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Appointment-Setting Scam Unmasked

Apr 6th, 2009 | By | Category: Marketing

appointment setting scamTanya called from Las Vegas about a month ago.  “Do you make websites?” she asked sweetly. “How about branding, print, collateral?”  Tanya admitted that she was appointment setting for her “boss,” Bob Taylor at TSSsales.com.  Bob never kept the appointment that Tanya set, and a month later I got a call from Steve Long in Las Vegas with the exact same opening question, “Do you make websites?”

Hmmm, how many other similarities? Steve was from TSFsales.com in Las Vegas and, (surprise!) Tanya and Robert Taylor used to work at Steve’s company. Robert Taylor was not only Tanya’s “boss,” he is her husband and they recently left the company to “work at a casino.”

Did Tanya and her husband Robert (Bob) Taylor take the prospect list and set up TSSsales.com using the same pitch? Tanya said TSS stands for “Technical Sales Solutions” and it had a rudimentary website. Steve Long’s company acronym stands for The Scroggins Family and has been in business for Las Vegas for several years. They verify that all their clients can pay their bills because they carefully review each companies financial information.

How safe is your financial information with a Las Vegas company that churns employees? How honest are the employees who review your financial information? Have you been cheated with an appointment-setting scam? If so, please leave a comment.

29 comments
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  1. I got the call too. The man on the phone acted as if he didn’t know much about what he was talking about.

  2. I received a call as well. I’m wondering if this is a legit company or not. The man I spoke to was very articulate and everything sounded wonderful… “too good to be true” right? That’s why I started researching this company online. I haven’t found anything… nothing really bad, except for this site, yet, nothing really good either. That should tell you something. Anyone with more information on TSF Enterprises, Inc. please share your experiences with us here. Thank you in advance, Guest.

  3. I would be very reluctant to give these folks detailed financial information. Be very careful.

  4. I’ve been doing research on TSF Enterprises for quite a while now. They certainly ask for a lot of money, but seem to fail to furnish proof that they can and DO produce, other than some abstract numbers (if they do produce like they claim, the fees really aren’t that bad, but its a huge risk). I do know this: their website doesn’t portray a trust-worthy professional image. This bothers me greatly, especially considering that sales is all about presenting a favorable image. I am interested in the services they offer, but they have yet to win my trust enough for me to take the next step.

    I would love to hear more about people’s ACTUAL experiences with this company as clients, unsolicited by TSF, but as I look around I see two things: people who sing their praise and leave no way of contacting them (real clients, or employees?), and people who decided to not to risk it in the first place and insist its a scam. Where are their actual clients? Why can’t they furnish testimonials before I sign on the dotted line?

    If you have experience with these guys, good or bad, I know I’d love to hear it.
    Thanks!

  5. I am a former client of TSF Enterprises. Working with TSF Enterprises Inc in Las Vegas was a colossal waste of time and money. They purport themselves to be a telemarketing and appointment setting company. They failed at every turn and I am currently in the (months-long) process of trying to get a refund. My business is based in a well-populated, sophisticated part of Southern California and my target market is companies doing $5M in sales or more annually. After months of working with TSF, I had gone on 4 sales calls and talked to two companies on the phone. All of the companies I talked to made less than $500K per year and one even made $60K! What a joke. When I complained I was told that my area just doesn’t have any companies in my target market! I know for a fact this is not true because of research I’ve done myself using SalesGenie.com and other similar databases. After weeks and weeks of being passed from one “expert” to another and being told that “this time we’ll get it right” I finally demanded a refund. I was refunded part of my money but not all of it. I have dealt with Timothy Scroggins repeatedly and now he is dodging my calls. He has told me that he is not the owner of the company but when TSF stands for The Scroggins Family what am I supposed to think. I have been lied to and cheated by this company and am completed disappointed by the way I was handled by Timothy Scroggins and his team at TSF Enterprises. If you ever run across these people, run the other direction.

  6. Got a call from “Sal” with TSF enterprises soliciting me to sign on with them to get business referrals for video production. He said they were located in Las Vegas (red flag) and wanted to have me talk to his boss if I would agree to signing up with him. Seems like a big scam which is sad in today’s economic climate…

  7. Wish I had Googled the company before sending them $2400. Their approach was very articulate and convincing. I bought in to their sincerity. Since then it’s been a runaround and each contact has very sincerely promised they’d get it right. I will be making my attempts to recover what I can and plan to contact the Las Vegas DA, and whatever other agencies that might help. Also will be contacting my Credit card company to see how they can help. If anyone has any suggestions or hints on what more to do I would really appreciate hearing from you.

