Shameless Scammery

Three times now, three, I have received calls from a service claiming that the warranty on my vehicle might be set to expire. The call is placed by an autonamted service that plays a recorded message warning of the potential peril you could face from having your warranty expire, and you are presented with the option of speaking with an agent. So, of course, I chose to speak to the agent.

To begin with, the calls are placed from a number in the 416. There is no name on caller ID, and the automated message does not identify the company that you are being contacted by, either. When you speak to the agent, you are not greeted with the name of the company, you are instead immediately asked for some personal information so that they “can direct you to the appropriate department.”

Before I go any further, yes, I knew it was a scam.

The first conversation went something like this:

Caller: “I will need to begin by asking you for a few pieces of information so that I can direct you to the appropriate department. Can I begin by asking your name?”

Me: “No, but you can start by telling me what company this is that’s calling me.”

Caller: “This is National Warranty Services, if you can just…”

Me: “No, I cannot. What car is this of mine that you are claiming might have an expired warranty?”

Caller: “In order to tell you that, I will need to get some information from you.”

Me: “You called me. What car is this of mine that you are claiming might have an expired warranty”

Caller: “Sir, if you are not interested in our service I can…”

Me: “I am interested in knowing who you are and which car you are claiming is without a valid warranty, since my car is both new and has a warranty.”

Caller “… place your number on a do not call list, I have your number listed as…”

Me: “Which car is it that you have contacted me about claiming that my warranty may be expiring?”
Caller: “… have a nice evening.”

Now, if I look up anything resembling “National Warranty Sales” on the universal oracle (Google, for you heathens,) I can find companies such as National Warranty Corp, with a staff of less than 5, or First National Warranty, a slightly larger company of 52 employees. I don’t know which of these, if any, are responsible for the calls I have been getting, but the obvious conclusion to be drawn from this is that there are an abundance of companies using means not unlike this one’s in trying to part people from their cash.

Despite the fact that I am special in all things, in this instance I am not unusually special.

It would seem that others have been plagued by the same problem. Throwing the phone number into the universal oracle, I find forums where other people have posted about the same phone calls.

What bothers me more than the call itself is that there is some living, breathing person out there in telemarketer land manning the lines to sell this scam to people who pres ‘1.’ I’m not so delusional as to think that you choose your job according to a strict set of ethics and personal preferences, but anybody with a conscience and self-respect greater than that of toilet mould should, for a fleeting moment, fell pretty terrible about themselves for earning a wage from something like this.

Being the cynical bastard that I am, I know that the greater part of humanity is more concerned with themselves than they are with anyone else, so I’m not entirely suprised that people choose to work for companies such as this despite the fact that they know full well that they are working for, at best, a quasi-legal leech. After all, there is a segment of of population that ranks along with the inflamed anuses that create computer viruses and spam that actually take pride in the fact that they are irritating, because they are profiting from it.

The Better Business Bureau in the US has a bulletin warning against the scam.

“As an outgrowth of our country’s economic troubles, and to some extent problems in the auto industry, BBB is hearing from consumers nationwide who are being bombarded by telemarketers and mailers trying to scare them into thinking their auto warranty is about to expire and if they don’t sign-up now the offer expires,” said Steve Cox, BBB spokesperson. “Not only are these telemarketers lying about the consumer’s coverage, they are potentially ignoring federal laws such as the Do-Not-Call registry.”

What is one of the suggestions for how to handle these calls?

Consumers can place their phone number on the federal do not call list by visiting www.donotcall.gov. If the consumer is already on the list but continues to receive telemarketing calls, he or she can use the same Web site to report the incident to the FTC.

But, didn’t they just say that they know that people are being called, wether they are on the do not call list or not?

Remember my post about the writer who was discovered to have fraudulently claimed his story of meeting his wife in a concentration camp was true? Another scam, and another individual who is completely unrepentant. According to Yahoo! News, the author has claimed:

“It wasn’t a lie,” he said during a taped segment aired Wednesday. “It was my imagination, and in my mind, I believed it. Even now, I believe it.”

So, let me get this straight, you old moron, first you claim it’s a true story, then you admit it didn’t happen like that, now you claim it isn’t a lie because you believe it?

Compounding this dearth of stupidity is the fact that Oprah still has not removed it from her list of “Love Lessons from Amazing Couples” on her web site!

At what point will people get sick enough of this that they finally fire back? At every turn we’re being sold to, and we’re willing to accept that fact despite the fact without real complaint despite the fact that the methods employed, and the goods on sale, are unethical.

And don’t look at me funny because I suggested that we’re being sold to; in both instances described above, we are being sold something. The warranty scam is the selling of security, and so is the Oprah Book Club fraud. People want to seel safe and protected and secure, and are willing to pay money and time to anything that gives them the illusion that they are being protected. A warranty from a shady telemarketing company? Who in their right fucking mind would buy something so important as a warranty for a car from some nameless voice on the other end of the phone? But having that warranty will make you feel secure, even if the quality and integrity of the warranty is questionable, at best.

What about the old fraud and his lie that isn’t a lie? That’s the security of hop that he’s selling. His story sells the idea that in an imperfect world where terrible disasters hapen all the time, beautiful things can come from the most terrible circumstances. Only they didn’t, in this story. It was all made up.

The lesson learned from these scams? There is always at least one more reason to hate the things that come out of Toronto and Oprah. May they both burn.

Addendum
CJOH news had a piece about the warranty scam, which means I beat the local professional media to the punch. Fine, my coverage was far less insightful and professional, but I think there was a fair bit of artistry in “inflamed anuses.”
Take that CJOH!

They did, however, identify the culprits of the phone calls as “Canadian Auto Warranty Services.” They claim to not know that they are calling people who, in some cases, don’t even own cars. I still suspect a scam. My hundred of readers should take the opportunity to mass email their disgust to CAWS… Okay, if I had hundreds of readers.



Bibli-blography

Yahoo! News: “Author of fake Holocaust story is not sorry, says in his mind he believed it “

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