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I have been receiving calls from a local "non-profit" theater company after attending a performance in June 2011. After the first call, I politelty asked them to not call me anymore. Same for the second call, sometime last Spring. They called again in September 2012, and again last night.

The response I received from the phone rep was 1) we are a non-profit so we are exempt from "Do Not Call" regulations, and 2) it takes a year for us to remove your name from our calling list, and it won't be updated again until May 2013.

I went back and forth with the phone rep a bit, and finally asked them to send me a letter in writing indicating they have received my multiple requests to not call and that I would be removed from their list.

I received an apologetic email from someone in charge several minutes later, acknowledging that in September 2012 they did in fact receive my request to not call anymore.

Since they acknowledged their fault in contuning to call me, and also since it seems non-profits can skirt this regulation, what can I do at this point?

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^^ So you keep a pad of paper next to your cell phone?

Al3xK (Dec. 12, 2012 @ 12:48p) |

PROTIP: Ask the callers to remove you from their list and they virtually always will.

Crazytree (Dec. 12, 2012 @ 3:48p) |

They are being unreasonable.

beatme (Dec. 12, 2012 @ 3:51p) |

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Get over it?

When someone says "I'm sorry", you're supposed to say "No problem", and then move on.. AT least, that's what my kindergarten teacher told me..

If you just want the calls to stop, why don't youc all them, say you need to udpate your number, and then tell them a non-working number?

It is a non profit, probably staffed by volunteers mostly. As scotto said, get over it.

On the funny side, this reminds me of Seinfeld saying "Give me your number and I will call you at a bad time"

FYI Everybody above this post, "Non-profit" doesn't mean they can't profit...and they're not always volunteers trying to "help" people in need.

It sounds like entitlement from the non-profit about their ability to harass the OP. They're just calling begging for money. Sure some will go to help people, but I'm sure part of their business model is to collect enough money to pay their members and C-levels.

There are plenty of millionaires running non-profits. I remember reading about a guy who started a "nonprofit" to help place foreign students and received all sorts of grant money who was making a fortune. The company didn't retain profits, but he sure got paid well.

Do you know if the people doing the calling are actually from the local non-profit theater company or if they're calling "on behalf of..."? I've had similar experiences with various charities and non-profit organizations in the past, and I had some luck talking to the actual organization and informing them of the situation.

Life is too short, hang up on them or just say something very curt and quick and hang up. I used to try to explain but I don't anymore.

We put our 2 1/2 year old on the line. He enjoys the calls.

Non profits are still subject to certain provisions of the do not call list. Rather then going off half cocked, record calls (check if you need to notify the other party of the recording first) and document everything. Wait for their next call, let them know that you would like them to not call you any more and wait for their next call. Then sue.

To file a complaint for violation of do not call:

https://complaints.donotcall.gov/complaint/complaintcheck.aspx?p...

So are scammers posing as non-profits considered non-profits as far as this law?

Suing charity for fun and profit? I think not.

A couple points:
(1) Nonprofit =/ charity or exempt organization so if they aren't an exempt organization, they still have to follow the law
(2) If the calls are coming from a telemarketing company soliciting on behalf of a charity, they still have to follow the law

On the other hand you may be considered to have an existing business relationship with them so even if they aren't exempt from the law, you may not be able to do anything. I have no idea what the "existing business relationship" must entail, but it shouldn't be too difficult to find that.

All of this is discussion is purely theoretical anyway unless the law actually allows private citizens to sue for violations of the law (I have no idea if it does because I'm not a lawyer and haven't read the law).


At least OP knows the theater calling him is a legitimate organization and he has enjoyed a play there.

The only charities that call me are those ridiculous "police organizations" calling to remind people not to drink and drive -- and hawk their "support the police" stickers.

My foggy understanding of the TCPA, telephone consumer protection act, was that people could sue individually for violations in state court. Which is weird, considering its a federal law. $1500 a pop.

But a quick read says that tax exempt non profits do not need to keep do not call lists. So its time to go to plan B. Picket line in front of the theater.

I find many companies violate Do Not Call. I tell them to stop, say I'm on Do Not Call, but they continue calling. I feel helpless, as when one company stops a bunch of others start. The penalty for violating Do Not Call should be increased to death.

Thanks for the replies. BTW, here is the "non-profit" that won't stop bugging me.

http://walnutstreettheatre.org/

Can someone pull a 990 on their financials? What really irritates me is I find it unacceptable it takes 1 year+to be removed from their do call list.

TravelerMSY said:   Suing charity for fun and profit? I think not.

OP said its a theater company, its not a charity.

CorradoJr said:   what can I do at this point?

Block the number.

b534202 said:   TravelerMSY said:   Suing charity for fun and profit? I think not.

OP said its a theater company, its not a charity.


Many community theaters are tax exempt non-profits.

Domain ID13207316-LROR
Domain Name:WALNUTSTREETTHEATRE.ORG
Created On:15-Nov-1999 19:05:40 UTC
Last Updated On:01-Mar-2012 17:50:54 UTC
Expiration Date:15-Nov-2017 19:05:40 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:register.com
, Inc. (R71-LROR)
Status:CLIENT TRANSFER PROHIBITED
Registrant ID:07416002ec7f6258
Registrant Name:Mark Sylvester
Registrant Organization:Walnut Street Theatre
Registrant Street1:825 Walnut Street
Registrant Street2:
Registrant Street3:
Registrant Cityhiladelphia
Registrant State/ProvinceA
Registrant Postal Code:19107
Registrant Country:US
Registrant Phone:+1.2159232055
Registrant Phone Ext.:
Registrant FAX:+1.2155743598
Registrant FAX Ext.:
Registrant Email:

Who's the smart guy on FW that programs "P" to be smiley faces anyway?

cr3s said:   Who's the smart guy on FW that programs "P" to be smiley faces anyway?
P seems to work fine. I think you mean ":"P


ensignlee said:   If you just want the calls to stop, why don't youc all them, say you need to udpate your number, and then tell them a non-working number?

