Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Telemarketer CTC Marketing takes over where Guardian Communications left off

231 224 2054 (CTC Marketing) illegal survey from
United Public Opinion Group.
Robert Johnson pres.
110 West 9th. Street Room 934
Wilmington, DE 19801.
302 661 1390 (Disc)
Call offers two free cruise tickets for answering ten questions. Many calls in violation of DNC laws in US and Canada.

231 224 2050 (Fremont MI / CTC Marketing) Pre-recorded calls about saving money on credit card interest rates. The operator would only say Accounts Management when I asked the name of the company. He said it was in the "DSW Area" Texas. He hung up when I asked for an address.

Still looking for information on CTC Marketing. It may be a fake name. It is definitely not the CTC marketing (Coast To Coast) that sells insurance in Michigan. If you have any info. on this company please post.

They also use 231 224 2056, 231 224 2058, 231 224 2057, 231 224 2053, 231 224 2051, 616 980 2196, 616 980 2188, 231 224 2055, 616 980 2191, 702 481 0998, 803 477 0543, 302 290 5165

Report all illegal calls to your Attorney General and the FTC.

Posted at

2007-04-18 The Real Deal

Here's the low-down folks: The calls are coming from a group called "Answering Solutions." They have been employed by United Public Opinion Group to do market analysis, what they call "demographic review." They claim that those of you who have not received your boarding passes were just part of the unfortunate few whose contact information was entered incorrectly, or perhaps their phone system accidently dropped your call while you were on the line. By the way, the big "cruise" you were lured by in completing the survey is only a two-day cruise, and it will actually cost you $59. I also learned that someone would probably contact you in order to get you to upgrade your vacation should you actually ever receive passes - another scam.

I was actually able to speak to the supervisor at the Answering Solutions call center. His number is (407) 695-4827. He did give me the home office address for United Public Opinion Group. It is 110 W. Ninth St. Room 934, Wilmington, DE 19801. He did not have a number for United Public Opinion Group, but I was able to locate one by calling information once I found out where they were located. Their number is (302) 661-1390. Ask for extension #226 to have your name placed on their "Do Not Call" list.

What these folks are doing is illegal and someone needs to expose them. Many of us are on the "Do Not Call" list, yet this group continues to phish info from us against our wishes. This needs to be stopped - I plan on contacting the authorities.
Posted at

What Is Research? : Differences Between Research and Sales

While both the research industry and sales-related industries use the same mediums to conduct their business (i.e. telephone, mail, internet, email), there are some important differences.

Sales-related industries want to sell you something
A survey researcher simply wants to ask your opinion
Selling, in any form, is different than survey research. Whether conducted by telephone, by mail, by fax or via the internet, sales-related activities are not survey research. The purpose of a sales call, email, fax or mail solicitation is to encourage members of the public to purchase a good or service. Conversely, the purpose of research (in any form - via telephone, mail, in-person interview, door-to-door, mall or focus group) is to gather information and opinions from members of the public to measure public opinions of products and services or social and political issues. Occasionally, survey research companies will offer a gift to the respondent in appreciation of his or her cooperation. Such a gift could be a cash donation to a charity, a product sample, or a nominal monetary award. But, sales or solicitation is not acceptable or permitted in legitimate and professionally conducted survey research. In fact, if a survey research company attempts to sell anything while conducting survey research, they would be in violation of applicable research industry Codes and Standards, and if conducted via telephone would violate federal law (the Telemarketing Sales Rule).

Laws Pertaining to the Sales-Related Industries
Sales-related contacts are designed to sell you something, while survey researchers simply want to ask your opinion. Many laws across the country regulate sales-related activities, requiring sales-related contacts to include certain disclosure and/or require them to allow you to "opt out" of future contacts. Two federal laws that you may be familiar with are the federal laws that impose restrictions on sales calls: the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Telemarketing Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act (Telemarketing Sales Rule). These laws regulate the activities of sales-related callers (i.e. telemarketers, telephone solicitors and the like) while implicitly exempting survey research calls*.

Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)

Telephone solicitors must comply with consumers do-not-call requests

Telephone solicitors are prohibited from calling before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.

Telephone solicitors are prohibited from sending unsolicited faxes

Telephone solicitors are prohibited from using an auto-dialer or prerecorded message to call consumers without their
consent (with certain caveats)

Telephone solicitors that use recorded messages must state the identity of the business and provide its address or telephone
number (with certain caveats).
To learn more about the law, visit the FCC website.

Telemarketing Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act (The Telemarketing Sales Rule)

Makes selling under the guise of research (we call this "sugging") illegal by requiring telemarketers to promptly disclose their name and that the purpose of their call is sales related - including the nature and price of the product the caller is attempting to sell

Prohibits telemarketers from placing sales calls except between
8 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Requires telemarketers to comply with consumers' do-not-call requests

Prohibits telemarketers from placing repeated calls or allowing a telephone to ring with the intent to annoy, abuse or harass a person.
These same federal laws distinguish between telemarketing and legitimate survey research calls. Although researchers are not required by law to comply with your request, they will make every effort to respect your decision not to participate in any particular poll or survey research study.

For further information on the Rule, visit the FTC website.

How to Reduce the Number of Sales-related Calls You Receive
Under the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act or TCPA, telephone solicitors are required to comply with your do-not-call requests. You can avoid future sales calls by clearly stating that you want to be added to the caller's do-not-call list and do not want to receive any further sales calls from that person or entity. You should also contact your state attorney general's office to find out if there are any do-not-call laws in your state.

Another way to reduce the number of sales calls you receive is to add your name to the Direct Marketing Association's Do-Not-Call List. You can contact the Direct Marketing Association at 212-768-7277, or visit their web site. Once your name is added to this list, telemarketers that are members of the DMA are no longer allowed to call you.

If you would like further information about survey research, please email us at

* Certain provisions of the TCPA regulating calls using automatic telephone dialing systems apply to survey research calls.

Steve: United Public Opinion Group is an illegal telemarketer since they charge 59$ for the "free cruise tickets" and attempt to sell you something during the cruise (time share presentation).
Posted at The Motley Fool

"Free" Vacation? Hardly.
By Dayana Yochim

May 1, 2007
I am a "winner." At least that's what I'm told almost every day by the recorded voice on my answering machine, informing me that I've "won" a wonderful vacation package. Simply call back with my "winner code" and start packing!

Thanks, but no thanks. I'd rather be a homebound loser than a "winner" whose so-called prize is the opportunity to mail a cashier's check to claim my not-so-free vacation.

You can be sure that the 100-plus folks who shelled out a total of $144,000 for European vacations wish they'd hung up on the Connecticut woman who claimed she was arranging group tours that never took place. Same with Denver sports fans (including some police officers) who thought they scored a getaway package to the NFL's Pro Bowl in Honolulu, only to learn after arriving at the airport that they'd been duped.

At least the Connecticut con artist got 10 years behind bars. Too often, consumers see their vacation money simply disappear into the wind. According to an ABC News story, Americans lose $12 billion a year to travel scams -- and bogus offers are practically a permanent fixture on the list of top five consumer complaints.

Getaway gotchas
Travel tricks range from gimmicks that have you sit through a sales pitch to outright fraud. The most common of these scams is the contest that's just a ruse to get your personal information (to sell to marketers) or, worse, to take your deposit and disappear.

You're not in the clear once you reach your destination, either. Hidden costs are rampant. The most common include:

Travel deals or discounts requiring participants to sit through a pressure-cooker time-share presentation.
Discount-club memberships with more restrictions than a maximum-security prison.
Service fees for everything from the hotel to travel fees, port charges, and every little upgrade.
Penalties as severe as requiring you to pick up the tab for everything if you cut your trip short.
Not every discount travel offer is a rip-off, of course. Professional organizations such as the American Society of Travel Agents and the National Tour Association provide oversight on their members. (It's always a good sign if someone making contact with you is a member.) But before you put in for vacation days, learn the warning signs of a potentially disastrous deal.

