Another Telemarketer Scam

If you’re a Century Link customer, you might get a pitch that seems………FISHY.    That’s because it is NOT from Century Link, it’s a scam.

 

What Happened in this scam?

 

A company called Telplex contacted morning anchor, Steve Leader, with a well-rehearsed sales pitch.  “We can save you 30 percent on your landline and DSL just for signing up”.   When Steve asked them for some additional details, they hung up.

 

What is Telplex?  Are they a scam company?

 

Telplex is a company that resells telephone services.  While they can deliver the product that they claim the discounts are for, some of the other things in their pitch aren’t as above board.

 

How do I know if it is a scam?

 

Whenever dealing with a phone marketer it is very important to confirm the information they are giving you.  In the example of Telplex I looked up the reviews on popular sites such as Yelp, Google Reviews, and also ran a check with the Better Business Bureau.

 

I found the company is based in southern California.  In addition to the alleged claim to represent Century Link, there have been a lot of complaints that they claim to also represent AT&T.   In both cases there is no direct connection between Telplex and the real providers.

 

What about the 30%?   Based on Yelp there are 181 reviews, 176 are one star, or the minimal possible rating.  In cases where people have “switched” to Telplex there are comments that not only show you don’t actually get the 30% discount.  Additionally, there are hidden fees and other expenses it can cause it to actually cost more you’re your original provider.

 

More troubling is a claim in which this company refused to release a phone number when the customer decided to switch carriers.  This ability, called “number portability” is required by law in most cases.

 

How do I stay safe when dealing with telemarketers and not fall victim of a scam?

 

In most cases the best way to stay safe is avoid doing business with them in the first place.  While there are legit telemarketers out there, this is an area where a lot of fraud is committed.

 

If you find a deal that sounds too good to be true, remember it probably is.  If you want to consider it further get information from the telemarketer on how to get a hold of them.  In Steve’s case they just hung up.  If they are reputable they should provide this information.  From the information gathered take a few minutes and search online to see what you can find.   You might be surprised.

 

In the case of Telplex a 5 minute search yielded the Yelp results previously talked about.  In addition, the Better Business Bureau has no rating (due to the business not being a member) but shows over 150 complaints.  Ripoff Report also shows some interesting feedback.  And Google Reviews?  They gave 1.3 stars overall (out of 5) with 66 reviews.

 

How do they know who I use as a provider?

 

Are you currently with Century Link?   Comcast?  AT&T or another provider?   Knowing this does not make a telemarketer legit.  There are numerous websites where you can enter a phone number and get details like who currently provides the number.  In fact, if your number is listed (and in some cases unlisted) getting your name and other personal information is also possible.

 

 

In Summary

 

If you decide to use the services of a telemarketer check them out.  If the deal is real, it will still be there after you take a few minutes to consider the offer. You will almost always save yourself a lot of time and money.

 

William (Bill) Sikkens has been a technology expert for KXL on the Morning Show with Steve and Rebecca since 2014. With an expertise in I.T., cyber security and software design he has had more than 20 years’ experience with advanced technology. Sikkens conceptualizes and designs custom applications for many professional industries from health care to banking and has the ability to explain the details in a way all can understand.  Article edited by Gretchen Winkler.

Please note that links provided are for information only and are not endorsed by Alpha Media, KXL or William Sikkens.

Got a technology question or comment for Bill? Follow him on Twitter @sikkensw

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