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Joe Copcheck’s old uncle was bamboozled by a fast-talking salesman for a publishing firm and ended up with a dozen unwanted book and magazine subscriptions. Reasonable, orderly, and rational letters didn’t help the old man in his attempt to return the books, nor did Joe’s telephone calls on his uncle’s behalf. So, they decided not to pay anymore, hoping to hear from an understanding human. Instead, the elderly man was bugged night and day by the publisher’s sales rep’s bullying phone calls, then by threats of collection agencies, and finally, by the dunning agents themselves. All this was for a $200 balance on a $350 unwanted order which he had tried to cancel. Joe finally got angry enough to do something outside the line of reason. But, he kept his sense of humor.

“Every city has a Dial-A-Joke line. You can never get through because the line is always tied up by someone calling…all hours of the day and night,” Joe informs me. “I used $200 of my own money – the same amount the bastards were terrorizing my uncle for – and placed ads in some local newspapers, including the local college paper for a `Brand New Off-The-Wall Dial-A-Joke Service. ADULTS ONLY!’

“Obviously, I listed the publishing house’s various office telephone numbers. Then, through a friend who works for the phone company, I got the unlisted home telephone numbers of the publisher and the president of the collection agency. I ran these numbers with an ad in a local scuzzy porno sheet offering `Free Sex calls! Our Hot, Young Coeds Play with Themselves and Talk Dirty to You – All Free to Introduce Our New Service! CALL TODAY!”

Joe and his uncle had their money’s worth and eventually, the company and collection agency gave up, as Joe knew they would, because it didn’t pay to take the old man to court for $200. So, the Copchecks got a lot of laughs besides the books and magazines.

Joe also passes along some variations of this scam, e.g., DialA-Prayer for an atheistic mark; Dial-A-Nazi for a Jewish mark, or vice-versa; and Dial-An-Orgasm for a prudish mark. Advertise in local papers or post handbills and enjoy the fun. Joe asks only that you keep those calls a’coming, gang.

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