  8. This is in response to the previous blogger, Vern Clinton. I am an appointment setting manager at TSF Enterprises. We set a total of four appointments for Vern, and he closed, or sold one of them. Many companies would love to be in his place in this these economic conditions. 1 out of 4 prospects is no so bad. I think from reading this blog he got nervous.

  9. This last comment is what they emailed me when I told them I was ready to proceed with the Las Vegas DA and the Nevada Attorney General with my complaint against them. The one legitimate lead out of all they sent me is not yet closed. However it was legitimate. The others were not leads within the parameters of our contract and some had false information according to my phone discussion with them. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has had positive or negative experience with this company if you are willing to state your story for the record if necessary. My email address is tsfproject@silkshorts.com. Please don’t write unless you are willing to back up any allegations you make. Thanks.

  10. I, too, am a victim of TSF Enterprises scams.

    In fact, after requesting for a refund repeatedly, they left me with no choice but to dispute the charges with my credit card company.

    I would be more than willing to share my story in an effort to expose these jokers for what they really are – high-pressured scam artists.

    Vern, I just sent you an email with my contact information, and I look forward to speaking with you…

    TSF Victim

  11. Our company (based in Kansas City) has been getting 2-3 calls a day from “Everyday Contractor” for the last 6 months. They are supposed to be a contractor referral network, similar to Service Magic and angie’s List. When they call, the number shows up in our caller ID as “TSF Enterprises”.

    Me and one other person in our company has dealt with them, and everytime they solicit us to sign up for their services, we ask that they send us info about their company. That’s never happened, and they continue to call 2-3 times a day. They are simply trolling.

    Today, I finally looked them up on Google and found dozens of sites similar to this one, talking about how they are scam artists. I feel sorry for anyone foolish enough to send them money before doing any research, because I haven’t found anything legitimate about their company online.

  12. My wife and I are graphic designers who also do websites and we were approached by Michael Seligman of TSF Enterprises, in Las Vegas. It took Michael six months to convince us to work with his appointment setting company. Before signing on with them six months ago we checked with the Nevada and Las Vegas Better Business Bureaus, the Nevada States Attorney General and the Nevada Department of Consumer Affairs. There were no complaints with this company. In doing an Internet search nothing came up as well. So we figured they must be legitimate and sent them $2400 to set appointments for us. We really wanted this to work. It sounded like a win-win-situation to us.

    It has been a nightmare ever since! The very few (four) appointments that they did set early on did not even come close to fulfilling our agreement with them as legitimate potential clients. These people should never have been sent to us as legitimate appointments. When we started complaining about the service, we were shuffled off to another person named Joe Leggio by his wife Jennifer (didn’t know that). Joe said he would look into it. Two weeks later we find out that both Jennifer and Joe were let go. We were then shuffled off to other people and-on-and-on-and-on.

    We then demanded our money back due to non-fulfillment of the contract. We were shuffled off to Arelia who talked us into waiting two more weeks to let the original person, Michael Seligman, work our account–he’s very good. She said if it didn’t work out at the end of the two weeks that our money would be promptly refunded. I asked her for that in writing and she sent me an email to that effect. We waited and we waited. In contacting Arelia after the two weeks she said that she would need to talk with the owner to get our refund started. It’s been two weeks now and my attempted phone calls to her yielded no results. She’s not available. she is out sick. Finally, She’s going through family problems.

    We have repeatedly demanded to speak to the owner. Apparently this is not going to happen.

    We believe that the only thing they know how to sell is their own services!

    In speaking with the Nevada State’s Attorney General, they could only refer me to the Consumer affairs Division that has been shut down for two years by the Governor of Nevada. Isn’t he a swifty!!!

    I contacted the Nevada Better Business Bureau and am filling out their Official Complaint Form at http://southernnevada.bbb.org/complaintform.asp

    I then contacted the Las Vegas Department of Business and Industry. They said they could not help me, but in doing a search through their computer system they discovered that TSF Enterprises has 8 complaints against them since April of this year (we signed on with them in March 2009) with the Better Business Bureau and they were all resolved. They are a BBB Accredited Business with a B+ rating.

