This is an interesting (and frightening) article about the levels debt collectors go to track down and secure outstanding consumer obligations. But what about when collectors have the wrong number? Well, I'll tell you...
Since I work out of my home office, I had to have a land line installed. I completed this about 2 weeks ago and what was my first incoming call? A debt collector.
"Hello?" I answered.
"Hi, may I speak to Harold?" A woman asked in a very thick Indian accent.
"I'm sorry, you have the wrong number," I said politely.
The woman went on to verify that she had dialed correctly, but that this was no longer Harold's number.
Two hours later I got a similar call, but it was a male with the same Indian accent. Again, I let him know it was not the correct number for Harold and that he'd dialed properly.
This went on for the next 3 days. The 4th time I'd received the call I started to get angry. I asked the woman how many times I had to repeat myself before they took the number off the list? Then I demanded to know what organization she was calling for and to speak with her supervisor. She claimed no supervisor was available and that she worked for a debt collection agency. The calls display as "unknown number" on my caller ID and unfortunately I can't ignore them because it could very well be a client since they also display that way.
Finally I decided if they were going to keep calling, I was going to be their worst nightmare.
On day 5 I received the debt collector call at 10:00 a.m.
"Hello?" I answered.
"May I speak to Harold?" A male voice with the Indian accent asked.
"Whaa?" I asked in my deaf voice. (Yes, I know. Spare me the "you're so mean and wrong" lectures.)
"May I speak to Harold please?" He repeated.
"Is Harold there?" He raised his voice.
"I caht heah oo," I replied. "Oo waht Maui?"
"HAROLD!" He shouted.
"Why aw oo elling at me?" I asked, sounding hurt. "Oo gonna make me cwy."
"I'm looking for Harold!"
"Top it! Oo so mean to me. Why?" I sobbed.
I didn't receive a second call that afternoon, but I did receive one the next day around 5:00 p.m.
"May I speak to Harold?" A male Indian accented voice asked.
"Ho-kay!" I answered in my Miss Swan voice. "You are Harold?"
"No," he replied. "I need to speak with Harold."
"Ohh," I said. "You sucha the silly! There's no Haro' here!"
"Um, can I speak to your Mom?" he asked.
"Ohhh, dirty dirty boy!" I giggled. "You wanta the Miss Swan to be your Mommy?"
"Bad boy!" I said. "Miss Swan will spank you!"
"Uh," he stammered. Then he recited my telephone number and asked if it was the one he dialed.
"Ho-kay!" I said. "You calla me any time. I jerka you off and shova my phone uppa your ass!"
Mind you, I said a few other things, except I am not going to write them here. But you can put it this way: it was not PC and it probably really offended him. The good news is that I haven't gotten a call from them since.
I'm just hoping I drove them off once and for all.