The Better Business Bureau of Acadiana receives
thousands of phone calls and emails each month, with many of them concerning
telemarketing or direct mail of some sort. Not all telemarketing is bogus or a
fraud; many legitimate businesses
make sales presentations over the phone.
The Direct Marketing Association — a trade
association for businesses and nonprofit organizations that send direct mail —
wants to advance and protect the responsible use of data-driven marketing
wherever it is practiced, in the U.S. and around the world.
DMA member companies must follow the DMA member
guidelines, including honoring a consumer’s request to be removed from future
According to the company last year, more than 70 percent of
Americans shopped direct. More than 80 percent of U.S. households read some or
all of their advertising mail. And nonprofit organizations raised nearly $200
billion from generous donors through direct mail.
Direct mail is only successful if you’re
interested in the types of mail you’re receiving. The company provides “DMAchoice”
to help you get more of the mail you want and less of what you don’t. For more
information go to dmachoice.org.
Lately, we have been receiving numerous calls
concerning a telemarketing “pitch” concerning the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles. The Better Business Bureau of
Acadiana is warning residents of the telephone marketing scheme from callers
claiming to be from the state agency.
BBB has received several calls from consumers as
well as two local insurance agencies on the calls, which are originating from
an Internet (VOIP) phone number that consumers report is originating from New
Some consumers have reported the callers claim to
be from the “Insurance Placement Center” after claiming affiliation with the
Office of Motor Vehicles
One local insurance agency reported Friday that
their customers are also being told that their premiums are past due and the
callers are requesting financial information.
This telephone call is not affiliated with the
Office of Motor Vehicles or the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and
The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles does
require residents have vehicles insured before completing many transactions but
does not call anyone to offer assistance with lower insurance rates.
BBB is recommending that consumers receiving this
call ask to be removed from their call list and not provide any personal information such as addresses,
alternate phone numbers, banking information or driver’s license numbers.
is currently no sure way for consumers to stop these calls, Better Business Bureau recommends:
your number to yourself. Any time you divulge your telephone number to a
retailer, financial institution or other business, it is a tacit invitation for
them to call that number or sell it to a third party.
law, telemarketers must tell you if it’s a sales call, the name of the seller
and what they are selling before they make their pitch. It’s illegal for
telemarketers to misrepresent any information or facts about their goods or
services. Unfortunately unscrupulous business frequently do not follow the law.
up right away. Recorded marketing (robo) calls typically begin with a second or
two of silence. There is nothing to gain from attempting to reason with the
people behind the calls.
with your telephone provider to see if it can provide free blocking services
for annoying telemarketing calls. Unfortunately, the telephone number displayed
on caller ID may not always be legitimate. It may be spoofed or cloned by the
the call is a recording, do not press 1 or any other numerals to “get yourself
off the list.” By pressing a number, you are confirming that someone is
actually responding to the call and you will likely receive more of them and it
is possible that name will be sold to other telemarketing companies.
registering your home and cellphone numbers with the National Do Not Call
Registry. The web address is donotcall.gov and the phone number is
with Trust®. Check with the BBB before doing business.
The BBB of Acadiana
works for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful
advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses.
The BBB of Acadiana
services the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, St.
Landry and Vermilion.
residents can now have BBB information in the palm of their hand with the
official BBB Search app, a convenient, mobile BBB solution available for the
iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The app can be found at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bbb-search-find-local-businesses/id440014505?mt=8.
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