The Consumerist and Noodles has a nice little overview of the FTC case against Instant Response Systems. If you’ve gotten telemarketing calls, you might have gotten this one. That call from some company (quote possibly a RoboCall) for an alert pendant that you wear, so you can press a button if you’ve fallen and can’t… stand on your own. I don’t know if it was Instant Response Systems, but it could have been. I’ve gotten several calls like this, too, and maybe 1 or 2 was them, or at least someone like them. There’s a lot of reports on 800Notes.com about this type of telemarketing call.
Instant Response Systems is getting hit with a $3.4 Million dollar judgement. According to the judgement, they were sending people alert systems they didn’t order or understand they were ordering. And being pretty much jerks in dealing with customers that didn’t want the devices. The judgement is pretty clear that with all that fancy telemarketing equipment, they failed to demonstrate that the plaintiffs ordered anything. You’d think they would have recorded the phone calls, since most call centers have that capability.
Frankly, I think they will declare bankruptcy and reinvent themselves as a new “different” company. Why do I state this opinion? Partly due to one quote in the Consumerist article:
Jason Abraham, the man behind Instant Response, was already subject to a permanent injunction by a federal court in 2003 that banned him from making material misrepresentations in the sale of any goods or services.
Hmm… So this wasn’t his first trip to the rodeo.
This is another good reason to take one of our hints to never use the word “Yes” when talking with a Telemarketer, and never to give them any valid information. For something like this, you can give them a fake name and such, but don’t give them any kind of address they can ship something to. They will try to claim you ordered it – and Instant Response Systems might file a police report against you (See Page 4 of the Judgement). As of the date of this article, it seems like a similar thing is going on with “Free Diabetic Meters”. So keep vigilant.
This is why I believe that Tormenting Telemarketers is a form a public service. While they are talking to you, they aren’t scamming on the elderly or other susceptible people. With the millions of calls they make – talking to the ‘customer’ is their weakest point.