Wednesday, June 03, 2009

I Don't Generally Complain, But...

/begin rant

Whomever is claiming my phone number and possibly also my last name and first initial but not first name, then signing up for things, not paying the bills, and letting the collections company give ME heart failure over it,

STOP IT RIGHT NOW.

First, it was Charter Communications last week. They left a cryptic robo-call message on my machine. It gave the name of the rep, the company name, and said, "please call the number at the bottom of your statement about this important matter".

Well, I've never even HEARD of them. So I googled. OK. It's a cable company. Still. I looked up their customer service number. I also googled to see if there were complaints about them (many, but not like my experience).

I called.

The rep said, "OK, if you give me your account number, I can look up the data, but it's about an unpaid bill."

OK... but I don't HAVE your service. Therefore, I don't have an account number.

The rep on the other end of the line asked for my zip code. I provided it. He was shocked.

"Uh, ma'am? We don't even service your state. So... it's not possible for you to have an account with us."

As I said. So... WHO IS USING MY NUMBER?

They said, because it's an unpaid bill, the service will eventually be disconnected, which doesn't affect me, of course, since I'm not a customer, but the calls should stop after that. So just bear with, and should an actual human attempt to make contact prior to shutting off services, try to intercept the call and explain to them this situation.

Nice. Let my machine fill up with these robo-things until the company gives up.

Oddly, there have been no further calls since.

Today, I get a robo-call from MCO or NCO Financial, stating it is an attempt to collect a debt.

Again. WHO ARE YOU? Nobody I do business with. They left a number. I called.

By the time the rep finished his rambling unintelligible spiel about how this was anattempttocollectadebtandthiscallmayberecordedforsecuritypurposes (at least, that's what I could make out), I was a bit irrational.

I said I'd received a call from your company and asked quite tersely who they represented (Charter, maybe?). He stated their own company's name. I said, "I don't do business with you nor have I ever heard of your company. And I've been having trouble with calls coming in on debts that have nothing to do with me, so I'd like to know who it is that is using my number."

He said "we're looking for a Ms. ______". And gave my last name. I repeated the name as if I'd never heard it before, just to be on the safe side.

He said "Yes, _____." And gave a female name that STARTS with my initial, but isn't my name.

I said, "Well, that's not me."

"Do you KNOW a _____?"

Nope!

"So then we have the wrong number."

I said, "Yes, and I'd like to know WHO this person IS because I'm tired of getting their calls!" I then told him about Charter.

He said jokingly, "Well, if you'd like to pay her bill for her, we'd accept that."

I said, "I have a better idea. How about SHE pay MY bills. That would work for me."

He chuckled and said "When we track her down, we'll have her do that."

I said good. He said my number would be removed from the list.

Now. Here's what I'm thinking happened. With cell phones and Vonage, it is possible to live in one part of the country but have a phone number from elsewhere. My friend moved to Minnesota for a year or so, but took a cell with a local Ohio number with him so he could call home for free. He never got phone service IN Minnesota. Didn't need it. So, it's plausible that he could have and probably did sign up for utilities in MN, and provided his Ohio number.

Same with my friend who stayed here a few weeks. He had Vonage. So his number was local to Nebraska. But he was in Ohio, and he got a cell phone here. Then he moved down South. I can only imagine...

So it is also plausible that someone either looked UP a phone number in another state bearing the same last name (sort of like identity theft but without the financial implications) so they could provide a number and get services without being easily trackable; or someone made up a number that happened to be mine; or... someone is purposely using my number.

I don't care which it is, just, whomever you are, STOP. Because I get enough calls of my own without dealing with yours.

/end rant

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2 Comments:

At 8:37 PM, June 03, 2009, Blogger Sheepish Annie said...

What???? I suppose it's a good thing that identity theft is less of a burden to the vicitm than it used to be, but it still doesn't take away the annoyance. Or the lost time spent explaining the situation. Or having to sift through messages to find the ones that are really meant for you. Or the sense of violation that comes from your name being stolen...

These people should be in jail!!!

 
At 4:50 PM, June 05, 2009, Blogger Trillian42 said...

Oh UGH. We have the same issue sometimes with our number, except that they aren't using our name. I'm guessing it's either the person who had our number before us (which is more than 5 years ago now), and since they don't bother to pay their bills, they certainly aren't going to bother to change their number with the companies.

 

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