can’t see the forest

Phone Calls from (215) 442-7094

Posted in Bureaucracy, communications, Privacy, Telemarketing by Curtis on 10/1/06

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For something like the past week, I’ve been getting not one but several calls daily from the above number, registered with Verizon service in Pennsylvania. It’s been a hot topic on some consumer forums lately.

These people don’t appear to be debt collectors or consolidators. It’s a “market research” company called Intersearch, which I believe is a subsidiary of Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS), a British company.

The Better Business Bureau is compiling information on this firm; from what I gather there’s not a whole lot available yet.

Some forum participants have said that, upon answering calls from this number, they have been greeted with a click. This could just be sloppy telemarketing practices, or it could be an attempt to refine a database by connecting phone numbers with people.

If you get a call from these nice folks, my advice is: don’t answer. There’s no good reason to do so that I can see.

I don’t want to sound overly paranoid or neurotic, but, quite seriously: with the recent legislation that’s been passed, I am going to be much more careful about answering communications from unwarranted sources. It’s just good practice, and I’m probably preaching to the choir here. The problem lies in that we really don’t know what kind of connections with other firms and agencies go on at the highest levels of these companies; and the newer a company, the harder those things are to track. So don’t be paranoid, don’t draw the blinds, just be careful and keep an eye out. That’s my advice.

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53 Responses

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  1. Bluebear2 said, on 10/1/06 at 4:32 pm

    Hi curt,
    I came over from Winter’s place.
    I’ll have to watch for this number.
    Thanks for the heads-up.

    Going to go poke around here for a while – Later.
    Bluebear2

  2. tellitlikeitis said, on 10/1/06 at 4:37 pm

    Thanks! It’s not that huge a deal probably, but it sure sounded scuzzy to me. In the past I’ve been pretty careless about stuff like that, and I think it’s just a good idea to at least take notice. Especially when they’re calling lots of people multiple times a day.

    Thanks again…

  3. BJ said, on 10/4/06 at 8:43 pm

    I just found your blog in googling that number I saw on my missing calls list. That’s freaky as hell especially seeing as only my supervisor has my new cell #.

    Weird stuff and I won’t be answering calls from that oen anytime soon.

  4. tellitlikeitis said, on 10/4/06 at 9:14 pm

    They (meaning the autodialer circuits) seem to have stopped calling me as of yesterday morning, so maybe I’ve been dropped or am on the back end of their cycle. But for over a week there it was every day, multiple times a day.

  5. mh said, on 10/10/06 at 4:23 pm

    I received a call from 215 442 7094 today.

    Didn’t pick it up, but the Caller ID says

    “INTERSEARCH COR”

    The call went through to a voicemail system, but they didn’t leave a message..

  6. Mandie said, on 10/13/06 at 8:23 pm

    I got a call from that number once today around 6:36pm and yesterday around 5:37pm.

    I only just got my cell phone at the beginning of this week…

    At least now I know. Thanks.

  7. mudflap said, on 10/19/06 at 7:25 pm

    You all are paranoid. Intersearch is a market research firm. They are probably calling to survey you about some facet of your consumer buying behavior. If they got your cell phone, it’s only because they do random digit dialing using known exchanges (like Verizon’s). A firm like this is almost always surveying people on behalf of a company who has hired them to figure out how many people are aware of their brand or who saw their commercial on TV last night.

    These firms are held to very high standards when it comes to maintaining people’s privacy. They usually cannot disclose to their client who said what and when. They can only aggregate data and make broad conclusions.

    Many products that bring you joy in life (e.g., the cell phone, color tv, hybrid cars) were developed using consumer market research. If you want TV commercials to get better, or a better PC, or a nicer stay at a Holiday Inn, take the survey.

  8. mudflapsucks said, on 10/28/06 at 10:06 am

    Mudflap you are a moron. There is a reason for the do not call list. Jackass.

  9. raincoaster said, on 11/3/06 at 1:52 pm

    And who wants to pay airtime to answer somebody else’s survey? They’re going to have to find a new way of doing market research, quite frankly.

  10. tellitlikeitis said, on 11/3/06 at 4:12 pm

    Seriously.