    I contacted the BBB and found out that this was true and that when I submit the on-line form to them, they will send a formal complaint to TSF and that TSF has 10 days to respond with a solution.

    I also contacted a very helpful person at the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office. She said we could also get copies of both sides of our check we mailed to them and then launch a formal complaint with their bank.

    Been had in Southern California

  13. Hello to all who have had to deal with TSF Enterprises. I am here to say that I have no emergency, family problems, I am not sick and I QUIT! After dealing with this company and its owners unethical business practices I had to throw in the towel. I am so sorry that you Larry and your wife with Sketchpad yes I know who all the customers are, were unable to resolve your issues as well as others that put their confidence and trust in me. I am thinking of starting my own business appointment setting as if done correctly without the attitude or spirit of “Greed” will work out great for all involved. They were sales motivated and didn’t think before spending. When the problems came to me after being mishandled by many before me I did attempt to streamline functions but that is impossible to do alone. After the owner had been so upset from chargeback after chargeback (as if I spent the profit with them?) and Michael leaving him at a conference in Florida to never return to the conference or work, the work load was too much to bear after constantly asking for help, he cursed me, disrespected me as a person, a woman, wife, mother etc. and told me he didn’t give a @#$% about me because I felt a nervous breakdown occuring as a result of work load, harressment and verbal abuse. In those words I left that morning never to return. I wish you all well.
    Regards,
    Arelia

  14. We have a small plumbing business and received a call from Lisa Walker at TSF Enterprises today. She said she represented “EveryContractor” and wondered if we were interested in taking on more business. When I told her we were on the “do not call list”, she said she hadn’t seen any list. I told her it was the national do not call registry, and her company better find out about it. She quickly hung up.

  15. I was hoping this scam was dwindling, but I got a new variation yesterday. “Do you make websites?” was the opening question, which is always the start of an appointment-setting scam call. “Sasha” said she was from NCIT Solutions, which stands for “North Carolina IT Solutions.” She wanted to set up a time for me to talk to her boss about outsourcing programming work. Sasha’s voice and connection told me she was calling from India using VOIP. She gave me the call back number 919-926-1767 which I searched on Google. The results? “I am looking for leads. Call Steve at 919-926-1767 CallCentersIndia.com. So the scam has spread to India, and they just work the lists. Low-paid workers in India have not heard of the “Do Not Call” list. Our national Do Not Call registry has no power in India. The India call centers buy any list they can get, and their low-paid workers get paid pennies for each appointment.

    What to do? A couple of years ago I found my name on an Indian compilation of web developers. Every time I get a call from someone wanting to “update my listing” I ask them to take me off the list. But, if they are in India, they don’t have to take me off the list. The best we can do is tell each other about our experiences, and warn them of the scam techniques. Thanks for your comment, Katie.

  16. My experience was almost identical to Larry Holt’s, so I won’t bother to go over all the same details. I really wanted TSF to do what they promised, but was completely let down. Of the very few appointments they set, only one was even close to a potential client. When my designer arrived at a couple of the “appointments,” he was told that they had never agreed to see us. Another woman said the only reason she agreed to meet with us was because she had been relentlessly badgered and wanted us to have to come all of the way out to her location just so she could give us a piece of her mind. Ouch.

    I’ve been told by the revolving door of personnel here that we would get a refund, but every time I call about it I’m told there is no one available to talk to me, or that they will mail me the form I need to fill out or, just today, that I need to send them a cancellation notice. Funny, since they haven’t made any “appointments” or had any contact with me in two and a half months, I would have figured they already knew I wanted to cancel their “services.”

  17. @Arelia – good to know you left the ‘dark side’. If you remember who I am, you remember we had some ‘words’ together. I understand now you were probably under some serious pressure.

