Yesterday an unknown woman phoned my aunt's house and asked to have her call a toll-free number about her order.

When my aunt called, the greeting was "Marlboro Company." The woman asked my aunt her name, phone number, and date of birth. Then she asked if she smoked or had ever smoked. Then, without ever mentioning an address or what had been ordered, she said my aunt must have been the wrong person.

If they'd thought my aunt had ordered something, wouldn't they have refreshed her memory? What was the point of the call?


[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Are you certain your aunt did not misdial when calling back? What you described sounds like a technique used by bill collectors/skip tracers trying to verify a phone number with a given name/address. Telemarketers on the other hand usually just make their pitch without taking a risk that the potential customer will neglect to return the call. And, bill collectors/skip tracers depend heavily on the ANI which an 800 number invariably produces for them. I do not think the Marlboro people told your aunt she 'must have been the wrong person'; but rather, that she had reached the wrong person, i.e. misdialed on her call back. She probably misdialed and got on a telemarketer's (for Marlboro) incoming line. PAT]
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