Card Holder Services – Harassment and Push Back

Have they called you yet? An auto-dialer service run by Card Holder Services calls my business frequently. We’ve pressed 2 to be removed but they have yet to honour that request. That frustrates me and my employees.

We’ve come up with a new policy for handling unsolicited auto-dialer calls. Keep them on the phone as long as possible.

These auto-dialers are designed to shave pennies off of each call that is made as a large list of numbers are processed. They can make contact, wait for ringing and provide the announcement – a 20 second operation – without human involvement. When there are hundreds of calls per hour this adds up to saving lots of expensive human time.

Most of these call-centres are using a VoIP solution. We’ve configured a few centres like this for political action groups using Linux workstations (Ubuntu), Asterisk servers (Gentoo), Ekiga or Twinkle and a USB head-set. You can even use a centralised VoIP provider in place of Asterisk depending on your needs. We don’t support auto-dialer! Just human-only volunteer based. But, I digress.

These VoIP services simply charge by the minute and call-centres love that. Only paying for minutes consumed. The auto-dialer can hang up quickly on a no-answer saving pennies and keeps all initial contact under a minute – also saving pennies per call on hundreds of calls (or more) per hour.

As indicated before pressing 2 to be removed from the list has not succeeded. The only other alternative is to make this call more expensive for the solicitor. How is this done?

When a call from one of these auto-dialed solicitations comes in let the message play for as long as possible, the goal is to get the call to be as long as possible.

Accept the offer! This will place you in a queue for a human interaction. You may have to wait but it costs them for the time on hold. Once you get a human that time is even more expensive (human labour is not cheap)

When the human comes on work through the process (give fake information) and keep them on until they recognise this as a joke.

Try to beat our record of seven minutes!

For this to work this properly use a phone that is a flat rate (such as Comast or Vonage) that way it won’t cost you.

Also be prepared for some push back from the solicitor. They have cursed at us and may curse at you as well. This requires a thick skin.

Good luck! If we pull together we can turn auto-dialer phone solicitation into an expensive operation once again!