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Report: #91603

Complaint Review: Contact Market Data - Champlain New York

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Champlain New York
  • Contact Market Data P.O. Box 2069 Champlain, New York U.S.A.

CONTACT MARKET DATA RIPOFF BAD BUSINESS ALL LIES Need Help ripoff Champlain New York

*Consumer Comment: They Can Huff, They Can Puff, But Can They Blow Your House Down? NO!

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Contact Market Data is biggest scam going around. they are going after all types of business. They never speak to owner they always speak to someone who is not authorized purchaser and trick them by saying it was renewal. That what happen to me when Steven called from Contact Market Data he told me it was renewal of I-Pages America and it was already paid for and I have no choice but except. Not receiving a invoice yet I received a call from collection asking me if i received my invoice and payment was going out.

I told him to call me back when it has passed you should received payment. I forgot his name it was name after a fish. I checked with owner he claimed we never paid Contact Market Data. So I called back Amber customer service was very rude she is manager for customer service she refused to cancel the invoice. She claim to say the State Cancelation law have passed I have to pay or it will be sent to collection and may affect my business. I asked speak to owner she refused to give me his/name then said invoice will be pursued.

Then every week I been receiving calls from Mr. Conn he said he going to call me three time a day if I don't pay my bill he said it may go againt my credit. Said won't pay will go to BBB. Mr Conn said he will me 3 times a day will call me and mail me. Isn't this harrasment? What should I do I file with BBB they said Contact Market Data refuses to respond.

Need Help

UNHAPPY
L.A, California
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/15/2004 03:31 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/contact-market-data/champlain-new-york-12919/contact-market-data-ripoff-bad-business-all-lies-need-help-ripoff-champlain-new-york-91603. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

They Can Huff, They Can Puff, But Can They Blow Your House Down? NO!

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Dear Unhappy in LA,

You are not alone! Please visit www.calblog.com
and you will read about a similar scam called INFOTEL and how they harassed a LAWYER in La Canada! They are Canadian criminals who use 'mail drops' in Champlain (or 'Scamplain' if you prefer). They can be very nasty, but THEY HAVE NO JURISDICTION! Read on:

Scamfighter's Textbook:

___________________________
I. Recognizing a Scam:

According to the FTC, telemarketers falsely represent that someone at the business previously ordered a business directory similar to the Yellow Pages. Generally, the telemarketers ask consumers to verify their shipping addresses and use the verified shipping address to claim that a directory had been ordered. Many consumers tell the callers that they did not order and do not want the directory; but they receive one anyway. Consumers seldom learn about the cost of the directory until they receive an invoice for about $300, sometime after the consumer receives the directories. Many consumers pay the invoice in the mistaken belief that they are obligated to pay for it.

Other telemarketers pitch the sale of non-durable office supplies, such as, printer rolls for automated credit card machines, machine ribbons, credit card machine cleaners, and counterfeit detection pens. The telemarketers make an initial call to the consumer to obtain the name of an employee associated with purchasing office supplies. The telemarketers also use this opportunity to confirm the shipping address for the business. The telemarketers then make a second call in which the telemarketers ask for an employee by name. Using the information obtained in the first call, the telemarketer leads the consumer to believe that the telemarketer represents the regular supplier or someone associated with the regular supplier of printer rolls. Consumers agree to accept the shipments because they believe that they previously placed an order. In some cases, consumers state that they do not want office supplies sent to them, but receive them anyway. The defendants later send the consumers invoices for approximately $100 to $200, many times the cost of similar items purchased from legitimate suppliers.

The telemarketer falsely represents that consumers previously ordered non-durable office supplies or business directories and that the telemarketers were the consumers' regular supplier. Some telemarketers are making false and misleading statements to induce payment for goods or services, failing to disclose the identity of the seller to consumers, and failing to disclose the sales purpose of the calls.

The companies go by many different names such as International Business Directories, Hanson Publications, World Wide Source, Ameri-source, American Solutions Information, IT Data Direct, Infotech, Infotek, Infomatika, Infotel, and many more. In fact, they may fail to make a sale under one alias and return under another.

It is a good policy to Google any company name that sounds suspicious. Most of the frauds pop up on the Rip Off Report when you do this.

EDUCATE YOUR STAFF TO WATCH FOR THESE FISHING EXPEDITIONS' BY FRAUDS

First of all, you need to identify those who are authorized to make purchases. Instruct all staff that NO PURCHASES ARE MADE FROM INITIAL COLD CALLS. You are welcome to send us more information, but you are NOT authorized for a purchase. is a great line to use with them. I spell out that they may NOT send pre-printed invoices. Make yourself clear.

Even with such a policy, the scam will inevitably come back with a taped authorization -- yep, the JANITOR -- saying yes. But it will be an edited tape where the poor guy was asked some other question.

The scammers are hoping the invoice then slips through and gets paid. Some people mistakenly believe they have to pay.

