Satcom: We make up for incompetence with rudeness!

2006-09-14 15:27

Okay, so, I did, sort of, get the call back from SatCom.

SatCom is a marketing company. Let’s see how proud they are of their brand identity.

Exhibit 1: The envelope.

Envelope - no return address

That’s sort of odd. You’d think that a global leader in any field would be proud of their identity. Instead, they omit it entirely. (The astute reader may notice the one clue they couldn’t eliminate; the mailing zip code on the postmark.)

Exhibit 2: The letter.

<img src=”/images/satcom001.png” alt=“Letter – no from address or signature”.

This letter is a marvel of vagueness. Note the awkward use of “the company”, to avoid giving any hint of which company is involved.

Exhibit 3: The policy.

The policy makes no reference to company name.

This is a marvel of weasel words. The policy so carefully described makes no reference to state or federal law; obviously, if they followed those laws, they would never have called us, because we are on both the Minnesota and Federal do-not-call lists, and have been for over a year. But to be fair, it’s possible that they comply mostly with this policy; this policy merely fails to guarantee any kind of compliance.

But once again, note the refusal to identify the source. BTW, they didn’t quite follow the policy; the person trying to pitch Comcast cable to me said nothing about removal of my name eliminating “important information regarding [my] service by means of both telephone and direct mail”.

But the real fun begins when I try to find out who sent this. Was it SatCom? Was it someone else? Calling in, I am told I must speak to Liz. I leave a message on her voice mail. She calls back. I ask. She says “yes, that’s from us”. I ask why it doesn’t identify them. “That’s what the law requires us to send, so that’s what we send.” After a couple of futile attempts to get her to explain where the law says that they cannot identify themselves, she makes the script explicit; she states that she will not say anything else, all she can do is repeat that. She has been “instructed” to do so. She cannot answer any questions; for instance, she cannot discuss what her company does to handle state or federal DNC requests, even though every telemarketing company is, so far as I know, legally obliged to honor those.

I have the call recorded. I may try to get a transcript made. It’s sorta funny, but mostly sad.

Anyway, just to be sure, I called back the number that showed up in caller ID for her call, on the off chance that it was a prankster trying to make them look bad. The front desk person told me I needed to talk to Liz.

Thanks, but no thanks. We already know Liz can’t say anything. I’m actually pretty sure that, strictly speaking, what she said is false. It is not true that the document I received is “what the law requires”. The law does not require an anonymous message with no identifying information. The law probably doesn’t require the various errors in this policy. The law does, by contrast, require handling of state and federal DNC requests.

So. Thinking about telemarketing? May I be so bold as to suggest that you might do better with “Bob’s Discount Shack Of Telemarketing” than with Satcom? If you’re the one hiring them, you are the one who has liability for their mistakes. (In this case, it’s Comcast, who still haven’t answered my questions.) Between the incompetence and the rudeness, Satcom has earned a definite place in my list of companies I hope never to hear from again.

Of course, now that they’ve got our DNC request on file, that might even happen. Or might not; what’s one or two extra laws between friends?

Update, September 15th

And, back to incompetence. They called me again. Not telemarketing, though. Rather, trying to call back the person I talked to at Comcast, they dialed my number, and were very confused. I was instructed to disregard the call. I don’t think I’m going to try to sue them for it (what with it not having been telemarketing), but it does encourage me to note that they at least had to call back.

I betcha they lie to him about what their rep said on the phone. Oh, how I loves me some phone recording hardware. Mmm-hmm.

Peter Seebach



  1. Surely you misunderstood what the nice lady meant by "what the law requires".

    You thought it meant that she was claiming the law requires them to withhold their identity, but what she really meant (and didn't explain) was that what they sent you was the bare minimum required by the law.

    — Mesa Mike · 2006-10-26 19:30 · #

  2. Well, that may be what she meant to say, but it's not what she said, and I gave her multiple opportunities to clarify. That she refused to clarify is why I interpret this as incompetent and rude.

    — seebs · 2006-10-26 20:25 · #

  3. Rude definately. But not necessarily incompetent. She was probably under orders not to explain it any further. Given the type of company it is, it's likely company policy. That is, bare-minimum compliance with the law, and when someone complains, defend by parroting, "We did what the law requires."

    They can get away with this type of customer non-service, because you've already declared that you don't want to do business with them. What do they care if their level of service is less than satisfactory to you?

    If you have a case, you should sue, IMHO. (But, IANAL...)

    Just because they are the bastards that they are.

    — Mesa Mike · 2006-10-30 17:55 · #

  4. some no account p1kan1nny called me last week from a 919 code for a “special deal” to bundle cable and phone and probably premium stations. I told her I am on DNC and I would leave the phone off the hook for a few minutes..then I DID.

    Got DANG Tanisha sell Crack..

    sell your P!!

    — Elliott Bettman MD · 2010-12-20 09:31 · #