Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Dumb and Dunner

The woman who used to have my home phone number has apparently amassed quite a few ducats of debt. So much so that my phone rings off the hook all day from creditors looking for Beverly [Redacted]. It seems that no matter how much or how many times I tell the callers that I am not her, she doesn't live here, I've never even heard of her, the calls just keep on coming. Because I work at home, I have taken to not answering my phone unless I recognize the caller ID, otherwise I could seriously spend a cumulative hour a day handling Beverly Redacted's dunning calls.

Recently, I've been receiving every half-hour calls from "Oklahoma" at a specific number. As thrilled as I was to be receiving a call from everyone in the great state of Oklahoma, the frequency was getting beyond insane. It got so ludicrous that I just finally threw up my hands and said, "I'm going to answer this so that Oklahoma will stop f***ing ringing my phone!"

Friends--if you, like me, are not in the demographic that routinely gets and avoids creditor phone calls, you will be as surprised as I was to learn the following: Apparently creditors no longer feel the need to call you directly. No, no. I picked up the phone and a recorded voice told ME to call 1-877-WHAT-EVA, ask for Ms. Price, and give the reference number 1277654099876-332. And then it hung up on me.


Lemme get this straight. You want me to pay YOU money that I don't even owe, and you want ME to call YOU in order to do so?! I don't get it. Does this approach work? Do the deeply-indebted credit card masses think they've won a timeshare in the Poconos? Do they think they've been invited to the studio audience of Deal or No Deal? Do they think that somehow money awaits THEM at the other end of that phone call? What on earth would possess anyone to call a number provided by an unnamed entity that couldn't even bring itself to pay an actual person to call your number. Who are the people who rush to find a pen to copy down the onerous 42-digit reference number, the 877 number, and "Ms. Price," the nom de guerre of the mysterious dunner out there in the ether?

I'm stunned. And, sadly, continuing to be dunned.


Anonymous said...

Interestingly, my local consumer troubleshooting radio show just commented on this very problem. If you contact the dunner and tell them not to call any more, they are requried to comply. At that point the only options they have are to take you to court or leave you alone. Most times they'll leave you alone. In addition, if you're on the Do-Not-Call list, you can file a complaint......which has some fairly hefty per-call fines involved.

Happy Days!

Raine said...

Fairly hefty? I'm not familiar with the States' laws on do-no-call lists, but disobeying it once in Canada is enough to put most businesses into the red.

Give it a try. Worst case scenario, somebody's using your home number to run a scam somewhere.

Joe Tornatore said...

I got to say I love the titles of your posts.

Anonymous said...

Anon #1 has this right. The previous owner of my number, Joyce [redacted] had caused similar credit issues for herself. Tired of complaining, I invested 1/2 of one day and called all of the card companies, law firms, and such and told them ALL about ALL of the other folks hot on her trail but that I'd simply drawn the short straw and gotten her number once it was in circulation. They all apologized for the nuisance and now the only calls coming in are MINE.