(I want to preface this by saying you need to live in the U.S. for this to work. This has nothing to do with marketing but everything to do with making money. I know what I'm talking about because, well, let's just say I've had a lot of experience doing this exploit. I haven't touched this method for many years but it still works. You need to be knowledgeable, confident and assertive with it. It's not for everybody. If nothing else, I hope you can appreciate the dedication and creativity I put into it from taking what many people see as something annoying and turning it into an opportunity.) This method involves using the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) and trapping/catching telemarketers who call you and violate the law. You can literally make money from every telemarketing call you receive by using loopholes in the law. How to learn the law: Search the web for "TCPA" and read about how it works. Although it's written as law, it's really easy to understand. Here is a link it: http://transition.fcc.gov/cgb/policy/TCPA-Rules.pdf I'll explain it to some extent but don't want to drown you out with it. For now you just need a basic understanding of what I'm talking about. How to get calls (although you probably already do): (1) Submit your phone number to as many online marketing lists as you can. (2) Make sure your number is off the National Do-Not-Call Registry. (3) Add additional phone numbers/lines to your residence to increase exposure. Cover your ass: In order for you to extract a settlement out of a telemarketing company, you'll need proof of the call and what transpired, which means you'll need to record it. But each state has their own laws on whether just one-party needs to know the call is being recorded (you) or both parties (you and the telemarketer). Here is a link that lists each state's laws: http://www.detectiveservices.com/2012/02/27/state-by-state-recording-laws/ What kind of documents you need: Well, there will be two ways of approaching this: (1) First way will be you're just an ordinary citizen who knows a little bit about the law and is tired of being harassed and now trying to enforce their rights. This route would just require you to type up a letter to the violating company and include the TCPA law with highlighted portions on the violations that occurred and say you're going to take them to small claims court unless they settle with you by X date. You would also include a copy of the conversation and include a filled-out small claims form (not filed yet). (2) Second route would be full-fledge settlement letter, a federal complaint (not filed but drafted), case law and relevant exhibits in addition to the copy of the conversation. There are templates to choose from online but you need to make sure it's completed correctly otherwise the opposing side won't be threatened by you at all. This route requires you to come across as you have the skills and knowledge to take the case all the way in the federal courts. You probably want to start with this first option in order to get your feet wet. Once you get comfortable with the TCPA and knowing your rights, you can elect to go the more professional route. Option 1 will yield you more "nuisance" settlements while option 2 will yield a lot of "pay him whatever" settlements. How much difference is there between the two settlement types? Option 1 = Settlements will range between $250 and $1000 Option 2 = Settlement will range between $250 and $7500 As you can see, option 2 can yield a smaller settlement because you still may be deemed a nuisance even if you have a strong case. My average settlement for Option 1 was $500 and Option 2 was $2000. But I've settled cases anywhere between $250 and $7500 which is why I included such a range. What to do when you receive a call: When I received a telemarketing solicitation, I first listened to what the telemarketer said, or didn't say. They must state their name, the company's business name, telephone number or address, and, if the telemarketer is soliciting on behalf of another entity, they must give that entity's identification information. I would allow the telemarketer ample time to deliver the required information at the beginning of the phone call. If they failed to do so, it was a violation of the TCPA. More specifically, a violation of 47 C.F.R. 64.1200.(d)(4). After the solicitation started, I interrupted the telemarketer and stated the following verbatim, "I'm not interested in what you have to offer. Furthermore, I would like to be added to your company's Do-Not-Call database and/or list. In conjunction with that, I would like to receive written verification that I'm now included on your database and/or list. I would like to receive your in-house Do-Not-Call policy as prescribed by 47 C.F.R. 64.1200, and I would like all the aforementioned items to be mailed to me within a seven-day time period. Failure to do so will be your company's willfully and knowingly violating the TCPA and FCC regulations." As you can see, I'm making a flood of requests that any telemarketer would have trouble processing. For the most part, the telemarketers don't know how to process such a request. I know this because I asked them, and they stated that they don't know how or have never done it before and then say, "Let me get my supervisor." All these statements demonstrated that the telemarketing company has not trained its employees on how to handle a Do-Not-Call request, which is a violation of 47 C.F.R. 64.1200.(d)(2). During the course of having the telemarketer become completely stupefied by my request, many will just hang up. They know I'm not interested in their offer, and they cannot properly assist me to be included on their internal Do-Not-Call database and/or list. This course of action was the most profitable for me, because now I have a telemarketer who negligently failed to comply with any of my requests and, furthermore, demonstrated an absolute disregard for the TCPA and FCC regulations. When the telemarketer would hang up on me, I was very confident in getting a good size settlement. If a telemarketer didn't hang up on me and sent out the documentation I asked for, that didn't mean they were off the hook. First of all, the Do-Not-Call policy must adhere to strict guidelines on how it is presented, and it must give the consumer all applicable information on how the request is processed, who processes it, how long it is processed for, and other compliance procedures. If the Do-Not-Call policy fails to meet the threshold, the policy is inadequate and is in violation of the TCPA and FCC regulations, more specifically, 47 C.F.R. 64.1200.