  11. plumbfast said, on 11/22/06 at 9:03 pm

    I don’t think I am paranoid I just got the call at 9:30pm on my home phone and she said she was from T.N.S. in Pennsylvania when I asked. The messed up part is when I went up to get my cell phone it said I missed a call and this is the number I got (215) 442-7094 now I do not have caller id on my home phone just my cell. Like the other people I just switched to verion last week and if it is random like Mudflap said then why did they call my cell at 8:55pm and my home at 9:30 pm

  12. Curtis said, on 11/22/06 at 9:22 pm

    It sounds like it’s possible—I want to stress ‘possible,’ because who knows I’m sure I don’t—that this company is getting lists of newly registered cell numbers somehow. Mine had been out of service for awhile and the calls I got from TNS came right after I reactivated. Some other folks have had similar stories.

    I don’t think these folks mean anything sinister, but it is certainly just creepy enough to make you wonder. I appreciate mudflap’s comment…but he must be in the industry. :-)

  13. plumbfast said, on 11/23/06 at 12:39 pm

    Yeah I’ve had this same number for 7 years now it is when I switched that I got the call. Lets see if they call back. When they called my home number at 9:30pm I was kind of rude so I hope that works.

  14. Kent said, on 11/28/06 at 12:57 am

    There is definitely a pattern here. I switched from Sprint to T-Mobile and had my old number moved from my old phone to the new this week. I received two unsolicited calls today – this morning a recorded message from an 800 number that said it was from a market reasearch firm and this evening from (215) 442-7094. Sounds like they have access a database of cell phone accounts that have recently been ported from one cell phone company to another. I filed a complaint with the FCC – I’ll see what they have to say…

  15. Rick said, on 11/28/06 at 3:14 pm

    The company, TNS Custom Research, Inc., is a Horsham, PA. entity with numerous name changes, the last as recent as Jan.’06. They are a “marketing company”, a title that allows them to skirt the FTC’s “DO NOT CALL LIST” law enacted by Congress. You will not find them to cooperate–other than to remove your telephone number from the company calling list. This will only confirm your number for them and that is what they are attempting to do in-part anyway. It appears they have been in business for many years, but appearances can be deceptive.

    If you wish to return the “favor” of annoying calls–call them at 215-442-7095 and ask for ext. #9664 or #7095 and ask them why they feel they have the right to call anyone, at anytime, on any day of the week and hang-up, speak in a belligerent tone, and/or leave no message when the calls go un-answered. They appear to be legitimate (acting somewhere within the legal limits), but remain annoying and at this point it is not clear what their intent or purposes are for the repetitive and persistent calls.

    You can also call them at 215-442-7094, push the # button and then 555 and select an extension from the company list and express your feelings to every employee at the company if you wish.

    Additionally, mudflap is correct in part, but you should (mudflap) look up the word “annoying.” Calling yourself a marketing company does not allow you to annoy anyone you wish at any time of the day. The calls to my phone always come in after 8:00 P.M. and often on Sundays. Do not try to justify their actions by suggesting some legitimate business purpose–the conduct they have exhibited from the postings I have read above do not lead me to believe they possess reasonable business ethics or common courtesy. We have a right to our privacy and are not obligated to tolerate corporate/business encroachment into our daily lives. If you wish for that kind of violation of your privacy, publish your telephone number(s) on the Web and on numerous search engines, and let us all know how much you enjoy the responses you receive.

  16. Curtis said, on 11/29/06 at 9:55 am

    Well said, Rick, and many will appreciate this info.

  17. Rick said, on 11/29/06 at 12:41 pm

    I need to correct one number I suggested calling. Ext. #7095 is correct, but one should call 215-442-9058 to gain access to the company operator or dial the extensions from that point. Sorry for listing the wrong number.

    Also, marketing is an obvious extension of sales. The argument should be made to the FTC, not the FCC, that marketing companies should be subjected to the same regulations, i.e. the DO NOT CALL LIST (“Act”), as any company whose purpose is to sell services or products. I do not have time review the “Act” at this time, but I will do so at some point and raise the issue with the FTC. Each of us should submit a complaint regarding this company to the FTC at: http://www.ftc.gov

    mudflap—stay were you belong, near the tires at the rear end of a truck—your thoughts and comments are insincere, ill-conceived and self-serving at best.

  18. J said, on 12/21/06 at 12:02 am

    My Mom just had identity theft – and then suddenly this number started to appear on our caller ID – coincidence??

    – J in Cali

  19. bobby said, on 12/26/06 at 11:05 pm

    we just had these people call us tonight. i answered as we do not have caller ID, said hello twice with no reply, and hung up. then i found this

  20. timnneh said, on 1/10/07 at 7:25 pm

    I’ve had four phone calls from this number tonight. I answered one and there was no answer. If this is for a survey, you can’t get any answers, if you don’t stay on the line.

