Step by Step: a Quick $750

by kindsvater 71 replies
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
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  • 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 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
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    • 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.
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    • 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.
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    • 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.
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    • Profile picture of the author thattaway
      And that's why Atlas eventually shrugged!
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  • 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 BamIPD
        You're a lawyer? I would think a good lawyer could probably write a better step by step guide than this.

        Try this one:

        Step 1: Become a lawyer.
        Step 2: Profit.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
        Schooled! LOL

        Originally Posted by Mwind076 View Post

        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.
        Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

        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 Greg guitar
        Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

        That's why you are you dealing with bill collectors and I'm the attorney and am $750 richer.
        I appreciate the lesson here, but due to the rather glaring omission of the fact that you're an attorney in the first post, I suspect I'm not alone in finding it incomplete for those of us whose knowledge of law is limited to news stories, fiction, and whatever legal adventures we personally may have had.

        The implied but unmentioned step before the first step of your "step by step" method to grab "a Quick $750" seems to be "get a law degree"; but had you mentioned it, it probably would have looked a bit silly to call it "quick".

        It is an interesting thread, but I would have loved to see a real step by step for a layman; I do believe a non-attorney can do this, but I suspect it wouldn't be quite as easy.

        I would love to hear you address the question of how big a role you think your attorney status played in getting your desired result. Better yet, what would you have done differently, had you not had the advantage of your attorney status?
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      • Profile picture of the author dietmtndew
        Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

        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.

        .
        If you are a lawyer, then you are a business, and DNC does not apply and they are idiots for paying you. DNC does not apply to businesses.
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        • Profile picture of the author SirThomas
          Originally Posted by dietmtndew View Post

          If you are a lawyer, then you are a business, and DNC does not apply and they are idiots for paying you. DNC does not apply to businesses.
          I don't think he said it was his office number.
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        • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
          He did say it was his 4th of July weekend, as in on his holiday.

          Originally Posted by dietmtndew View Post

          If you are a lawyer, then you are a business, and DNC does not apply and they are idiots for paying you. DNC does not apply to businesses.
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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?
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  • 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
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  • 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 Johnny12345
        Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

        This is how attorneys are able to pay so much for PPC or leads.

        [...]

        This is why legal leads can pay out huge amounts.

        [...]

        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.

        So how much is a lead worth to an attorney?

        (Since you're an attorney, it would be nice to get an opinion directly from the horse's mouth, so to speak.)

        John
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      • Profile picture of the author socialentry
        Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

        Two phone calls interrupted my July 4th holiday.
        .
        Originally Posted by Greg Guitars

        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.
        Oh, the humanity.
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        • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
          Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

          Oh, the humanity.

          Nobody is saying (as you seem to be snidely implying), that anyone suffers horribly from the annoyance of unwanted solicitation calls, but the law is the law, and obviously this one doesn't get enforced enough to constitute an effective deterrent.

          You seem to think there is no real problem; we should simply fend off all unwanted calls as usual and get on with life, which is what most of us always do anyway. But the problem is real, and although it isn't torture, it is an unwanted annoyance, a small, but ongoing unwanted expense in both time and money to people that have clearly opted out, and since violations are obviously widespread and brazen (judging by about half the responses being rude ones when politely telling solicitors about the no call list), the op did a service to all who want the law to be a real deterrent, by making it so in his case, and encouraging others to do the same. Not so hard to understand.
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      • Profile picture of the author AlphaWarrior
        Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

        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.

        .
        Maybe yes, maybe no!

        In my state, the Supreme Court has declared that CPA offers are fee sharing and have warned attorneys to stay away from them.

        Also, and I believe that this is true in any state that follows the model rules of professional responsibility, there are very strict rules concerning lawyer solicitations and lawyers initiating contact with prospective clients.

        This is why a lot of marketers have a lot of difficulty trying to sell leads to lawyers.

        As to your original post, I bet that your demand letter was sent on your firm's letterhead. It is one thing for a business to get a letter from a lawyer and another to get a letter from an individual.

        I do not know of a single attorney who would accept a contingency fee to send a demand letter based on an unsolicited phone call. I know lawyers that will send the letter for a fee, but then the client is paying the money and might not get anything in return.

