Prosperous Life - Funeral Plan Hard Sales Tactics targeting vulnerable and elderly

edited 13 May at 4:13PM in Praise, Vent & Warnings
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D4rkS4v4ntD4rkS4v4nt Forumite
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edited 13 May at 4:13PM in Praise, Vent & Warnings
My mum contacted me last week as she was extremely distraught and upset after falling for a Facebook advert scam by Prosperous Life - claiming to be offering Funeral Plans which are subsidised by the Government for pensioners. She received a couple of phone calls from their sales people and told them she wasn't interested yet they then persisted in calling her over 21 times in a single week (sometimes within 30 minutes of each call and some also later on into the evening). I've recorded the dates and times and report all of them to the Information Commisioners Office (ico.org.uk). I also sent an email to the address given on Prosperous Life's phone system to request removal of details and stop any further communication. Yet I've just received another message from my elderly mother to say they've started calling again from a different number.
My mum has BT Call Guardian so we had added all the previous numbers they called from to the block list which plays back a recorded message telling the caller that they have been blocked and not to call again.
I did a quick google for this company and found that they have been reported on by several newspapers in the past who claimed that ICO were investigating them but it appears nothing has happened!! I thought that maybe someone high profile like Martin may be able to get some traction on this and find out why this practically criminal company is still trading and using the same hard pressure sales tactics on elderly and vulnerable people as they did in 2019.
Link to original article in the Guardian "Whistleblowers: Funeral firm described customers as gazelles to be hunted!" - https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/nov/25/whistleblowers-funeral-firm-described-customers-as-gazelles-to-be-hunted
I've tried reporting their profile page on Facebook for review but you are not able to explain to Facebook why you are submitting the complaint so they just come back with useless advice instead of removing the companies page and adverts from their platform!

Replies

  • sherambersheramber Forumite
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    I had call Guardian installed because of repeated cold calls. Not from that company but tothers, and , yes, several calls a day until late evening.
    It was set up that any  number not in my phonebook was stopped and they had to announce  who they were. The announcement was relayed to me  and then I had the option to accept the call or not.
    The calls stopped very quickly as they hung up rather than announce themselves. 
     
  • edited 13 May at 9:57PM
    D4rkS4v4ntD4rkS4v4nt Forumite
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    edited 13 May at 9:57PM
    sheramber said:
    I had call Guardian installed because of repeated cold calls. Not from that company but tothers, and , yes, several calls a day until late evening.
    It was set up that any  number not in my phonebook was stopped and they had to announce  who they were. The announcement was relayed to me  and then I had the option to accept the call or not.
    The calls stopped very quickly as they hung up rather than announce themselves. 
     
    Thanks @sheramber - my mum's is setup exactly the same only she was napping and the phone rang and she didn't pay 100% attention to the announcement, also I imagine that they don't always say who they really are or something ambiguous. They didn't say who they were straight away and she thought it was the hospital calling her, as soon as he mentioned funeral plan she told them she wasn't interested and that she'd already told them to which the caller claimed to not know. I really don't know how the people who run the company or the people who work for it sleep at night. In my opinion they are nothing but common criminals hiding in plain sight as a tax paying company. You and my mum are the fortunate ones who have something that can help prevent floods of calls but not everyone is so lucky and some may no have the wits to understand what they are being forced into. Petty criminals get arrested and dealt with by criminal justice system but these operations carry on with hardly any action, perhaps a 4 figure fine.
    Just to be clear this isn't some scam operating from India or Nigeria, this is a "legit" company based in Cheadle, Cheshire and owned by double glazing tycoon Ian Blackhurst and James Murtagh.

  • PollycatPollycat Forumite
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    My mum contacted me last week as she was extremely distraught and upset after falling for a Facebook advert scam by Prosperous Life - claiming to be offering Funeral Plans which are subsidised by the Government for pensioners.

    Are they really making this claim?
    If they are, is the claim not true?

    Perhaps you could report this to the Advertising Standards Agency or some other organisation.