  21. Craig said, on 1/16/07 at 8:46 pm

    Same with me here in Illinois. They are calling quite late too. When I answered, I got a ringback tone in my ear.

  22. jesse said, on 2/2/07 at 6:17 pm

    i just recieved a call from this number at 6:55 just 20 minutes ago. the name on the caller id came up as TNS, but when i answered an woman said “may i speak to the parent or legal guardian of *my name here*?” and i asked who was speaking, then they gave me a name.. and she said she was from the public school system of philadelphia… i told her nobody was available to take the call and to call back in an hour. this is strange considering everyone else who got a call from 215-442-7094 had a similar experience. i do go to a public school here but this is just confusing. i’m really curious as to what is up.

  23. John said, on 2/23/07 at 1:40 pm

    They’re calling us about TWICE A WEEK now… they DIAL MY PERSONAL EXTENSION, and stay on long long enough to hear my voice mail announcement then record “dead air”… so I keep having to delete their “empty” messages… jerks.

  24. Curtis said, on 2/23/07 at 1:58 pm

    That seems to be the pattern experienced by many. I know it’s frustrating.

  25. Kim said, on 2/25/07 at 9:01 pm

    That area code is the one for just outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania if anyone needed to or didn’t know.

  26. j said, on 2/26/07 at 7:15 pm

    I took the advice of a post above and called the number back, pushed the puund key and keyed in 9226, and I left amessage for Patti/y (?) Mitchell, after 8pm, when it was a convenient time for me, and asked what kind of service it was she was providing there in Horsham, PA, and what kinds of goals she and her parents had set for themselves. I went on to tell her that, in those moments when she thinks about what she is doing in her life or what kinds of hopes her parents had for her, she would probably draw a blank. This is what I call the existential response: you speak directly with the person responsible for bothering you on your cell phone service, which I dare remind everyone here is not free (and, not that it matters to them, but I have been a long-time registeree on the Do Not Call List), and you ask have a intervention of sorts with them. If I so depserately need marketing calls, I would dare say that they desperately need existential questions.

  27. Curtis said, on 2/26/07 at 10:15 pm

    Excellent, excellent idea.

  28. looking4anything said, on 3/8/07 at 7:53 pm

    my dog was stolen, so when i got home and saw this 215-442-7094 number on my home phone, i immediately checked my messages–none. so i called the number back and received a bs recording. it was false hope anyway since i posted both my cell and home phone numbers on the missing dog flyers. and only my cell is in the newspaper ad. lucy, my hairless chinese crested, has been kidnapped. random, unwarranted phone calls such as these make life harder. it’s like a raymond carver story or a bob altman film.
    anyway, nice blog you all have going.
    s

  29. Steph said, on 4/3/07 at 7:59 pm

    Please logde a complaint about this company. They’re obviously using an automated dialer, and that is against the law.

    This is a quote from the Do Not Call Registry website:

    Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations prohibit telemarketers from using automated dialers to call cell phone numbers. Automated dialers are standard in the industry, so most telemarketers are barred from calling consumers on their cell phones without their consent.

  30. jen said, on 4/9/07 at 9:03 am

    I don’t think that these calls have anything to do with switching your cell phone provider or number. I have had the same carrier and phone number for 5 years and I’ve been receiving about 2 calls a day about 3 days a week for the past week. I was recently at the Philadelphia airport coming home from my honeymoon. I wonder if when I got back into the states and my phone connected in that area the signal was sent to some kind of database??? The only thing about that theory is that my husband also used his phone the same time I did and he hasn’t received any calls. He also has had the same number and cell provider for many years. Who knows… it’s getting on my freaking nerves though. As soon as I can figure out how, I’m blocking the number from my cell.

  31. Carla said, on 4/19/07 at 4:23 pm

    Same in Phoenix. Both my husband and I received the same call from a representative saying he was calling Verizon customers. I advised him that we have never been Verizon customers (T-Mobile home); he asked if someone may had called his company from our numbers. When I asked which company, he hung up.

  32. judy said, on 4/24/07 at 7:36 pm

    dont call back and dont answer. Legit people will talk when you answer. I am getting home and cell calls. Can they be stopped?

  33. Telemarketerssuck said, on 5/17/07 at 5:40 pm

    Hey mudflap, I want you to put down the phone (stop calling us) and jump out your office window. I got a call today, 5-17-07, It was some guy asking about a survey, he asked if this was a cell phone, once I said yes he said good-bye. This company is weird, dont answer any calls you dont recognize.