    Anyone else out there, I can confidently say that my experience with TSF Sales / TSF Enterprises has been the worst experience of my very successful 3-year business. They really make you feel like throwing up…

    -a kline

  18. I too have worked with TSF Sales and as in almost all sales they have their down sides and it was a ruff start, but in the end they helped me land some major clients. I have a cleaning company. I did have to call a few times and ask “hey where are my appointments” but besides that, I had no problems. It’s not a scam. They find people who are interested in my services, but then it is my job to keep them interested. They are located in Las Vegas, NV (not a red flag, there are tons of companies in Vegas. It’s a major city in U.S. Like any other, it just happens to have mostly entertainment.) and if you have doubts about them, they will give you client to contact whom you can talk to.
    Thank you for your time,
    Heather.

  19. Why would Heather post this? Do people who had a “ruff start” search the web to post comments like this? I don’t think Heather’s comment passes the “sniff test.” Do you?

  20. I have found TSF to be untruthful and disingenuous every step of the way. I too am chasing a refund (for half a year, when their contract clearly states 21 days) and being BSed at the most insulting level — I am astonished that these people have not been stopped and can continue as they do. Count me in as a willing participant in any effort to expose and stop this operation.

  21. We’ve had the same awful experience described the others. Is there a way to file a class-action lawsuit? I would be willing to participate.

  22. I too am willing to participate in any group effort to stop these people. I submitted my case and all supporting documentation to the credit card provider through which I initially made my payment, and they investigated and credited my account. Mary Ann and others, if you paid by credit card, you may wish to try the same. During the final weeks of my phone discussions with TSF, I actually recorded all the calls and TOLD them I was doing so (!), but it did not deter them from continuing to deal with me as they did!! While I now have been made whole financially, I remain committed to helping prevent others from becoming ensnared in TSF’s practices, if there’s a way…

    Advice to anyone reading this blog BEFORE signing with TSF and paying them any money (which I wish I had had the smarts to have done): DON’T do it!

  23. I too am willing to participate in a class action. TSF didnt even get my sales script right. We are primarily a campaign media company for churches going through building programs. TSF sent us a sales script that advertised us solely as a web design company. I have been trying to collect my money for over six months only to navigate the same guantlet that the rest of you went through. My attorney has already written them a letter, which we are yet to get a response to. These people need to be shut down. Sign me up.

  24. I think TSF was targeting web design companies, Stan, which is why I got the call. Web designers do not have the best reputation for integrity and follow-through, and adding TSF to the mix only worsens the problem. I would love to see you all start a class action!

  25. i just filed a complaint with the BBB. after doing so, i checked their complaint history. The BBB has no record of a complaint being filed int he last 36 months!!! That makes me wonder about the BBB!!! I know people are filing complaints.

  26. Same experience here with the Las Vegas BBB — they’re definitely covering for TSF — how distasteful is that! Would love to expose that situation as well.

    As I mentioned in my previous post of 2/22, I enlisted the help of my credit card provider to get my money back (after reviewing all of my documentation, they debited TSF’s account and credited mine, and made sure that TSF could never re-debit my account). But I remain ready at any time to join any effort to shut these people down. It’s outrageous that these people are ABLE to continue doing what they are, with no intervention from any authority.

    Those who have paid TSF by credit card should pursue the same remedy as I did.

  27. I’ in the Las Vegas area and I am getting calls from these people about some form of marketing opportunity. Thank you all for the insight -I’m sorry that you were taken advantage of. These comments really help.

    P.S. I think they got my information from LinkedIn

  28. I was an appointment setter for a company called pro services. We did what is called cold calling where we called random numbers and tried to market our services to them. The first week was training, and there were a lot of red flags that I didn’t see until it was too late. We were supposed to be able to pick an AM shift or a PM shift. I picked the PM shift because the AM shift started at 8 am and to get there in time I had to be up at 5 and then out the door at 6 to catch a bus and then had to switch buses multiple times to get there. That was red flag number one since I never got to pick which shift i wanted like I got told I was. Red flag two, they never asked for any info for a W2 or anything so they could pay us. Week one was training, and after week one I was fired. I was told week one was just training and you don’t get fired because you’re still learning, plus I met all of the quotas I was supposed to, and they lied to me because they said they couldn’t pay me because no one wanted their services. I was told that any time we call someone and they say “yes” when we ask if our “Service teams” can call them back later, then we get paid. That week I had 15 people say yes, and never got paid for anything. What a waste of time.

  29. The company is back with the same scam. Their new website is: http://www.salesforceboost.com
    BEWARE…same principals involved……..

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