A few weeks ago, CBC Montreal came out with a story about a local telemarketing company that was being accused of defrauding small businesses by selling them things they didn’t want by phone. In fact, criminal charges were laid last year against the company and others, accusing them of telemarketing fraud.
The CBC story was that despite these charges, the company, called Express Transaction Services Inc., continues to operate (though it told CBC that it would soon shut down for financial reasons). It included some testimonials from people who said the company sent them dramatically overpriced office supplies they never ordered. None of this has yet been proven in court.
What’s interesting here is what happened next. ETS responded by setting up a blog and posting recordings and transcripts of the phone calls between ETS and these supposed clients.
From the perspective of ETS, these recordings prove that the items were indeed ordered by these businesses. But of course they show nothing of the sort. Instead, they read like a textbook for deceptive telemarketing. The calls originate from ETS and ask about shipping addresses, referring to previous conversations in which the goods were supposedly ordered. The operator then tells the client the goods will be shipped, and if the response isn’t angry outrage, they consider the deal closed.
I posted a comment on the first post asking about these conversations the calls refer to at the beginning, in which the clients supposedly talked to someone else at ETS (different people, all with no last name) and made orders for these overpriced goods. Weeks later, no response.
This method of pushy telemarketing – calling up businesses and asking some secretary boring questions about shipping addresses and pretending “okay” means they’ve ordered a good they never asked for – has been around for years. What’s astonishing is that ETS seems to actually think that these recordings will convince the public that they’re the victims here, that the clients actually requested the goods they were delivered, and that their telemarketing practices aren’t deceptive or fraudulent.
If you believe that, I have some way overpriced cash register printer paper to sell you.
This d***head Eric Chenail mentioned in the CBC piece has been pulling this scam since AT LEAST 2005 using different company names. Here’s a Pulse (oops, meant CFCF-12) report from 2009. His name is mentioned toward the bottom of the story.
And the WORST thing these idiots could have done, if they’re trying to avoid bad PR, is start a blog. They should Google “Streisand Effect”.
With your permission, I’d like to send this link out to several US skeptic and consumer activist “citizen journalists” blogs. They eat this stuff up. That’ll help spread the word about these criminals.