    Facebook is rife with adverts for companies ready to take your money by whatever means you can.
    Lots of complaints on here about all sorts of different companies.

  • sherambersheramber Forumite
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    Is you mother registered with TPS. While some firms do ignore  it you can report them for doing so. 
    Does she have an answering machine? If I don't recognise the number I let teh call go the answering machine. I can then listen to any message and decide whether to follow it up.

    I used to have a work colleague who worked in a call centre in teh evenings. She told us they were handed a directory and told to call the  numbers on it. SO no checks as to who had been called already. They got commission on successful calls,

    Advise your mother not to talk them  at all, just hang up with out replying to them. Answering them, even declining, gives them   an opening to pursue.
    My husband used to put the phone down and walk away leaving them talking to themselves.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
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    my mum's is setup exactly the same only she was napping and the phone rang and she didn't pay 100% attention to the announcement, also I imagine that they don't always say who they really are or something ambiguous. They didn't say who they were straight away and she thought it was the hospital calling her, 

    But actually people don't always listen to the company name being announced or hear what they want to hear.
    I've just have a 5 minute call taking all the caller's details only to pick up on something that was said, that prompted me to check as part of my guidance, the right place was being called.
    I work in an industry that serve elderly people (not funeral plans I hasn't to add and I am only a 'one of one team) (seen both spectrums the unemployed 'sold' too, lord it made me understand people who took out payday loans and their like knew what they are doing to the other end of the spectrum; the older generation) but some of the stories of we don't know who is calling I can imagine are twisted or simply not heard because of genuine hearing problems.  I'm aware if I don't ask the right questions during a call, Trading Standards could get involved and it comes back on me.  
    Sadly we cannot all have jobs which are vocations or powerful in position society or if you've never had to work to targets, then I am glad for you - the company you point out employ what 100 people, I am sure that makes a floor where each other does not know what the other is doing, I am sure the nation would have a grip for paying their unemployment benefits instead!. ie. they are only trying to earn a crust.  Sorry that is not what you would like to hear.
    The repeated calls sadly comes from someone with very little work to do so they end up bothering what little they have to work from, t/sales isn't the yellow pages call who you want, these days.
    If people really don't want calls, don't request brochures or fill in details.
    ^^Please speed up my loss of job, cheers.
  • Le_KirkLe_Kirk Forumite
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    sheramber said:
    I had call Guardian installed because of repeated cold calls. Not from that company but tothers, and , yes, several calls a day until late evening.
    It was set up that any  number not in my phonebook was stopped and they had to announce  who they were. The announcement was relayed to me  and then I had the option to accept the call or not.
    The calls stopped very quickly as they hung up rather than announce themselves. 
     