        Bottom line is that you are in a position to make the claim without investing anything more than your time and the price of a forever stamp. Non-lawyers are not is the same position.
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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.
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    • 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.
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  • Profile picture of the author hbhanot
    What is going on here? What kind of method it is? LOL
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  • 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.
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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.
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      • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
        Originally Posted by AlexCN View Post

        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 feining '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.





        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.
        Yes the banksters who defrauded people on a scale unprecedented in the history of the world, and got away with it (not one arrest, and all the players still playing with everyone's money), had nothing to do with the sorry state of the world economy; it was all the fault of people who stand up for their right to opt out of the incessant unwanted solicitation calls. Nobody in business dares to do any marketing; yup, that explains everything...well...except the dozens of unwanted calls many of us who are on the do not call list, still receive.

        Not one person in ten thousand probably ever does this, which of course makes it ridiculous to posit it as a cause of major economic woes. It's ridiculous aside from that as well; any economy can do fine without the aid of illegal telemarketing. In fact, there are so many avenues for marketing, aside from the phones of people on do not call lists, you could take ten away and still have more channels of marketing than any one business will ever get around to using.

        Regarding the sarcastic comment about adding "value to society", if more people actually did something like the op about this problem of unwanted solicitations continually demanding the attention of anyone who owns a phone, it certainly would add value to society, for those that value having control over the phone and airtime they paid for.
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      • Profile picture of the author joshb84
        Originally Posted by AlexCN View Post

        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.
        I may not be the smartest apple in the tree but...... You said this and quoted his original post....

        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.

        .
        I kinda read Received unsolicited commercial sales calls in the initial post..... That kinda sounds plural to me. Calls = more than one if you didn't know.

        Basing this all off the initial post.
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    • 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
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      • Profile picture of the author DABK
        You are adding the idea of gain. As it's written, loss could be attached just as easily.

        And, at the end of the post, there's a lesson about how not to incur such a quick loss.

        Yes, reading the title alone gave me the idea of quick gain. So did the step-by-step instructions.

        But the post did not stop there. There's a clearly-made point about not losing money because of one, easily avoided mistake.

        Originally Posted by AlexCN View Post

        LMFAO

        Here is the thread title in case you missed it:

        Re: Step by Step: a Quick $750
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    • 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.
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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 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.
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    • 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
        Originally Posted by AlexCN View Post

        LMFAO

        Here is the thread title in case you missed it:

        Re: Step by Step: a Quick $750

        Got your attention, didn't it? That's part of marketing. But what were his final words?

        Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

        Marketing lesson of the day: pay attention to those FTC rules in your marketing.
        The step-by-step story was to set up the lesson. The lack of details in the OP is an enormous clue that the post wasn't about how, but about why.
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        • Profile picture of the author SashaLee
          Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

          The lack of details in the OP is an enormous clue that the post wasn't about how, but about why.
          Hi there,

          You really don't need more detail. It's a very simple method that was used by many of our clients when junk-faxing was all the rage in America.

          They would take the fax, attach it to a demand letter and request $1,500 from the offending sender. If the offending sender told the to go to youknowwhere, they sued in their local courthouse and usually were awarded $1,500.00. That happened in about 30% of their cases.

          The rest of their cases, the offender settled - for amounts that varied but never less than $500. That was about $400 profit for the letter sender.

          This was all brought about by the TCPA in America. We salivated in the hope something similar would be brought to pass in Europe.

          All the best,

          Sasha.
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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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    Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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  • Profile picture of the author socialentry
    Nothing wrong with scaring the poop out of people to promote your signature but he could have stuck around to answer questions.
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  • Profile picture of the author trevstar22
    Those of you who were annoyed by this post will probably NOT
    want to know about the guy who sued sucessfully a number of times
    for getting junk emails :-)
    Have to see if I can find that link.
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  • Profile picture of the author smsagent
    I like the OP's story. I'd like it even more if it I thought it was true.
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  • Yes if you don't follow these people's law... You will get slapped every time!
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  • Like everyone else, I get solicitation calls several times a week at this point.

    What I am noticing from my end is more and more of these calls are automated robo-calls.

    Not too sure what to do with those.

    LLS
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  • Automated calls just end up making your prospect angry. You want to make sure you are on the othere end so that you actually control the situation!
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by JohnJMJKEnterprises View Post

      Automated calls just end up making your prospect angry. You want to make sure you are on the othere end so that you actually control the situation!
      Agreed--I will never use robo calls and there is no substitute for talking to a prospect.

