Man takes phone call complaint a little too far
Papenfus, infuriated by the company's actions, threatened to burn the company's building down, then hunt down and kill the employees and their families.
Papenfus received a direct mail piece offering to extend the warranty on his car. However, he didn't have a warranty to extend. His wife says he called the company to find out why they made such an offer.
Apparently dissatisfied with the company's response, he called back. Finally, the company called him to resolve the issue, but the discussion between Papenfus and the service rep quickly went sour. After the service rep called Papenfus a jackass (or something similar, but profane), he responded with the threats that landed him in jail.
While the victim company was not listed in the police report, StLouistoday.com did some detective work and found that the only business that resided at the listed address is Service Protection Direct, a front for TXEN Partners.
Service Protection Direct was successfully sued in 2008 by the Missouri Attorney General for its business practices, and the Better Business Bureau has criticized its marketing materials.
The police set up a sting to lure Papenfus to the Fostoria, Ohio police station, where he was arrested and transported to St. Louis to await his trial. He is charged with making a terrorist threat, and could be sentenced to up to four years in jail.
I guess I've dodged this bullet in the past, because I've had some very heated discussions with trolls cold-calling me or sending me deceptive mail. I've never taken it to Papenfus's level, but is his frustration really so hard to understand? Perhaps he is wacko enough that the police need to take his threat seriously.
However, I suspect that he's a guy with a temper who had a bad day. Yes, I suppose he needed to be checked out, perhaps dressed down, even fined. Anything beyond that, however, seems like a grand waste of time and taxpayer money.
The next time you meet someone who has done cold-call phone sales, ask them how many times they were threatened by angry call recipients. You'd need a big, big jail to hold everyone who's ever gone postal on a phone marketer.