BIG MISTAKE!

Remember that these scammers never sent you a contract. Simply by having paid their invoice, they may assert that you have agreed' to a two-year listing at the same ridiculous rate (payable every year). They will call you to ask about your advertising in the American Business Index and when you tell them you are not advertising in that publication they will answer: Oh, but you owe us a balance.

NOW IT IS TIME TO GET TOUGH!

The collection agency' is simply another boiler room' operation of the same company. They can call continually trying to wear you down. They read from a script and know how to use intimidation. But remember, you really won't get rid of them by paying. You must fight back. Here are some suggestions.
________________________
II. Report them to the Authorities:

Your own Attorney General needs to know about these scams. They may be able to use press releases to help others avoid being taken.

Then REPORT THEM TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE IN THE STATE THAT THEY PRETEND TO BE LOCATED IN. The Vermont settlement with World Wide Source makes it clear that a state can enforce fraud legislation and possibly shut down these operations within their borders.

So many of these companies have phony addresses in Champlain, New York that it is worth noting where you should report them:

State of New York
Office of the Attorney General
Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection
70 Clinton Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901
Tel: 518.562.3282
Fax: 518.562.3294

Then report them to the FTC:
Call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov.

We've also learned that the Canadian authorities have made it easier to report the scammers by establishing the following website: www.recol.ca

Don't Forget Mail Fraud:

This is very important. Go to www.usps.com and use the Post Office's form to report them. The scam invoice constitutes mail fraud.

Is the BBB effective and should you complain there?

Although ED Magneson has a valid point about the Better Business Bureau memberships being bought and paid for,' it IS well to note that THESE scams often DO get UNSATISFACTORY' ratings that stay on the website. Plus, we have reports that sometimes they will resolve your complaint to try to stay low on the radar. We recommend reporting them for that reason. Also, it is often where a new victim will look for information on a questionable company.
___________________________
III. Fighting Harassment:

These companies have no case when it comes to a legitimate court of law. They win by continual telephone harassment -- which is itself illegal in many states. If they continue to pester you for payment, consider sending them a letter demanding that they do not harass you.

Use the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to protect yourself from illegal and unfair or deceptive debt collection tactics!

Here is one form letter to use with the scam collection agency. It is taken from a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Guide: http://www.s2snetwork.com/debt-management/sample-letter-and-debt-collection.html

+++++++++++++++++++++++++
Your Name
Your Address

Collector's Name
Collector's Address

Dear Collector,

I am writing in response to your (letter or phone call) dated {insert date}, (copy enclosed) because I do not believe that I owe what you say I owe.

This is the first I've heard from you, or any other company on this matter therefore, in accordance with Section 809, The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, I respectfully request that you provide me, in writing, with the following:

* What the money you say I owe is for;
* Explain and show me how you calculated what you say I owe;
* Provide me with copies of any papers that show I agreed to pay what you say I owe;
* Provide a verification or copy of any judgment if applicable;
* Identify the original creditor;
* Show me that you are licensed in my state, and provide me with your license numbers


I also demand that you immediately send a copy of this dispute letter to the company that you say I owe money to so they are aware of my dispute with this debt.

I further demand that, if you have reported me to a credit reporting agency, you inform them that I have placed the debt in dispute and provide me with proof that you have done so.

Finally, stop contacting me about this or any other matter, except via mail and then only to advise me that your debt collection efforts are being terminated or that you or the creditor are taking specific actions such as pursuing court actions.


Your Signature Above Name
Printed Name

++++++++++++++++++++++++

If a company (or its mail drop') is located in Massachussetts you can send a "Thirty Day Letter" which gives the business thirty days in which to prove the legitimacy of their claim and makes it illegal for them to contact you other than for that specific purpose. The following is the letter we sent by registered mail to Mr. Haligua at the Massachussetts address since we did not have the "real" address. The phony "second notices" have stopped and we have not heard from this company by phone for almost a month. We also enclosed a copy of the Vermont settlement with World Wide Source "as a courtesy." Our letter follows:

++++++++++++++++++++++++

George Haligua, President 03/13/03
I.T. Data Direct, Inc.
400 W. Cummings Pk., Ste. 1575
Woburn, MA 01801

Dear Mr.Haligua:

I am writing to you under the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 93A, Section 9, the Consumer Protection Act. I am writing to request relief as outlined in that statute.
On or about February 19,2003, the following occurred:

A representative of your company called and asked if I wanted to renew a directory listing. Since we had no information on your company in our database, and had no record of any transactions, I was puzzled. Your representative claimed I had an account balance of $399.95 and that our company was signed up for two more years of this recurring charge. The representative graciously offered to cancel everything if we ordered some CD from you for $149.00 plus $15.00 shipping and handling.

We have had problems with a company called World Wide Source out of Montreal Canada who uses the same line (and the same amount: $399.95). The Attorney General of Vermont has barred them from using their Vermont P.O. box and they paid a substantial settlement. Missouri has a case pending with them.