      Eventually, no matter how hard you try to hide, you will have to talk to someone.
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      • Profile picture of the author socialentry
        Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

        Agreed--I will never use robo calls and there is no substitute for talking to a prospect.

        Eventually, no matter how hard you try to hide, you will have to talk to someone.
        But what if we achieve technological singularity?
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  • Profile picture of the author TomBuck
    My opinion, this seems harsh. Not illegal or dishonest or anything just HARSH
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  • Profile picture of the author ken5000
    You are a very clever lawyer. But don't you feel guilty at all straining $750 out of someone because they called you when they weren't supposed to? Hmm.. I kind of feel sorry for the other guy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Marc Rodill
      Originally Posted by ken5000 View Post

      But don't you feel guilty at all straining $750 out of someone because they called you when they weren't supposed to?
      That's funny. Lawyer jokes come to mind.
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    • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
      Originally Posted by ken5000 View Post

      You are a very clever lawyer. But don't you feel guilty at all straining $750 out of someone because they called you when they weren't supposed to? Hmm.. I kind of feel sorry for the other guy.
      You feel sorry for someone that felt is was okay to break the law and expect to get away with it?

      Really? :confused:

      Do you think the OP is the only one they called?

      If not, then that means that they repeatedly broke the law.
      If I speed over and over.... but eventually get a ticket... will you feel sorry for me? I know I repeatedly broke the law, but when I got caught, I had to pay a fine.... :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author domainarama
    1. If all it takes is two people, wouldn't it be easy to gather up a "class" and go for the big class-action bucks, instead of the measly $750?

    1a. or you can search for a class action lawyer who can stir the pot.

    2. The money you get from the caller is law-suit settlement money, in essence. That does not have to be reported as income, far as I know.

    3. What goes for landline spam calls also goes for cellphone spam texts, right? I sure get lotsa them.

    4. I received a call from a company which refused to give me their address. But they gave me a website. It's easy to find website owner's address etc if the owner does not know how to hide this info.

    5. In case your spam caller does not give their address you can try looking on the net in various places, such as Spamchecker(dot)com
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  • Profile picture of the author IMBlest
    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.

    .
    @Kindsvater:

    Was the telemarketer calling you personally (as a consumer) or calling your office?

    If the telemarketer was calling you as owner of your law practice, how were you able to get money from them?

    I thought that calls to businesses are exempt from the DNC law?

    Please correct me if I'm wrong!

    Thank you.
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  • Profile picture of the author aharrold
    So let me get this straight, you are trolling around filing frivolous lawsuits on people that are trying to make an honest living? A contractor? Really? Yeah, if they called you nonstop day after day then go after them, but seriously? This is what is wrong with this country and it is undermining the values of capitalism and a free market; no, taking -stealing- money from these people is not capitalistic in my eyes.
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  • Profile picture of the author domainarama
    I've tried to do the 'demand letter' thing on two of the many spam phone callers who bother me. It didn't work.

    1) spam caller technology hides the originating phone number

    2) During the phone call or discussion with the agent a website was mentioned.

    3) I sent certified letters to the addresses listed on WhoIs as the owners' addresses. The letters got returned undelivered, which might mean the addresses listed for the website owners are fake. I guess it's possible to file some sort of complaint with WhoIs about fake address. But I can't see how that will help anyone.
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    • Profile picture of the author AlphaWarrior
      Originally Posted by domainarama View Post

      I've tried to do the 'demand letter' thing on two of the many spam phone callers who bother me. It didn't work.

      1) spam caller technology hides the originating phone number

      2) During the phone call or discussion with the agent a website was mentioned.

      3) I sent certified letters to the addresses listed on WhoIs as the owners' addresses. The letters got returned undelivered, which might mean the addresses listed for the website owners are fake. I guess it's possible to file some sort of complaint with WhoIs about fake address. But I can't see how that will help anyone.
      I would expect every non-lawyer to get exactly the same results that you got.

      The op is a lawyer. He knows the appropriate legaleze and he used his law firm's letterhead. When the company's lawyer called, he/she knew that they were dealing with a lawyer.

      The op situation is not the typical person's situation and it is misleading to think that it is.
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  • Profile picture of the author koubain
    Very nice hack
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