending out violation notices, scare letters and demanding cash payments feigning 'damages' left and right!

      If this is your business model, good for you.

      The law might be on your side but rational thinking and ethics aren't.

      The spirit of the law also isn't. This FTC ruling was intended for gross negligence multiple time offenders. Not what you were suggesting in your original post.

      Of course, I suppose when there is easy money up for grabs, every vulture in a 10 mile radius will be over to tear off a piece of meat.

      Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

      Step by step, how I just made a quick $750 from offline marketing.

      Step 1: Signed up for the FTC Do Not Call List.

      Step 2: Received unsolicited commercial sales calls.

      Step 3: Sent demand letter for violations of federal law. Minimum statutory penalty is $500 per violation which can be trebled to $1500 for willful violations. Unless there is a misdial violations are generally willful.


      .
      Originally Posted by Mwind076 View Post

      Wondering, because even though we do this for a living, we have this ONE company that I have spoken with, gotten info, have 4 numbers for, and we are on the DNC for our home numbers. It's truly annoying.
      Yeah... it's no wonder growth in the US (and worldwide) has stagnated. Every small business owner lives in fear of lawyers popping out of the woodwork at every turn for every little violation, no matter how small, and this thread is a perfect example of actually encouraging the practice.

      I suppose it's just too easy to do what everyone else does when they get a sales call they don't want - Just tell them you aren't interested.

      Lets really hammer them by first scaring the crap out of them with a legal notice and then demanding a juicy lump sum payment to make the problem 'disappear'.

      Nice.

      Anyway, nice work guys, and way to add value to society.
    • Profile picture of the author AlexCN
      Originally Posted by jacktackett View Post

      OK, for all the clueless out there, the point wasn't about how to make a quick 750,
      LMFAO

      Here is the thread title in case you missed it:

      Re: Step by Step: a Quick $750
    • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
      Originally Posted by jacktackett View Post

      OK, for all the clueless out there, the point wasn't about how to make a quick 750, Brian was trying to show yOu why you should be fully aware of the FTC rules in Internet marketing. This shows how quickly someone can hand you your ass on a silver platter for not following the rules.
      Jack
      It isn't really fair to call people clueless, simply because they lack your advanced mind reading skills. "The point", as you see it is certainly a valid lesson to take away, but what you don't seem to get is that it's not the only possible lesson. For some of us that are particularly annoyed by the ongoing problem of interruptions in our day by telemarketers who ignore the do not call list, the op's suggestion is somewhat attractive to contemplate, if nothing else, because it gives us a reason to find some value out of the years of annoying interruptions.
  • Profile picture of the author dillpgw
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  • Profile picture of the author ExRat
    Hi,

    Step by Step: a Quick $750
    Wrong forum - this should be in the parasitism discussion forum.

    Where do I send the invoice for the five minutes I just wasted on this thread?
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    • Profile picture of the author dave147
      Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

      Hi,



      Wrong forum - this should be in the parasitism discussion forum.

      Where do I send the invoice for the five minutes I just wasted on this thread?
      Just make sure you send it to the right place or you could receive a demand letter
      in violation of something
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    • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
      The difference being you chose to come here, you chose to read this thread. Conversely some put their numbers on the lawful do not call list but get called anyways by companies that choose to "WILLFULLY" ignore that law.

      Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

      Hi,



      Wrong forum - this should be in the parasitism discussion forum.

      Where do I send the invoice for the five minutes I just wasted on this thread?
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  • Profile picture of the author rondo
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  • Profile picture of the author aduttonater
    Sounds cool at first but then I figured I'd rather make $750 with ways that are more honest and rewarding. I would never want to practice business as a threat or be successful in business as a threat.
    • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
      So you think what the OP has done is dishonest in some way?

      Originally Posted by aduttonater View Post

      Sounds cool at first but then I figured I'd rather make $750 with ways that are more honest and rewarding. I would never want to practice business as a threat or be successful in business as a threat.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      OP's post ended with: Marketing lesson of the day: pay attention to those FTC rules in your marketing.

      Originally Posted by aduttonater View Post

      Sounds cool at first but then I figured I'd rather make $750 with ways that are more honest and rewarding. I would never want to practice business as a threat or be successful in business as a threat.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Sasha,

    You seemed to have missed the point of my post, or I'm missing yours. The point I was making is that Brian's post wasn't to provide a how-to lesson, but to offer a caution for marketers to ensure they are FTC compliant. The story he used was simply a convenient stage for the lesson.

    Whether there were enough details or not is secondary and incidental.
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