Signs that spell S-C-A-M
Here's a handy rule of thumb: Anytime someone offers you a free vacation, there's a catch.

"You are a winner." Did you even enter the contest? Does the notification include any information whatsoever about the companies behind the promotion and those providing the prizes?
"Special offer." There's a big difference between winning "a four-star fab getaway" and "a four-star fab getaway offer." The word "offer" is a big clue that more charges will follow.
"Subject to availability." This one smacks of bait and switch -- the accommodations provided often bear no resemblance to that serene scene on the promotional materials. Also beware of monstrous blackout dates and other restrictions.
"Major airline" or "popular hotel." Demand specific names. It's a major red flag when providers get couched in vague language like this.
Even if the offer passes these tests, don't pack your bags just yet. It's time to do a little background research before you're cleared for takeoff.

Check out that travel deal
Don't feel rushed to accept an offer until you've had time to check it out. (For one thing, read the Federal Trade Commission's tips on telemarketing travel fraud.) That goes double for sending a deposit to reserve a spot. Many fraudulent operators employ delay tactics, such as requiring partial payment for a trip that's months away, to give them time to do their dirty work. As the departure date draws near, travelers may find that the business has disappeared and any charges placed on a credit card are no longer eligible to be disputed.

Get everything in writing -- from the travel dates to hotel and transportation companies to cancellation and refund policies. Price out the exact trip you're being offered to see whether the deal is for real. And initiate contact with the businesses that are part of the package to verify that they are participating in the promotion. Don't just take it on faith that the firm is indeed partnering with MGM Mirage or Las Vegas Sands' Venetian, or else you could end up eating your vacation meals from a Motel 6 vending machine.

When it comes time to pay, once again, initiate contact yourself, and use the credit card that offers the best fraud coverage and dispute resolution.

Trust your gut. If the offer feels iffy, it probably is. And remember, sometimes the best travel deal is the one that you cobble together yourself. (Use this cheap travel cheat sheet for cost-cutting getaway tips.)

Score a free vacation for real
More than half of all credit cards come with a loyalty component, such as frequent-flier miles and points. But bagging any free travel, hotel stays, and goodies has also gotten much more complicated in the past year.
Posted at

2007-02-09 cls (231 224 2057)

Confirmed "scam." After the "call back" from one of their agents, this is what you will be told:

boarding in ft lauderdale.
within the next 18 months.
30-60 day notice prior to sail.
your own crewmate (for meals??).
8 meals/person/day. 24hr room service.
drinks not included.
to nasa bahamas.
port re-entry fee of 59$/person.

I was also told of an "optional" package that included some trip to Vegas. However, when transfered to the "supervisor" he requires the booking fee for that seemingly optional package, at $498.

I have called, confirmed, and reported this agency. It turns out, when you get there the $498 does not include all fees, you may be required to pay additional thousands in order to board the cruise. Once on the cruise, you are required to sit in on an hour long time share presentation that is mandatory.

This is a scam in the sense that you are not receiving a free all inclusive trip, it may be discounted it is however by no means free. I invite other Canadian residents to report this, should they receive a call:

Alternate phone number for this "scam": 18005197502
Steve, please send me an e-mail. You are the reason I posted my blog... Thank you!
New Number as of 7/7/2007
302 290-6049! Don't answer! if you don't have it. Thanks!
thank you! I happened to have signed up for this but I hung up the second they asked for my credit card number. I was right, this was a scam. Your info was very helpful
Thanks! I signed up for their sweepstakes online. I got all excited until they asked for my CC. That's when I hung up.
I got the call too but I am a Travel Agent & agents are always get voided because we can do better and our union ASTA says soliciting a travel agent is equal to fraud.
Dive Bomber Travel
Thank you so much for sharing this post to us. This would really be helpful for us. Hoping to read more interesting post from you. Good luck and more power.


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