EngageTel provides telephone service exclusively to telemarketers, and offers this upstanding demographic anonymity and safe harborage from abuse complaints. In other words, EngageTel is a telephone variant on the theme of "bulletproof hosting."
On November 14 2011, I received the latest in a string of TCPA-noncompliant illegal telemarketing calls to my cellular phone about mortgage refinancing. Noncompliant elements of these calls includes (1) telemarketing to a cellular phone, (2) failure to identify the caller, and (3) use of automated calling. The number originating the call was 616-971-0256, operated by Earthlink Business but with service sold through wholesaler EngageTel. Such details are inscrutable to the ordinary consumer, and require a bit of focused effort to uncover. Anyway, one would hope that EngageTel would be responsive to complaints about its customers, reviewing feedback on client behavior, disconnecting service that is used outside of TCPA compliance, and helping with positive ID of callers who don't fulfill their own legal obligation to identify. But EngageTel expressed no interest in being helpful to me when I lodged a complaint. In fact, they suggested the following:
"It is possible that you have 'opted in' with your cell phone as your contact number and are unaware that you have done so."
Stop for a moment and ponder the simple ridiculousness of this telemarketing-industry shibboleth: in their delusion of grandeur, people are actually so interested in being dialed on their own dime by telemarketers that they are rushing to SIGN UP! (And yet, for some odd reason, the operators need to obscure their identity and take every effort to not hear from pesky people who didn't want the call.) Seriously. Try to wrap your brain around that monument to pure idiocy.
Speaking of obfuscating identity, EngageTel is operated out of a small residence in Cheyenne (the address obtained from their business records with the Secretary of State of Wyoming) that is already infamous for identity laundering, including harborage of jailed Ukrainian extortionists, gambling rings, fraudulent online pharmacies, and similar highbrow elements society. Reuters ran an expose last year, see: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/28/us-usa-shell-companies-idUSTRE75R20Z20110628
So chalk up another ne'er-do-well under the Gerald Pitts empire of obscurity: EngageTel Inc, telemarketers' best friend.