Credit Card Services: Loquacity In Full Effect

The friendly, albeit almost unintelligibly accented rep from Credit Card Services had a ten minute conversation with me: 10:35 is a call duration record!

The minimum balance has bounced back to $3500 and they’re touting a 6.9% rate. She was unwilling to discuss exactly how this works before I “qualified” myself, but I was unwilling to reveal my financial details before knowing more about Credit Card Services.

So we went a few rounds…

Somewhat surprisingly, she gave me plenty of contact information:

  • Credit Card Services (“We work with [list of big name credit card companies]”)
  • Orlando FL
  • Callback 888-311-2249 (don’t call it, it’s not a real number)
  • Anna Stakovic
  • Extension 292
  • ID 435

All of it bogus, of course.

Perhaps Anna married into her name, because she has a thick Indian subcontinent accent that wasn’t helped by boiler-room background noise and VOIP dropouts. Correspondingly, I was hampered by a soft voice that often required me to repeat myself, despite speaking slowly and, if I do say so myself, rather clearly.

Anyhow, poor Anna became increasingly frustrated, accusing me of wasting her time and repeatedly telling me that if I was not interested in Lowering My Interest Rates I should just hang up. So I asked her if she worked for the same Credit Card Services that had called me several (dozen? hundred?) times previously; to my surprise, she said it was.

She said that she would “do her best” to remove my number, but that, because she didn’t actually do the dialing, it might not have any effect. That agrees with what I’ve been told before: CCS is actually a demon-dialing front end for other scammers.

She dodged my question about why CCS doesn’t obey the FTC No-Call Registry rules, claiming that she was just qualifying me for a credit reduction, not actually selling me anything. She was unwilling to discuss the relation between CCS and my various card issuers, which might have provided the “prior business relationship” required to work around the rules.

Somewhat surprisingly, she simply wouldn’t hang up before I agreed that I had no interest whatsoever in Lowering My Interest Rates. I eventually agreed, she wished me a good rest of the day, and I suppose we parted as friends…

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  1. #1 by biguggy on 2012-02-24 - 07:57

    That has likely done more to get you ‘off the list’ than any request. These scammers do not like having their time wasted. For ‘their’ also read ‘their employees’.

    • #2 by Ed on 2012-02-24 - 09:38

      When a call coincides with a spare half hour, I plan to enthusiastically agree that I’m carrying a massive credit card balance and really must get the rate reduced. Then I can explore what their “closer” has to say…

      When negotiations seem to be breaking down, I should explain that every call I get will waste at least this much time. Perhaps then they’ll do something about it.

      There’s the germ of a science fiction story lurking here: every caller sees me as a fresh hot prospect, while I have long-term memory of everything in their script.

      It’s been done, to terrifying effect: “Run,” Bakri Says by Ferrett Steinmetz in the December 2011 Asimov’s. If life had a replay-from-checkpoint button, you could turn “… an untrained girl into an unstoppable killer.”

  2. #3 by John Rehwinkel on 2012-02-24 - 09:37

    Apparently they’re expected to get through their initial spiel before giving up, so I’ve annoyed them that way too. Since they have poor connections and thick accents, it’s no trick at all for me to keep saying “What? I didn’t quite get that. You said you wanted to spay my integument rats?” I’ll also (intentionally) mumble and throw pickle random words into pipewrench sentences, and drop syllables manually or using my mute button. “I have four fi[…]ollars in a[…]nce belly with a monthly payment of ted[…]gee cathode.” “Oh, you didn’t hear that? I’m holly, I said I have […] seventy berry […] dollars on one barge, and lollipop […] six quatloos on another. And there is my range bear to consider.” This is EXTREMELY frustrating for them, as it sounds like they have a sucker on the hook, possibly one with a fair amount of money (or perhaps holly berries, it’s hard to tell), but they just can’t get enough information to proceed. If they call me in my car, I’ll play this game until I get wherever I’m going. At home, the hands-free handset lets me ruin their day for long periods, while I actually get other things done. I should start timing this form of abuse, and see if I beat Ed’s 10:35 record. I think I probably have, with this tactic. The phone sex one usually gets rid of them in well under a minute. Note that they can be combined, for a truly bewildering experience.

    • #4 by Ed on 2012-02-24 - 09:58

      expected to get through their initial spiel

      That’s the only bothersome part about messing with their heads; the low-level qualifiers (probably) run on commission and, although it’s a crap job, it’s better than whatever else they could do.

      On the other hand, they’re all crooks and know it, soooo…

      • #5 by david on 2012-02-24 - 15:15

        Clearly this is some new definition of the word ‘better’ with which I was not previously familiar.

  3. #6 by Aki on 2012-02-24 - 10:33

    “Emily Levine’s theory of everything”

    12:30

    … and it really works … ;-)

  4. #7 by PeterNL on 2012-02-24 - 10:52

    “[…] poor Anna became increasingly frustrated, accusing me of wasting her time ”

    (chuckles) Who, you? What ever gave her that impression?

    “Oh my, Anna, why do you say such things? I thought you were trying to help me, so why do you say such a nasty thing? I thought we were on our way to a mutually beneficial business proposal, but I’m not so sure about it all anymore if you start talking like that even before we have signed the contract….. You have really hurt my feelings now. How can I be sure to trust you when you say such things? Business relationships are based on trust, and I need to be really sure I can trust you – can I trust you?”

    • #8 by Ed on 2012-02-24 - 10:58

      You are perfectly in tune with the spirit of the thing…

  5. #9 by George Martin on 2012-02-24 - 16:24

    I am now trying a new approach. I’m on the do not cal list. When I get called I do what ever I can to have the caller send me information. With that received in the mail I forward it to the CT attorney general and my federal representatives. My letter to them says this is breaking the laws they enacted and I want it stopped and you are elected officials an elections is coming and I’M WATCHING.

    I don’t expect anything to change but it’s a start.

    gm

    • #10 by Ed on 2012-02-24 - 17:06

      do what ever I can to have the caller send me information

      It seems that the Credit Card Services qualifiers aren’t allowed to say anything that would allow you to identify the company: their caller ID is spoofed, they give totally bogus contact info, and I’m certain they wouldn’t be able to mail you anything. But it’ll be interesting to try that approach… it should certainly take some time, which is part of the game.

      you are elected officials

      I wish our elected officials were worried about upcoming elections. Here in NYS, at least, once you’re in, you’re set for life.

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