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Tired of Getting Calls From 'Rachel From Cardholder Services'?

Think you can figure out a way to stop "Rachel"? The FTC wants your help.

2.6 billion.

That's how many calls the company responsible for the annoying "Rachel from cardholder services" made in a year and a half time span according to Time Magazine.

Hanging up the phone doesn't stop the calls. Pressing number 3 or whatever option they list in the recording doesn't stop the calls. Trying to actually speak to a live person doesn't stop the calls and, most importantly, being on the "Do Not Call" list doesn't help either.

So, what can you do?

The Federal Trade Commission advises robocall recipients to do the following:

  • Hang up the phone. Don't press 1 to speak to a live operator and don't press any other number to get your number off the list. If you respond by pressing any number, it will probably just lead to more robocalls.
  • Consider contacting your phone provider and asking them to block the number, and whether they charge for that service. Remember that telemarketers change Caller ID information easily and often, so it might not be worth paying a fee to block a number that will change.
  • Report your experience to the FTC online at www.donotcall.gov or by calling 1-888-382-1222.

The FTC is also taking steps to combat the proliferation of robocalls. Earlier this month, the FTC announced the FTC Robocall Challenge, which includes a $50,000 reward for the person(s) who can come up with a solution to stop "Rachel" and other robocallers.

“The FTC is attacking illegal robocalls on all fronts, and one of the things that we can do as a government agency is to tap into the genius and technical expertise among the public,” said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a released statement. “We think this will be an effective approach in the case of robocalls because the winner of our challenge will become a national hero.”

The Robocall Challenge is free and open to the public. Participants may begin submitting entries today, Oct. 25, 2012, at 5 p.m. ET. Entries will be accepted until Jan. 17, 2013 at 5 p.m. ET. If a winning solution is submitted, the winner will be announced next April.

For more information, visit the FTC website.

Have you received a call from "Rachel"? If so, how many have you received? What steps have you taken to prevent further calls? Let us know in the comments.

Bob Chambers October 28, 2012 at 03:55 AM
I have received two or three calls per week for several months. I have pressed 3 many times. I have spoken to someone several times but they hang up when I ask what company they represent. I have objected to the FTC twice but havent heard from them. Why cant the FTC put a stop to these calls? What this company is doing has to be illegal.
Patricia Sabin October 28, 2012 at 03:26 PM
I've gotten at least one a week for months. I let them roll over to voice mail, but it's still disruptive to check caller ID.
Neal Schwartz October 29, 2012 at 06:36 PM
My comments are the same as all the other "Rachel" complaints. I'm about to sign up with false info, put a lot of stuff on the card they sell, then let them attempt to try to collect it. At least I might be able to get them to stop calling me then. If we all did this they might surely get the message that you can't conduct business this way.
Stuart October 29, 2012 at 10:28 PM
I say best way to stop it is have the punishment fit the crime. When they're caught they are stuck alone in a room with a telephone. It will ring 100 times a day. Most of the times the phone rings is during their meal time. 1 random call in 10,000 calls will be their get out of jail ticket. They have to answer the phone for that call and press the number 3 or they stay in jail.
Fred C in Ohio October 30, 2012 at 04:25 PM
A pre-screening phone answering machine might work. In other words, every call gets routed to a staging area where the caller must press a special number (or sequence) to connect. Similar techinque works well for websites.
BJK January 30, 2013 at 09:26 PM
They were calling me every day, sometimes twice a day. I pressed the number to get a live operator, hoping to stop this harassment. Three times, they simply hung up on me as soon as they realized I was complaining. Not a word, just a rude "click" to add insult to injury. So now I press the number to get a live operator, then lay the phone down and go about my business. This actually stopped the calls, for about a month, but now it seems, Rachel has changed her name to Amanda, or Melissa, or Vanessa or whatever. So I tried it again today, hoping to get another reprieve. It might only slow down the calls, and not completely stop them, but there is a small sense of satisfaction to hear the stupid, tinny little voice saying "Hello? Hello? Hello?" from across the room until they get it, and hang up... Makes me smile every time.
David Greenberg December 18, 2013 at 03:26 PM
These jerks have called me hundreds of times over the past three years or so. How about we use some of the "metadata" being scooped up by the NSA to locate these people? Then when we find them, we should draw and quarter them on national TV as a warning to the next scumbag that wants to try this scam. Finally, seize all their assets, and have the equipment shredded, crushed, and incinerated. In lieu of drawing and quartering, I'd also be amenable to putting them in jail for a minimum of 15 years - with a payphone that rings every 5 minutes, 24x7 with an offer for financial services.

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