The Motley Fool Discussion Boards

Previous Page

Personal Finances / Credit Cards and Consumer Debt


Subject:  Re: Providian Date:  5/6/1998  2:23 AM
Author:  TMFCheeze Number:  1374 of 312185

HERE IS WHERE THE WARNING KICKS IN....Ever since that time (early March) I have been harassed by telemarketers from that company. I am talking at least once per week, sometimes two and three times. I have informed them every time they have called that my account is closed, and asked to be put on a "no call" list. The all-time topper was a Providian telemarketer who called on a Sunday afternoon THREE TIMES IN FIVE MINUTES trying to get my husband to open an account. I was so angry over that episode that I wrote a complaint letter to Providian management. I received a written apology from their director of customer communications and assurances that I am now on their "do not solicit" list.

Guess what....their solicitors haven't got the message yet. To date, I have received two additional mailings and three more telemarketing calls.

Here's what you do...

There is a law called the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Keep a log of every time this company calls you. When they call, get the name of the person who is calling you, the purpose of their call, their affiliation with the company, and note the time and the date of the call. Also, explain to them every time they call in no uncertain terms that you are not interested in their business and that they must remove your name from their lists under the provisions of this law immediately. If the calls continue, go ahead and file a claim in small claims court under this law. $750 per violation (that is, for each call) is not out of line for your damage claim.

Also, hang on to that letter of apology! It'll make a beautiful Exhibit A.

I did this very thing myself a couple of years ago, and the company settled with me out of court for an impressive sum. Not enough to buy a car, but enough for three or four television sets. ;-) I am unable to mention the exact amount of the settlement or the name of the company in question because the terms of the deal preclude me from saying so. But it was a household name that all of you would recognize in an instant.

One catch in the law is that you cannot be a client or customer of the company in question to bring suit, so make clear to them that you have cancelled all your accounts and are categorically uninterested in doing business with them ever again.

Sweet revenge against telemarketers... the beauty is, any intelligent company will settle this kind of case out of court, because the hassle of going to trial over such (to them) petty matters is worth the payoff. But the real beauty is that since I asserted my rights, I now receive almost no telemarketing calls from anyone.

A nuisance suit? Maybe. But to me that seems poetic justice against the interminable nuisance of telemarketing.

Copyright 1996-2018 trademark and the "Fool" logo is a trademark of The Motley Fool, Inc. Contact Us