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Should I get a new phone number?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Rusty Shackleford, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Active Member

    Well, I'm awake. Have been since 8 -- five hours after I went to bed. Want to know why? Abron Jackson (who isn't me) won't pay his bills, that's why.

    Want to hear a funny story? Well too bad, cause I'm gonna tell you one anyway.

    The phone rings. I look at the clock: 8:06. I wake up thinking it's my paper and I've made some ungodly error in today's edition (which happened once and has scarred me for life I think -- every time the phone rings early like that, that's what I'm afraid it is).

    Anyway, I answer the phone. "Hello?" Nothing. "Heeeeellloooooo?" Noise. In a thick Indian accent, obviously in a large call center -- "Yes, can I speak to Abron Jackson?" "God damnit, he's not here. I don't know him. He's not at this number. And we've told you fucking people to quit fucking calling us about him a hundred times already."

    All true. We get calls from debt agencies looking for this guy and another lady we've never met or known at least every other day. For the longest time we were polite and told them we don't know him, never met him, he doesn't live here, he doesn't use this number so please stop calling us. After months of that, we've just gotten pissed, and we pretty much go off on everyone that calls looking for those two.

    Anyway, my Indian friend's response this morning:

    "Well, if you ask me nicely I'll take you off our list, but if you speak to me like that I'll call you back every hour."


    Not three seconds later the phone rings again. I don't answer, but I hear a message being left on our answering machine in another room. I get up and go play it, and it's the same guy. I can't quite understand what he says through his incredibly think accent, but it's something about lunch.

    I'm wondering if he's going to call back, and what I should do/say if he does. Any suggestions?

    Anyway, would it be wise at this point, do you think, to simply give up and get a new phone number? It would be a pain in the ass to update our number with all the people/companies that would need to know our new one, but at this point, I'm thinking that might just be necessary.

    I don't know how, I don't know why, but I'm afraid that with all the calls we've gotten about this guy, and that other lady whose name I can't remember, that we always get from debt agencies, that this is going to come back to hurt us at some point. Somehow their credit problems will get us since they use our phone number.

    The fact that every time those debt agencies call, we tell them not to call again, and yet they still do, bothers me. We've had this number for a year and a half -- if this was just their old number that we inherited when we moved to the area, those calls should have stopped by now. The fact is, they're still using this number to avoid detection, and I don't want that to affect us.

    There have been times where I've been tempted to pretend I am this Abron Jackson guy, and talk to the debt agencies and get him in even more trouble in whatever way I could. But as my wife has pointed out, doing that will only get us more calls. If not for that fact, I think I would have done it by now.
  2. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Next time they call, blow a whistle very loudly into the phone. I bet they stop calling.
  3. bydesign77

    bydesign77 Active Member

    You should file a complaint with the FCC. If you have asked to be removed from their dialer, as that number is not valid for the person they are trying to reach, every call after that is a $500 fine for you. Now, getting that money is hard (lawsuits and all that) but you can at least get your number removed. And if they don't honor it over the phone, get their address and mail them a letter stating as much. Going that route is a better idea (make sure you keep a copy of the letter) as it will solidify your case with the FCC.
  4. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    No, talk to him and when he speaks, ask to talk to his supervisor.
    If he hangs up, call the phone company.

    And who's to say the next phone number won't have more deadbeats
  5. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Active Member

    No, he'd call back and blow one into my ear.
  6. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    look, the one thing that will never happen to you is that having the same phone number won't cause you and your wife future problems. don't worry about that part of it. having the same name? probably a problem. same SSN for some reason? potential problem. same phone number? it won't bite you in the ass.
  7. JackS

    JackS Member

    Here's a tip:

    You need to find Abron Jackson and tell him to stop giving out your f-ing phone number as his own or else you will cap his knees. Otherwise, expect these calls for years and years. Nothing else will work.

    Trust me on this. I was in your exact situation and as soon as I hunted down the offending party and "expressed my opinion," the calls from debt agencies came to an abrupt stop.
  8. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    Turn your ringer off and let Caller ID do the work for you.

    Better yet ... Cancel your land line and go 100% cellular.
  9. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Active Member

    I called ATT. Told them our problem. They said that the options we have with them include getting a temporary new number -- for two weeks, we'd have a new number and anybody calling the old one would be told it was disconnected and no longer in service. But that would be more trouble than it's worth because people we actually wanted to talk to wouldn't be able to get through to us unless we warned them, and I'm sure we'd miss somebody.

    She (ATT) said we could add caller ID, but she pointed out that most of those call centers come through as private or unavailable because they get routed so many different ways through so many machines before our phone actually rings, so it probably wouldn't do much good.

    Or, we could make our number unlisted, but she said if the problem is these people going around giving out our number, that wouldn't make any difference.

    Or, we could get a whole new number, but that's a pain for us and who is to say someone isn't doing the same thing on that new number.

    She said we could get on the do-not-call list (we are already), but if these people are going around giving our number out, debt agencies (or anyone else) has a right to call us because they've had a business relationship with us (or our phone number) within the past six months, which means it's perfectly legal for them to call us.

    So basically, short of asking them not to call back and hoping they don't, or changing our number, there's not anything we can do.

    Or like someone else said, I could hunt down Abron Jackson (although I guess he wouldn't be found in the phone book) and ask him to stop.
  10. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    If you know what collection agency it is, call them directly and ask to speak to a supervisor.
    Tell them you're getting calls for someone who doesn't live there; tell them of the assclown who keeps calling just to harass you after you've told them to stop (who it is should be in their system).
    And gently remind them, if they are truly uncooperative at this point, that they are not only violating FCC regulations, but the Fair Consumer Credit Act, which prohibits harassment. Still doesn't work? Let them know the next call from them will result in an immediate call from your lawyer.
  11. Oz

    Oz Active Member

    That's what I would do. Customer's always right premise.
  12. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    putting all this in a letter can also help.
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