Ring-A-Ling

Are you getting even more unwanted phone calls than ever? I am. Also more recorded messages left on my answering machine. It’s like an epidemic.

I had hoped that when the Presidential election was over, all the telephone calls from political candidates would end. They haven’t. Now I’m getting calls every day from politicians telling me why they don’t support Obama. I suppose they think it’ll buy them some votes in the next election if Obama fails to undo the damage they did when they were in power. All it does is convince me that they really are as clueless as I always believed.

The next most common calls are from collection agencies who are trying to collect debts too old to be legally collected. That would be annoying enough if the debts were my own, but it’s even more annoying that they’re debts of somebody who once had my phone number.  Apparently these bogus collection agencies think I might be dumb enough to send them money just to get them to quit calling. One of the callers does give the debtor’s name — Dennis Somebody — and then after a lot of warnings that they mean business about collecting his debt, they say, “If you are not Denis Somebody, STOP LISTENING NOW!” Cracks me up every time. Probably would crack up Dennis Somebody, too, if he heard it.

Charities are calling more frequently too. I feel sad when they call. They never used to call so often or sound so desperate, and wish I could contribute to all of them.

What I REALLY wish is that the bogus collection agencies would only call the sleazy politicians, and that the politicians would send them money just to get rid of the calls, and that the bogus collectors would then give that money to the charities who are trying to help people who have genuine needs. I think I may start calling them all and suggest that.

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3 thoughts on “Ring-A-Ling

  1. I think they must hope that people will cave and pay. When I was fighting to correct some identity fraud, AT&T’s collection people did actually send an offer to pay a reduced amount on the fraudulent debt, and I was so frustrated after months of dealing with them that I considered it for a nanosecond of weakness — and then resumed the fight. I’ve since heard that paying a fraction establishes the debt as legitimate and then they come for the rest. They finally corrected things when I wrote a scathing “parable of the Kafkaesque world of AT&T” and included it with the payment of my real AT&T account (of 20+years, so I still don’t understand why they opened a second one, let it run up hundreds of dollars in arrears, and never-ever contacted me, just put it on my credit report — argh!!)
    Meanwhile, I know from Elaine Viet’s _Dying to Call You_ that the magic phrase is “Please do not call this number again,” or some variant of same. Even if they are exempt from the no-call list, they will then mark your number and not call back. With the collection agents, you might need to add a lawyer’s name to the request.

  2. I’m on the no-call list, and Florida has a law making it illegal to leave recorded messages even in cases of legitimate debt collection. An internet site dedicated solely to one place that was calling me said you had to send a registered letter demanding an end to the calls. I did that, with a copy to Florida’s attorney general. I think it was the copy to the attorney general that worked, because after getting my letter, which of course had my name and address, they wrote asking for my social security number! Those people don’t lack for gall. But the Florida attorney general’s office contacted Georgia’s attorney general, the state where the bogus collection agency is located, and told the agency to stop calling. In a week or two, the calls stopped. They must sometimes get money from people or they wouldn’t stay in business. What I don’t understand is why states attorneys general don’t just close them down.

  3. Wow, so much to say so little time, or the other way. Depends on your POV I reckon. First, the mess we are in, I believe policies of Reagan and Clinton put us in good shape. Policies of Bush JR and Obama will hopefully leave us on life support and not kill us outright. Somehow money that was once there is now gone (so much for not basing money on gold). My clients portfolios dropped up to 70% in value. So much for retirement.
    Collections, I am relatively young BUT I was diagnosed with stage 3 or 4 (depends which Dr I ask) cance. when I turned 36. You can bet I keep insurance and have since I was 18. Never a lapse. A local hospital lost my insurance info (along with my file that shows address, phone etc.). They did not file within the 6 month period, and they kept mailing letters to someone with my name but living 20 miles away. I didn’t find out till I did a credit check and saw it listed there as a judgement. I never received any notice, never served, nada. My treatment has cost most likely hundreds of thousands, and for 460.00 my credit gets a mark. Totally unjust.

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