(d)(1). In addition, if the policy is not provided within the consumer's demanded timeframe; it too is a violation of the same subsection. There is a string attached to this provision, however. The consumer's demand has to be reasonable, given the circumstances of the situation. The most common "upon demand" timeframe I have encountered is within seven business days. Some "upon demand" timeframes can be interpreted as long as thirty days, or as short as one day. I used a seven-day timeframe because the courts have concluded that such timeframe is adequate. The interpretation of the wording "upon demand" differs from one person to the next. Defense attorneys especially disagreed with my interpretation. That's their job. Remember, lawsuits can be filed for the interpretations of the law, not just the exact scripture. This was to my benefit of course. Another violation I dealt with on a constant basis is the illegal use of a prerecorded message for solicitation purposes, 47 U.S.C. 227.(b)(1)(B). It was super easy to prove those calls were illegal. When they came in I simply would keep saying, "hello, hello" over and over again to show that indeed there was no live person on the other end. How settlements work: I put in the hard work of learning the judicial laws, as well as the telemarketing laws and I sure took a lot of abusive, harassing, threatening, annoying, and scamming related phone calls along the way. It was time to make some money. It was time to collect my paychecks. It was time to experience the most rewarding part of this process...getting paid. (I'm only going to talk about the settlement process rather than the actual judgment process since most of my cases settled before ever going to court. Also, since you making money will be dependent on how you handle the settlement process, I will go more in-depth with it.) First, let's understand the genesis of a settlement. Then, look at reasoning for a settlement, the mind games involved, and how I came to understand a defendant's threshold for settling. A settlement requires a mixture of multiple components, so it's good to review the factors involved. The plaintiff in any lawsuit has a two-to-one edge over the defendant. The defendant has only a 1 in 10 chance to win an appeal if they lose the initial lawsuit. Once the defendant established that they either did or didn't violate the law, they must consider the cost associated with fighting the allegations. This was a huge benefit for me as I could settle a case solely based upon how I interpreted the law. I received offers to settle because the defendant did not want to spend $5,000 to defend themselves to try to prove their interpretation was correct when they could settle the matter for a couple thousand dollars. In addition to costs associated in defending a lawsuit, the defendant also had to consider the time expended in preparing for and participating in the lawsuit. It's good to understand the reasoning for a settlement, but there's more to understand, like the mind games involved in settling. Intellectual battle was always a part of my lawsuit settlements. I asked for the most I was entitled to and, in turn, the defendant offered an amount on the other end of the spectrum, typically a fraction of what I was asking for. The intellectual battle began at this point. I worked to compel the defendant into a settlement closer to my figure and, conversely, the defendant tried to keep the settlement figure as low as possible. This was the purest form of competition for me, to see who would give in and submit to the other party's offer. In my many dealings with attorneys, I learned a lot of methods in negotiating a settlement. The most important thing I learned is never take their first offer. The attorneys always threw out a small settlement, then hoped I would bite on it. They either assumed I would take anything or their low offer was what I wanted in the first place. I usually never took the first offer because I knew by them offering something, the defendant wanted to settle. My challenge came in determining how much they wanted to settle for. I had to establish that I wasn't going to be run over by any attorney, as many attempted to take charge of the conversation and direction of the settlement talks. I always tried to have the upper hand with respect to how I wanted the discussion to go. I spoke more often than the opposing counsel and spoke louder and with vigorous intent. Understanding the threshold for settlement is a major concept I had to learn. Since I understood that the first settlement offer was always small, yet what I wanted was probably too much, I had to find the median. I had to listen to what the attorneys said, or didn't say. If their approach was to get to the bottom line, without going back and forth exchanging different offers, I felt I couldn't get any more than what they would offer in the initial settlement discussion. On the other hand, the attorney who let me make counteroffers, case citations, interpretations, and discuss my other cases, made me comfortable rejecting the first settlement offer because this type of attorney wanted to thoroughly discuss the issues at hand, instead of cutting to the chase. I felt fairly confident that they brought multiple settlement amounts to the table during discussions. An example would be when I informed the attorney that his client violated such and such laws; I'm entitled to a certain amount, etc. The attorney proceeded to offer an amount to settle the case. I rejected the offer. The attorney then gave me an opportunity to persuade him or her as to why they should settle for more. I then discussed case law/precedent as well as cases I was involved in. They made another offer. I rejected it. They allowed me to continue speaking and, at this point, I discussed the amount of money and time it will cost their client, as well as the possible exposure for any litigation. What they essentially wanted from me was a sales pitch. They wanted to know why they should settle for more, and if they gave me a platform to deliver my presentation, I took full advantage of it. Remember that under the TCPA you are entitled to $500 per violation for each call and can be awarded treble damages of $1,500 per violation per phone call. So if you receive a telemarketing call that has multiple violations in it and can demonstrate/sell the opposing attorney that their client willfully and knowingly violated the TCPA, you can ask for $1,500 per violation x 4, 5, sometimes 6 violations within a single phone call. From there the attorney will usually offer half of what the client's court exposure will be. Most calls will contain 2 or 3 violations and your settlement talks will range between $1,000 and $2,000 depending on how good you are. But like I said, they may just try to swat you away with $500 and consider it just a nuisance payout. If you feel it's just worth it to move on, then settle. You'll get a range of all kinds of settlement types and the more you do it the better feel you'll get for how much you should settle for. So next time you get a telemarketing call what are you going to do about it...nothing and continue to be bothered or turn it into a money making opportunity?