    Oh, mudflap, get a life!

  34. Stephanie said, on 5/17/07 at 7:18 pm

    I have had this number call me the last two nights at about the same time at night.

  35. Anne said, on 5/18/07 at 3:03 pm

    I have been receiving 2 to 3 calls per day this week. I have had the same number for many years and have not been in the PA area. For some reason this is always a missed call kinda creepy

  36. shahryar said, on 5/22/07 at 9:58 am

    Received a call from these guys yesterday on my cell phone. There has to be a law for telemarketers not to dial cell phones. Someone ought to report these guys…

  37. rose said, on 7/6/07 at 8:06 pm

    I have been recieving these calls 2-4 times a day since last week, at different times during the day. There hasn’t been any messages and since I don’t know the number I haven’t answered when I’ve been home. I don’t think it has anything to do with what kind of phone you have because I don’t have a cell and never have. They called today and my son clicked the phone on and off to break off the call and they called right back but didn’t leave a message. By the way I live in West Virginia, so they are calling everywhere.

  38. Bender said, on 10/11/07 at 4:48 pm

    I have rec’d calls from this number for about (2) weeks; same time, every night . I have not answered nor will I in the future. There has got to be something, that someone can do to cease these calls. Does anyone know how to track the addres in Horsham, PA from the phone number? We need to have some fun with these people to give them a taste of their own medicine.

  39. ranger rick said, on 12/8/07 at 9:27 pm

    One of my favorite telemarketer scumbags is a guy named Richard Salvador aka Richard Dunbar of Great Northwest Advertising (http://www.penslinger.net). Richard spoofs his caller id using http://www.spoofcard.com. Richard served 5 years (was sentenced to 9) for his part in one of the nations largest telemarketing scams in U.S. history. He was targeting and ripping off senior citizens. The FBI sting operation was called “operation disconnect” and another called “senior sentinal”. Richard routinely threatens to kill people. Customers, competitors, employees etc. He likes to record himself doing so using spoofcards recording features. Richard recently put his 14 year old daughter in the hospital. Apparently he considers himself a big martial arts action hero with over 4 MONTHS of extensive training. His ex wife and daughter are now in hiding. He uses methamphetamines and steroids. He was kicked out of the U.S. Marine Corps for selling dope. Check out Richard threatening to bash peoples skulls open and shoot his competitors in the head:
    Great Northwest Advertising customer service policy:

    Richard threatening his competition with a bullet to the head:

    Richard lives at 4149 Ridgewood Ave.
    Bellingham, WA
    Home:360-715-0038
    Cell:360-820-8220
    He is currently a felon with an extensive stolen firearms collection.
    If there was an award for stupidity, this guy would be the world champion.

  40. Gertrude said, on 1/17/08 at 1:51 am

    (215) 442-7094
    What the Hell these assclowns called me twice and hung up on me, on my freakin’ new cell phone trying to use up my minutes, I called back and they hung up again.
    I am on the do not call list!
    I will call the BBB and I will find thier office and I will make thier day!
    I will get revenge!
    Answer your phone when I call your ass back!
    Bs**t!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    See ya there,
    Your worst nightmare B**ch!

  41. Jeff said, on 2/8/08 at 5:24 pm

    I missed a call from this 215-442-7094 two days ago and curiousity caused me to look it up online and this was the first page it came to. I read all the past blogs on here and told myself I wouldn’t answer it. They called me back literally about 5 minutes ago and without looking at the number I answered it because I was expecting a call from someone else and thought it was them. Anyways, it was a Verizon consumer surveryer asking about a recent stop I made into their store. He asked if I liked my Verizon visit (they had the date I went and which store…kinda creepy) and about some things I think they could improve on. I received the call at 5:15pm and only had two calls from them. While I understand other peoples’ irritation, I personally didn’t get hung up on, called repeatedly or anything negative. I answered their questions, and it took less than 4 minutes. I just thought I’d post something more recent and not negative, because I didn’t really feel it was bad. Hopefully they stop irritating people and act as they did towards me.

  42. Don said, on 2/14/08 at 6:42 pm

    Got a call at 7:30pm from this number. I just got this Verizon phone 3 weeks ago. Also, I have received numerous calls like this and it drives me nuts! I could care less about a survey; however, I would be more inclined to answer if they sent something in the mail. These people will keep on calling if people like Jeff answer their questions. Thanks Jeff for keeping companies like this in business ;)

  43. bryan said, on 2/17/08 at 8:18 pm

    i am sick of there fucking shit of calling. i looked on the computer and found the same shit. i to will turn this number over to the bbb. i am so fucking sick of telemarkers and as well as surveyers. they suck shit. they have nothing better to do. wish they could get a real life and be somebody instead of fucking with other people. bitches and or bastards.

