Telemarketers Prank Call Me - 800-266-9420
Almost immediately after receiving my new VISA card in the mail, I began receiving calls from a number that showed up on my caller ID as 800-266-9420. The first few times, when I answered the calls, there was that weird mechanical pause, the one that tells you that the computer is alerting the telemarketing rep that they've got a live one. I waited patiently, and asked the telemarketer on the other end to tell me how they got my number.
They inevitably claimed to be calling on behalf of VISA. They couldn't tell me which VISA card they were talking about. At one point, I claimed not to have a VISA card at all, to which the rep responded "I don't care" and continued babbling from his script about all the rewards that I could earn, if I'd just keep listening to him babble.
I hung up.
The Pranking Begins
A couple of days later, I began receiving phone calls at the rate of four or five per day from 800-266-9420. When I would pick up, ready to give the telemarketer and earful about my number's presence on the Do Not Call list, they would hang up on me.
I'm not sure if it was retaliation for sure, but it sure felt like it. I had already rebuffed their unwelcome and unsolicited advances several times. And now they were calling at odd hours, in meetings. But they never said a word. The computer waited for my hello, and would then connect to a person (I could hear them breathing) and fnally, they would hang up.
I tried calling them back at the number appearing on my caller ID, but only got a busy signal.
I'm not alone in this experience. Go ahead and Google the phone number and you'll find all kinds of rants about it. I wouldn't even be blogging about it, except it started happening to a couple of friends the other day, so I thought I'd go ahead a post a little sum-sump'n on how to get them to stop.
Make It Stop!
If this is happening to you, first of all, I'm sorry.
Fortunately, someone at Who Called has done some sleuthing, and they discovered the number at which the company's managers can be reached.
When you call, they will answer with "Corporate", but the name of the company is allegedly "Platinum Rewards". I called and explained my situation, and the manager (Roxanne?) apologized and claimed that a computer glitch had caused the repeated calling and hang-ups. She also blamed it on young, inexperienced employees, but I seriously doubt that this is the case. I've had a lot of spam-type calls over the years, and none of them have hung up on me AFTER I've said "Hello? Hello? Oh, god, is this one of those stupid...."
The managers all seems quite nice, and if you want them to stop calling you, I recommend just calmly explaining your situation to them. Keep in mind that your information was given to them without your permission. Since I've called, I've been phone spam free.
It's hard to know how they get your number. I was initally convinced that VISA had sold them my info, but the manager that I spoke to told me that they received the info from "usage" meaning that a third party, such as a hotel that I had stayed at, had sold them the information.
That doesn't mean that I'm not filing a complaint against the company with the BBB of Clearwater, FL.
18586 US-19 N
Clearwater, FL 33764
I emailed Ben at Consumerist and he mentioned that filing a complaint with the Do Not Call site is also an option, although you have to have been on the list for 31 days before you can file.