Dealing with Bill Collectors and Telemarketers
Most of us will go through tough financial times at some point. I had my share I will admit and I was doing my best to keep up with bills but was failing behind. That’s when the bill collectors started calling. Now I am a reasonable dude. I knew I owed the money, and I understand that the people calling me were doing their job. That part of it I had no problem with. What I did have a problem with is when they started lying or pretending to be someone else. That’s not only wrong, but it's illegal. Good luck enforcing the law on a bill collector. Which is why I turned to my own technique of retaliation to deal with bill collectors and telemarketers.
Now there are online resources for reporting a phone number and getting it registered as a spam number. If you want to use more tactful methods, the Federal Trade Commission has established the Do Not Call Registry, but it takes time to work, and telemarketers nowadays seem to use many numbers to call from. If the collector is overseas, they can use a number for a short time and dump it, through means like Google or even many apps available. So, the problem that I found is that the bill collectors will call from random numbers and you cant keep up with all of them, let alone report them to the FTC in time to stop the harassment. Often even calling back at the number they called from will just get you a disconnected sound. It's as if debt collectors are using some ninja cloaking device - they know who and where you are, but you know nothing about them.
Not long after I was out of college, I was getting phone calls at home. One day when I wasn’t home, my sister answered and took a message for me. She said a girl named Laura called. She said that Laura wanted me to call her back, we knew each other from school. It was important. My sister of course gave me the third degree - “who’s Laura?” “whats so important? Did you get someone pregnant?” I knew a bunch of girls, but none named Laura. So I knew this was bogus. I tried calling the number back but couldn’t reach Laura, apparently she didn’t work at the number I called…hmmmmm.
About a week later I got another call from the same area code, but a different number. Ok, this time I was ready and I answered. But I answered in a "voice", my days of prank calls when I was younger had me ready to carry this out as far as I could. On the end of the line was “ Victoria” who needed to speak with me immediately. I said I was his roommate, in a bro surfer voice, he isn’t home, whats this about? She said it was private so I said ”you sound hot, whats your name?” she giggled and said Victoria. So I replied, he knows a lot of girls which one are you. She described herself a little, then I said “OHHHH! Victoria! You're the one he fucked in the ass last week” she gasped and stumbled for words. “so uhh, Victoria how you doin?” she just made a ugghh sound and hung up.
I never received another call from Laura, Victoria, or that area code again. I can't promise that the technique will work every time, but it has been a success for me. I have used it a few other times like when the car dealership wouldn’t leave me alone after a test drive and I explicitly stated that I was no longer interested. In this situation, I used my gayest voice and said "look Mark, he is spoken for. AND I WILL FIGHT FOR HIM". Mark never called again.
Another time a telemarketer called my sister and was harassing her, selling some stupid shit she didn’t want. I got on the phone and did my best Hank Hill impression - asking why he was “trying to sell my 15 year old daughter pornography”. Every time he spoke I would say something like “we don’t believe in your porno items sir” or “my daughter is underage this is illegal.” After awhile of continuing to try to sell me, he broke and yelled at me “it's not porn you stupid redneck!” and I gasped and asked for his managers name. He hung up and we cracked up. No longer did we receive calls from that number.
Then there's the time I tried to barter three goats to a telemarketer who was selling some supposed "lifetime" light bulbs....do what you gotta do to keep those telemarketers and bill collectors from calling.
Jeremy Wright is a self described opinionated bastard. Follow him on Facebook.