  44. dave said, on 3/2/08 at 8:56 pm

    Regarding nusiance calls fron 215-442-7094

    Isn’t this sweet. Survey companies are exempt from the do not call list. Here’s what the FTC says at their site

    https://www.donotcall.gov/complaint/complaintcheck.aspx

    FILE A COMPLAINT

    To file a complaint now, your phone number must have been on the registry for 31 days.

    To file a complaint, we need the date you got the call, and either the name or telephone number of the company that called you.

    *Reminder: Even if your number is registered, companies with which you do business may continue to call you. So may charities, political organizations, and telephone surveyors.

    “The National Do Not Call Registry does not limit calls by political organizations, charities, or telephone surveyors.”
    ——————————————–
    Now what about the “no using automatic dialers to cell phone numbers law”. How do we report that?

    This is a quote from the Do Not Call Registry website:

    Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations prohibit telemarketers from using automated dialers to call cell phone numbers. Automated dialers are standard in the industry, so most telemarketers are barred from calling consumers on their cell phones without their consent.

  45. This Is Creepy said, on 3/19/08 at 5:45 pm

    I live in the NY metro area and I just received my first call from them last night at around 6:25pm and a second one tonight at 7:15pm. I was telling my boyfriend about it and he looked up the area code and then searched the number and found this site.

    After reading everyone’s posts, I’m not sure what to make of this. What the hell are they researching when they don’t leave messages and when they often hang up when people do answer the phone? I haven’t answered either of the two times they’ve called and I don’t plan on it. I’m glad my voicemail doesn’t have a personal greeting with my name anymore but instead just a recording of my phone number.

    It’s not only creepy, but obnoxious that they’re randomly calling over and over and hanging up on people. I can’t stand telemarketers but at least they have the courtesy to explain who they are and what they want and wish you a nice day when you tell them to f*ck off. This company should at least do the same.

  46. Don said, on 5/6/08 at 1:07 pm

    I just missed a call from this number (215) 442-7094 and, like others here, my websearch sent me to this site. And, like others, I recently made a purchase for my Verizon phone (I’m in the Seattle area). So, while I haven’t actually talked to anyone there, I suspect it may be related to that purchase. If that’s the case, I’m not really bothered by it. Just as long as I don’t get the repetitive calls that others here have talked about.

  47. Rich said, on 5/8/08 at 6:15 pm

    Just got a call from them too. Did not answer b/c of the out of town area code. Now i know never to answer if i ever see this number again. Thanks

  48. JB said, on 7/2/08 at 5:38 pm

    Here is the answer…..a year ago I signed up at my docs office to particpate in a survey via mail about my prescription and if I completed it, they mailed me $5 each time. I stopped sending in the form and this number started calling my phone. I finally got a few messages and they want to talk to me about why I stopped doing the survey each quarter.

  49. JB said, on 7/2/08 at 5:39 pm

    To clarify…..the survey comapny I signe dup with was TNS…so this is them calling.

  50. sensible said, on 7/23/08 at 1:52 pm

    Some of you people are paranoid! I don’t want to look up information on a phone # to listen to a bunch of people who were too scared to answer the call or call the # back! Don’t post anything unless you have some real information.

  51. Jo said, on 11/28/08 at 6:55 pm

    Who are these people??? Today, I suddenly started receiving calls from this number and it shows up as “TNS” on my caller ID. I have never heard of them and I have answered the phone every single time they called, but no one is ever on the other end. It’s just dead silence. Our number is on the DNC list, so I don’t understand this and am getting very annoyed!

  52. Jerry said, on 12/3/08 at 10:54 am

    I missed a call on my cell phone last night- when I called back I got a recorded announcement that they were a survey company and then phone went dead. I checked my caller id on home phone this morning there was a call from TNS with same phone number- Either a huge coincidence or they are anything but random

  53. jimbo said, on 12/16/08 at 11:01 pm

    “TNS SURVEY RESE” called me 12/16/2008 at 8:49pm and didn’t bother to leave a message. My number is 4 years old and it isn’t a cell – VOIP with Packet8. I’ve never had calls like this. I haven’t put the number on the DNC b/c I’ve never had a problem. Jerks.


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