    Thanks @sheramber - my mum's is setup exactly the same only she was napping and the phone rang and she didn't pay 100% attention to the announcement, also I imagine that they don't always say who they really are or something ambiguous. They didn't say who they were straight away and she thought it was the hospital calling her, as soon as he mentioned funeral plan she told them she wasn't interested and that she'd already told them to which the caller claimed to not know. I really don't know how the people who run the company or the people who work for it sleep at night. In my opinion they are nothing but common criminals hiding in plain sight as a tax paying company. You and my mum are the fortunate ones who have something that can help prevent floods of calls but not everyone is so lucky and some may no have the wits to understand what they are being forced into. Petty criminals get arrested and dealt with by criminal justice system but these operations carry on with hardly any action, perhaps a 4 figure fine.
    Just to be clear this isn't some scam operating from India or Nigeria, this is a "legit" company based in Cheadle, Cheshire and owned by double glazing tycoon Ian Blackhurst and James Murtagh.
    I also have Call Guardian and it is on announced calls - saves a lot of jumping up and down answering needless marketing and other scam-like calls.  On my phone it is possible to set up a completely different ring tone for an announced call than for one that that relates to a number saved in the phone book.
  • edited 21 May at 11:45AM
    D4rkS4v4ntD4rkS4v4nt Forumite
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    edited 21 May at 11:45AM
    But actually people don't always listen to the company name being announced or hear what they want to hear.
    I've just have a 5 minute call taking all the caller's details only to pick up on something that was said, that prompted me to check as part of my guidance, the right place was being called.
    I work in an industry that serve elderly people (not funeral plans I hasn't to add and I am only a 'one of one team) (seen both spectrums the unemployed 'sold' too, lord it made me understand people who took out payday loans and their like knew what they are doing to the other end of the spectrum; the older generation) but some of the stories of we don't know who is calling I can imagine are twisted or simply not heard because of genuine hearing problems.  I'm aware if I don't ask the right questions during a call, Trading Standards could get involved and it comes back on me.  
    Sadly we cannot all have jobs which are vocations or powerful in position society or if you've never had to work to targets, then I am glad for you - the company you point out employ what 100 people, I am sure that makes a floor where each other does not know what the other is doing, I am sure the nation would have a grip for paying their unemployment benefits instead!. ie. they are only trying to earn a crust.  Sorry that is not what you would like to hear.
    The repeated calls sadly comes from someone with very little work to do so they end up bothering what little they have to work from, t/sales isn't the yellow pages call who you want, these days.
    If people really don't want calls, don't request brochures or fill in details.
    ^^Please speed up my loss of job, cheers.
    I'm not attacking people who work in call centres making legitimate and honest calls to customers. What I'm trying to uncover is that there are some organisations who are obviously out there targeting certain members of society as "easy" targets due to either disability or being elderly. I do wonder how old you are? I'm 43 and luckily I was brought up with computers at school and in my home but you have to remember that the majority of elderly people are not tech savvy and don't understand gadgets such as answer phones, call guardian, mobile smart phones etc. I think the younger generation sometimes just expect everyone to be able to do and understand every thing they can. Also a lot of people don't understand scams - they see emails or receive calls from scams and are not as "clued" up as you or I on spotting them.
    If you read the various articles about this company you will see that most of the employees know what they are doing and were specifically asked to target certain groups of people. Are you justifying this? cause it sounds like it, maybe you would like to justify robbery, theft and murder whilst you are at it because the motive behind those crimes is nearly always for money! I'm sorry but if you are working in an environment which is purposely targeting people of low income, or with disabilities or the elderly then you have chosen to do that, no one is forcing you to stay in that job, you will see from the guardian article that some of the whistle blowers couldn't stomach what they were doing and they quit. If I was asked to do something immoral like this I'd either challenge my employer or quit - justifying it is pathetic.
    Your last comment is pure gold, many of these "adverts" are designed to catch non tech-savvy or "clued" up individuals into dilvuging personal details with the promise of some sort of discount or special offer. This is what happened to my mother, she didn't sign up to be hounded by dozens of phone calls throughout the (same) day.
    It isn't a problem for my mother anymore as I already said above we've blocked all the numbers using Call Guardian so the phone doesn't ring anymore for those numbers. However you can still see that they are calling if you look in the call history. Why don't they give up? There is a recorded message that is played by Call Guardian telling the caller they have been blocked and to not call again. I really hope the ICO can bring a case against this company.

  • JJ_EganJJ_Egan Forumite
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    (but you have to remember that the majority of elderly people are not tech savvy and don't understand gadgets such as answer phones, call guardian, mobile smart phones etc)

    BUT a significant number of posters who answer tech questions on here are actually in that age group and are compos tech mentis .
  • D4rkS4v4ntD4rkS4v4nt Forumite
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    BUT a significant number of posters who answer tech questions on here are actually in that age group and are compos tech mentis .
    Thanks for your valuable contribution - do you have anything to add on the original topic?
  • edited 27 May at 6:40AM
    PollycatPollycat Forumite
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    edited 27 May at 6:40AM
    Pollycat said:
    My mum contacted me last week as she was extremely distraught and upset after falling for a Facebook advert scam by Prosperous Life - claiming to be offering Funeral Plans which are subsidised by the Government for pensioners.

    Are they really making this claim?
    If they are, is the claim not true?


    Do you have answers to these 2 questions?
    Thanks
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