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NOT cool

We've had a persistant series of wrong number calls ever since we moved into the house.  Apparently some guy in the long term care business had the number before we did, and it still comes up if you Google our phone number.  On the bright side, it's been long enough that we've moved to the top of the Google search.  The problem is that because of the nature of the previous number holder's business, a lot of the calls we get are automated - sometimes you can't even tell who's calling, because their robot talked to our answering machine.  Some of the calls leave disturbing amounts of their own or other people's personal information on our answering machine.  I try to track them back whenever possible, but lots and lots of them just say "call us back."

One of the few good things about how long Bob was out of work was that he was able to intercept a ton of them live and get our number out of various systems.

This has ranged from annoying to infuriating over the years.  I probably should have changed the number right off the bat when it started and before I had given it to everyone who needed it, but I didn't anticipate that it would linger for this long at this level.  Yesterday's call has escalated the game, though.

Apparently Kent isn't paying his bills, where ever he is.  We got a dunning call.

Having gone through this a decade ago, there is a particular type of adrenaline dump when you hear "this is an attempt to collect a debt" on your answering machine.  I was completely baffled, because we're up to date on everything - I obsess about that.  But at the same time I'm frantically thinking "what did I miss?  What did I forget?"  It is NOT a good feeling.

Bob called the number back and explained at great length and with much greater patience than I could have summoned up that Kent is NOT at this number, it is someone else's private residence, has been so since 2006 and please correct your records NOW.  Apparently whoever was on the other end of the line was appropriately responsive, and that was the end of that.  You'd think "Hello, you have reached Bob and Kris" would be a hint, though.

But here's the thing.  This was some sort of business, and it's always felt a little shady to me that he wouldn't care that people and businesses would be calling the wrong number, that the business was listed with a wrong number on the internet, etc.  I am concerned that this is only the first of many, and I'll tell you right now that my nerves aren't up to that.  Maybe the guy last night was appropriate, but some of these agencies are downright abusive, and it wouldn't surprise me if we got one who decides not to believe that we're not Kent.

If that starts to happen, I'm changing the number.  I don't need this sort of grief.



Feb. 26th, 2011 01:28 pm (UTC)
Our phone number has only one digit different from the local Appelby's. Fortunately while we had the number, we didn't have a working land line for a few months (mice I think), and we haven't had any problems since it went live again.

I did have bill collector call me once for a medical co-pay I had never recieved a bill for (a legitimate debt). I was staying at my parents recovering from knee surgery, and didn't have my checkbook or credit cards with me, and the guy started yelling at me about how I obviously had no intention of paying the bill. I hung up on him, and called the outfit back, talked to a supervisor, and got an apology. I also went and payed the doc's office directly a week later when I was mobile again. I did suggest that they might want a collection agency that didn't assume that everyone was an evil deadbeat on the first phone call.