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Stratton Press Publishing

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Calla Lily

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They purchased a whole bunch of mined data and are spamming the known universe. Except they're not checking their purchase for accuracy.

We used to have one landline. When we went to cell phones, my younger son got the landline number. He texted me today wanting to know if I was working with a "hybrid publisher in Delaware." It's been awhile since he heard me quote Yog's Law, so I'll give him a pass.

He said they left me an "urgent" voice mail. I told him to ignore it. Then I checked my own phone. Lo and behold, I too had a voice mail! Here's the transcript:

"Hi. Good morning. This is [name] from The Stratton Press the hybrid publishing company down in Delaware. I am leaving this message for Miss [me]. I really need to talk to you. It's very important and it's urgent. So if you have a spare time ma'am could you please give me a call back as soon as you get this at [number]. And hey, listen, I already sent you an email, so if you want to receive it please take time to read the email, okay? And that is all and I really hope that we can talk soon. Bye for now and take care."

Call center noise in the background. The caller's accent and emphasis on odd words = non-native English speaker--and guess what? Stratton has an office in the Philippines! Also, if one stretches belief, NYC and Wilmington (Delaware).

When did the Philippines become the hot place for publishing scams? Writer Beware has been pointing this out for awhile. I'll be forwarding the message to them, of course.

I used to work in direct marketing. I omitted from the above the multiple uses of my first name. Classic marketing trick--make the target think the offer is personalized just for them. Any good mail merge program does the same.

And, aww, they called me "Miss." I feel 40 years younger already!

:roll:
 

Calla Lily

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Another set of OMG!! URGENT!! Messages left on both numbers. Blocked them now. The world does not need more lying spammers.

Why lying? Because they claim to have sent me URGENT!! emails, which they have not. It's a ploy to get the gullible to call them. I still get the occasional email shouting that my access to a certain bank account has been blocked, except I've never had an account at said bank.
 

DMcCunney

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They purchased a whole bunch of mined data and are spamming the known universe. Except they're not checking their purchase for accuracy.
Check for accuracy? Why would they bother?

It's a phone variant of email spam. In email, the cost to blanket the known universe is effectively zero, so who cares about accuracy? If only a few suckers bite, it's worth doing.

It's a little more complicated in phone spam, but with similar motivation. You feed an automated dialer program a file of numbers and it calls them. People who actually pick up get a scripted voice message asking them to call back, or hold the line to or press 1 speak to a representative. Again, if a few suckers bite, it's worth it.

I used to work for a market research firm that used lists of numbers we bought from suppliers (called "sample" in the trade) that we fed to a predictive dialer. (I was the systems, network, and telecom admin at my shop, and was responsible for the care and feeding of our predictive dialer.) We were concerned about accuracy, and we bought numbers that fit particular criteria for the study we were conducting. We had call center agents waiting to talk to live human beings, and we at least wanted the live human beings to be the sort of folks our clients wanted opinions from if they were willing to do a survey. We even had a call center in the Philippines intended to catch people in time zones where those of us in the US would be asleep when the call got answered.

No surprise that the spam you report originated there. It's a "bucket shop", and it's in the Philippines because it's cheaper to do it there. You want live human beings for the suckers to talk to, but you don't want to pay them much.

We were distinctly unhappy about the sort of thing you report. All of that junk just made it harder for us to do our work, and my employer was active in industry efforts to try to curtail it. It was an uphill battle.

And phone spam is an increasing problem now because you can't just block a number for incoming calls from any particular spammer. The spammers can appear to be originating from a number of different locations, and blocking one doesn't block the others.

I have VOIP phone service from my ISP, and investigated being able to filter calls by originating IP address of the caller, but the capability didn't exist.
______
Dennis
 

BenPanced

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See, I wouldn't fault them for anything like that. Not everybody would get the reference; I didn't, not having seen The Wolf of Wall Street so there's no connection to it for me. Besides, somebody else might see the name Stratton and think "Dorothy Stratton", the murdered actress/Playboy model. So it could go any which way, depending on the cultural references pertinent to the reader.

However. I do fault them for their shoddy business practices, whatever the company's name would be or wherever they got it from.
 

erica

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I got an email and a call from this very same company. I've been exchanging emails with their so-called Acquisitions Editor for the past week, as well as had a few calls with him. I've since blocked the number, which is a Delaware number, but am still getting emails from him. The site appears to be flawless, and they have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, but I've even talked to the founder of Smashwords, who was also contacted by them, and even he advised me to stay away from them. Having read all this, I think I will be sending any further emails to spam.
 

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