I like this idea. But I think those idiots are too lazy to bother with all this updating number. They just add the new number and call both numbers.

15M in revenue
Numerous individuals making 6 figure salaries (nothing necessarily wrong with that even in a charitable organization-but this isn't some small company just trying to get by so no need to feel sorry for them if this guy tries to sue them)
Granted, the question still remains...is it really worth it?

Kanosh said:   At least OP knows the theater calling him is a legitimate organization and he has enjoyed a play there.

The only charities that call me are those ridiculous "police organizations" calling to remind people not to drink and drive -- and hawk their "support the police" stickers.



I like to get the stickers, but not donating Wish more would call...

WorkerAnt said:   ensignlee said:   If you just want the calls to stop, why don't youc all them, say you need to udpate your number, and then tell them a non-working number?

I like this idea. But I think those idiots are too lazy to bother with all this updating number. They just add the new number and call both numbers.


I have had a school dial my phone multiple times over a decently long period of time, after me telling them a couple times that I was definitely not the student in question, and they should update the number. Took multiple times for them to either get it updated, or flush the wrong number out of all the disjointed databases.

If they are calling you on your cell phone, some cells (maybe an android feature, not sure) let you add a number to a blacklist, and it just auto ignores the call without you ever being notified.

Google Voice is awesome for blocking a number -- the caller hears the "this number is no longer in service" message.

Not for profits and politicians are exempt from the do not call list.

The NFL and NBA are not for profits.

Good luck. Your real battle is with the IRS. You can't beat em. You have to join em.

jetsfan92588 said:   A couple points:
(1) Nonprofit =/ charity or exempt organization so if they aren't an exempt organization, they still have to follow the law
(2) If the calls are coming from a telemarketing company soliciting on behalf of a charity, they still have to follow the law

On the other hand you may be considered to have an existing business relationship with them so even if they aren't exempt from the law, you may not be able to do anything. I have no idea what the "existing business relationship" must entail, but it shouldn't be too difficult to find that.

All of this is discussion is purely theoretical anyway unless the law actually allows private citizens to sue for violations of the law (I have no idea if it does because I'm not a lawyer and haven't read the law).


Existing business relationship is pretty broad, but that only allows them to call you until you ask them to stop; they have to honor your request to put you on their do-not-call list for marketing purposes.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) sets statutory penalties starting at $500 for violations and empowers consumers to sue for violations in various venues including small claims court.

Google "sue TCPA" to find a bunch of resources, including a California-specific document entitled "Suing telemarketers for fun & profit: TCPA law and you"

ETA: This doesn't help the OP because, as others have pointed out, non-profits are exempt from the TCPA. OP should write the company a letter expressing his distaste with their marketing process.

I am surprised codename hasn't popped up here. If there was anyway to profit from this, he would know.

This does suck tho. I donated to the Multiple Sclerosis Association, which sold my info to the upward foundation, and they call me weekly. They use multiple numbers so, I have to add new ones to my blacklist each time.

If you have a smartphone you can get an app to automatically answer and hangup the call from their number. It's one of the easier solutions I'd say. The Do Not Call list has been useless in my experiences.

CorradoJr said:   Thanks for the replies. BTW, here is the "non-profit" that won't stop bugging me.

http://walnutstreettheatre.org/

Can someone pull a 990 on their financials? What really irritates me is I find it unacceptable it takes 1 year+to be removed from their do call list.


Usually not too hard to find with a google search, but all I could find is one from 2008. The president and "founder" Bernard Havard received a salary of $474K + benefits, and a more recent article says that he is now the best-compensated of any arts nonprofit in Philly with a profit of $604K. There's a couple of other high-level employees making $250-300K listed as well. Total revenue is $15.6M, with $13.7M in program service revenue (mostly ticket sales) and $1.8M in contributions/grants. They spent $732K on "fundraising expenses" which I'm guessing includes ticket sales, but not entirely sure.

Nonetheless, as someone else said: do you know if it's the theatre itself running this fundraising/sales operation, or if the work is being outsourced to someone else? From their website, it looks like even the donations (in addition to the ticket sales) go through Ticketmaster, which I could totally see pulling this kind of crap. Or they might contract some other party to do this for them. If either of these are the case, I'd send the group itself a complaint about the telemarketers. They might be working with a third party because they're more effective at generating revenue or leads...but they don't want to lose potential customers or donors. Of course though, it might just be done in-house...either by actual employees, or unpaid volunteers/"interns".

Really, they don't deserve a free pass just for being a non-profit. There are certainly organizations and people within them that do good work...but it's not like everyone is in it just out of the goodness of their hearts. Many are not run that differently from a for-profit corporation (especially some large ones)...it seems like there's often more of an emphasis on increasing fundraising revenue rather than ensuring that it is used as effectively as possible. Especially with the salaries they make (relative to total revenue), I would suppose that the leaders of this organization aren't too driven by altruistic motives either.

let me just jump in and tell the op that i like his palindrome subject line.

Here is their 2010 990.

It looks like their telemarketing is in-house.

OP, have you emailed sassi@walnutstreettheatre.org yet?

OliverQuackenbush said:   let me just jump in and tell the op that i like his palindrome subject line.
Huh? Did the subject line change?

Skipping 11 Messages...
Crazytree said:   PROTIP: Ask the callers to remove you from their list and they virtually always will.

OP said: ...
it takes a year for us to remove your name from our calling list, and it won't be updated again until May 2013.
...

They are being unreasonable.



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