Since summer, I've been receiving collection calls for a variety of people. I received calls regarding a cousin who I haven't seen in years.
I do not see her.
I do not know where she lives.
This same credit service called my dad-- at work. He wasn't there that day and thankfully, he works at a Mom and Pop. They phoned him, told him what was going on and my mother phoned. The man was horrible to her. She threatened legal action if he phoned her or anyone in her family again. She explained that my father could have lost his job at any other place for them pulling the stunt that they did. (It was heavy-handed, invasive and deceiving. They told my dad's employers that one of his daughters were in trouble.) He left a message on my machine about how I was involved in something that didn't sound good, legal and like the cops would be knocking at any moment.
After my mother's attorney threat, that debt collector even stopped phoning me. Good thing. There's no information here.
I got a call for one of my brothers. I phoned my mother. She had received a call. She took care of it. Voila. No problems.
I got a call for an aunt that my uncle divorced probably close to 18 years ago. I haven't seen her in probably 20 years. Nope. I know nothing. At this point, I don't actually know her, so when I said that, I didn't lie. (She has fallen into some poor choices and I wouldn't want to associate with her and her questionable ways anyhow.)
Recently, I've been getting calls for information on a young woman named Amanda with the same maiden name as I have. There have been Sunday calls, morning calls, afternoon calls, evening calls and by golly, I had enough. When I did answer the phone with the words of, "For the love of Pete," they hung up.
I called back.
I had called these same folks back on February 22, spoke with a young man named Cameron who seemed lovely and was happy to add me to the records as, "I don't know her." Alright.
Monday was when Pete came out. When I phoned back and a human answered, I said, "I will begin by saying that this isn't your fault and I'm not mad at you, but you have got to make this stop." We discussed my being phoned about someone that I do not know, have been phoned for weeks and had already spoken to someone to be put on a do not call list.
"Well, we don't have one of those."
"You should. Please put me on a list to not call."
"I don't have that authority."
"Could you connect me to someone who does? Believe me, I'm not mad at you, but if someone cannot make this stop, I am going to call the Attorney Generals office and file a report."
"Now Ma'am, let me see what I can do. I can manually remove your phone number."
"That would be fabulous!" (And amazing since she didn't have the authority just 30 seconds prior.)
That was Monday and the phone has been gloriously silent ever since. My caller ID isn't filled with the variety of numbers that that particular collection service uses. By the way, that would be at least 5.
The thing is, if you have these people calling you to death, pull the Attorney General card. In the state of Ohio, I've found the Attorney General to be a helpful tool. My bank started popping money out of my account without my permission. (An amount of $15.00 whenever they felt like it. Sometimes every month. Sometimes every couple of months. Previously, they had always credited back. They had signed me up for something on their own and for some reason, they hadn't changed it the way that they needed to.) I addressed it with the bank and they would do nothing. I wrote a letter to the AG and within days, my friend (who was a bank branch manager at the time for this bank) phoned and said, "I don't know what you said, but I just received a fax we are to refund the fees for anyone who asks, no questions asked." Voila!
I also turned Walgreen's over to them for taxing wrong on purchases. They really did try to work a resolution out with them and contacted me regularly. They were charging tax on pre-coupon amounts, which in some cases, was a significant difference in money. I don't know that they were able to resolve that (I'm not a Walgreen's shopper anymore), but they did try. I figured that if I was overcharged, everyone else was too and that would add up to significant sums.
If you have an Attorney Generals office, use them for good. That is what they are there for. I certainly wouldn't abuse their help, but they've been a good thing for us. Even the threat makes people stop!
Any good tips to get the debt collectors to stop calling when you aren't the one that they are looking for? They aren't nice people and any tips would be greatly appreciated by everyone I'm sure!
Have a great night!