I believe this type of coercive telemarketing and reduction of nonexistent charges is declared unlawful by Section 2 of Chapter 93A, which declares unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce unlawful. Our company is listed in legitimate directories with whom we have signed contracts and receive regular printed statements.

This letter serves as my request for the following relief: In the absence of a signed contract for your product or services, please consider account#NNNNN closed and cancel invoice #NNNNN-N. Any items you ship will be refused/returned with your shipper (you also failed to provide notice of the legally mandated right to cancel). You will place our company on your do not call list and shall not contact us again by phone, fax, courier, electronic mail or in person. You have thirty days to provide written evidence that there was indeed a signed contract and any other communication shall be considered harassment and shall be reported to the authorities for prosecution under applicable Virginia, Massachussetts and Federal Statutes and U.S. Postal regulations for mail fraud.

Sincerely,
(Signature)

Vermont Settlement:
STATE OF VERMONT


OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
109 STATE STREET
MONTPELIER 05609-1001
(802) 828-3171
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Elliot Burg, Assistant Attorney General
March 21, 2002 (802) 828-2153

ATTORNEY GENERAL SETTLES CONSUMER FRAUD CLAIMS AGAINST CANADIAN TELEMARKETERS

Vermont Attorney General William H. Sorrell announced today that his office has settled consumer fraud claims against two Montreal-based telemarketers that sell listings in business-to-business directories. W.W.S. World Wide Source Publishing, Inc. ("WWS") and Ameri-Source Publications, Inc. ("Ameri-Source") will together pay a total of $125,000 to the State of Vermont and provide refunds to all of their Vermont customers.

In a lawsuit filed in Chittenden Superior Court in November 2001, the Attorney General alleged that WWS and five of its chief officers had systematically violated the Vermont Consumer Fraud Act in the course of selling listings in a directory called the "American Business Index." According to the Attorney General's complaint, WWS, using a Vermont return address, solicited orders for two-year listings in its directory for $399.95, by means of outbound telemarketing calls to businesses throughout the United States. Over 100 of those customers complained to the State of Vermont.

The court complaint alleged that WWS violated the Consumer Fraud Act by:
Misrepresenting that the company offers renewals of listings in the local Yellow Pages, when in fact it offers primarily new listings in a non-local directory of limited circulation.

Overstating the circulation of the directory as 1 million, when in fact it is closer to 35,000.
Misrepresenting WWS' location by using local Vermont addresses in Alburg and Williston in all dealings with customers.

Billing many customers without their authorization.

Failing to provide customers with their legally-required three-day right to cancel.
Overcharging customers for a directory that is of limited value to most businesses.

Ameri-Source, a company which shares common management and ownership with WWS and uses a return address in New York State, also telemarkets listings in a business-to-business directory.

The Attorney General's settlement is contained in a Consent Decree approved this week by the Chittenden Superior Court. Although they have denied any wrongdoing, under the Consent Decree WWS, Ameri-Source and their President, Pavlos Angelatos, are barred from doing business in or into Vermont, or using a business address or facilities in the state.

Also, by April 1, 2002, WWS and Ameri-Source must send refunds to all of its customers in Vermont; or, where payment records are unavailable, Vermont businesses listed in a directory must be sent a letter offering a refund upon proof of payment.

Finally, the Consent Decree requires WWS to pay the State $79,000 ($59,000 in penalties and $20,000 in fees and costs), and Ameri-Source to pay the State $46,000 ($36,000 in penalties and $10,000 in fees and costs)for a total of $125,000.

In addition, out-of-state customers of WWS will have until September 30, 2002, to send a written complaint to the Attorney General's Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) at Morrill Hall, UVM, Burlington, VT 05405, and receive a refund.

Commenting on the settlement, Attorney General Sorrell noted that his office will continue to take tough action against fraudulent telemarketersincluding out-of-state and out-of-country companies that pose as Vermont companies by using a local mailing address. "Companies like this undermine Vermont's good name. We are taking a hard line against fraudulent telemarketing, especially where it hurts Vermont residents or threatens to tarnish the Vermont business community's reputation for honesty."

For further information on the settlement, businesses can contact the Consumer Assistance Program at 1-800-649-2424 or 656-3183 (in Chittenden County)

++++++++++++++++++++++++

This approach has worked well for us. In fact, in EVERY communication with the scams, I tell them:

You will place our company on your do not call list and shall not contact us again by phone, fax, courier, electronic mail or in person. You have thirty days to provide written evidence that there was indeed a signed contract and any other communication shall be considered harassment and shall be reported to the authorities for prosecution under applicable [our State], [State your mail drop is in] and Federal Statutes and U.S. Postal regulations for mail fraud.

Finally, (but MOST IMPORTANT) help others avoid this fraud by posting a complaint at www.ripoffreport.com
Respond to this report!