Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Site Notices
Posted: 6/12/2003 6:15:23 PM EDT
Holy Shit! I can't imagine what I would do if I got a call like this... [url]http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36~26430~1449927,00.html?[/url] Telemarket firm fired by Qwest for menacing call By Kris Hudson, Denver Post Business Writer Qwest on Wednesday fired a Utah telemarketing firm whose representative left a threatening, expletive-laden message on an Evergreen couple's voice mail this week. Qwest canceled its contract with Salt Lake City-based Teleperformance USA following media coverage and law-enforcement inquiries about the threatening message left after the Evergreen man hung up on the telemarketer. Qwest initially hired Teleperformance USA in December 2001. "We terminated our contract," Qwest spokeswoman Rebecca Tennille said. "Basically, we're outraged at the behavior of the employee. Once we were notified, we immediately started working with the customer and local authorities." The events leading to the firm's firing began with the telemarketer's call at midday Monday to the home phone of an Evergreen couple. The couple, Mike and Mindy, asked The Denver Post that their last name not be published because of safety concerns. They both work from home. Mike picked up the phone and heard a sales pitch for Qwest long-distance service. He said he asked the caller if he could sell Qwest high-speed Internet service, also called digital subscriber line, or DSL, because the service had not been available in Mike's area. When the caller said only Qwest itself could sell DSL, Mike told him not to call back until he could sell DSL, Mike said. He then hung up. "I didn't raise my voice or anything," Mike said Wednesday. Minutes later, Mindy listened to the voice mail on the couple's home line and heard an angry message riddled with curses and a threat. "Yeah, did you understand that?" the caller said. "(Expletive) hanging up on somebody like that again. (Expletive) I'm coming in your (expletive) house, you (expletive). What the (expletive) you gonna do? I'll (expletive) kill you." Mindy went to Mike. "She was shaking and crying," Mike said. "She said, 'You need to listen to this message. I'm scared. I don't know what's going on.' I listened to it, and immediately I recognized this guy's voice." The couple called Qwest and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department, which continues to investigate the call. The story was first reported Tuesday by 9News' Chip Yost. Mike said a Qwest manager looked into the matter and later told him the company found two calls, one from the telemarketing center and another two minutes later from a cellphone. Qwest declined to confirm that. Teleperformance USA said it fired the man involved. "Teleperformance USA strives to maintain the highest standards of professionalism at all times," spokesman Steve Perring said in a statement sent by e-mail Wednesday. "The individual in question has been subject to disciplinary action and no longer works for the company. The company regrets any distress caused by the incident and will extend its full cooperation to any investigation by the authorities." Perring did not return a phone message seeking comment. Christina Duffney, a spokesman for the Direct Marketing Association in Washington, D.C., said the group has no record of a previous incident like that experienced by Mike and Mindy. "It's very rare that an incident like that will occur," she said. "So rare that we don't have any facts or statistics on it." Mike praised the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and Qwest for their quick response to the problem. But he said he is frustrated that no one can tell him the caller's name, and that police have not yet told him the man will be arrested or questioned. "Basically, I want this guy off the street," Mike said. Jim Shires, a spokesman for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, said police know the caller's name. "Our deputy is trying to get more information, such as a date of birth and address," Shires said. "The investigation will continue with the Jeffco Sheriff's Office making contact with him and possibly issuing him a summons, which would be a charge of harassment. We also are going to (contact) the FBI to see if some type of federal regulation has been broken by using a telecommunications device crossing state lines."
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 6:25:30 PM EDT
Top Top