Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's time to call 'em out, ladies.

Faithful Minions will recall that there are very, very few times that I've shared actual dirty laundry on this here blog. Normally, if there's a personal story I have to tell, I keep it in the realm of macaroni and cheese or cute animal stories or how I nearly broke my knee in a fall at work.

The events of this weekend, though, have prompted me--because I am insanely pissed off--to do something I've never done before, which is call somebody out and name names.

It all started with a seemingly innocent phone call.

NCO Financial Corporation, I am looking at you.

You keep calling. You call during the day, you call during dinner. You call in the morning, in the evening, while I'm working out, when I'm otherwise indisposed.

And you will not get it through your thick collective head that the name "Jo Lastname" is in no way related to "Jim Lastname".

You refuse to believe me when I tell you that Jim doesn't live here and never has. Your last collections caller said snottily, "Well, ma'am, this *is* the Lastname residence" leading me to say "Okay, it's time I spoke with your manager."

"I don't have one," the caller, who I'll call "Chris" because that's the name he gave me, said.
"No manager?" I asked. "Nobody who supervises you?"
"You're all alone in that big, big call center?" I persisted.
"Ma'am, I don't have a manager, and I need to speak to Jim Lastname."

Listen up, boys: Jim Lastname has no connection whatsoever with me, aside from his initials. Not only does Jim not live here, but to my knowledge, he has never had this telephone number. I'm the only one who's been at this number for the last decade. I do not know Jim, and wouldn't recognize him if he showed up on my front porch in flames and covered with angry baby velociraptors. I am not Jim's wife, Jim's mother, Jim's sister, or any other relation to Jim. The only relative I have named Jim has a completely different last name and lives a thousand miles away from this telephone number, which, I hasten to remind you, is mine and mine alone.

No, there are no other people in the household, not like it's any of your business. If you really, really want to talk to a male, I'll have to put you on the phone with the dog or one of the cats (if I can get 'em to slow down long enough to meow at you).

No, I cannot get a message to Jim. See above: I have no clue who Jim is.

And you know what, NCO Financial? Even if you call me every twenty minutes for three hours like you did yesterday, these answers will not change.

Once I'm able to craft an email that won't sear the inbox of whoever's unlucky enough to get it, I plan to complain formally to the gentlemen (ha) at Giant Collections Agency, dba NCOF. First, though, I'll have to wait until my temper is such that anything I write won't be read as a single painful burst of high-pitched noise, with knives thrown in.

The best part of this whole saga is that it looks like, from what I've been able to find on the Innerwebs, that these folks often call people who've already resolved their credit issues through the original creditor. I feel sorry for Jim, whoever and wherever he is.


Gretchen said...

Report them to the police - you are receiving harassing phone calls. Next time, write down the number and the caller's full name if you can get it, and tell him you are reporting the harassment to the police. Or, tell the guy somebody will call him back about "Jim" and then report it to the police and have them call back. I did this at work one time when the front desk was being harassed by bill collectors for one of our employees. Yes the person worked there but the caller was harassing **us** at the front desk and we couldn't produce that person any more than you can.

Northwoods Baby said...

1) Send a certified letter, return receipt requested so you have proof of delivery, and tell them that you discussed how they have the wrong person. If they call again, you’ll sue them and turn them over to the Federal Trade Commission. According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, (and you need to use that phrase in the letter) if they call after they get the letter, you might just win yourself a little collection agency, and haven't you always wanted one?

2) Get an air horn and be prepared to use it next time they call.

3) make a video of it and send it to me.

Penny Mitchell said...

Dear Northwoods Baby,

I am intrigued by your philosophy and wish to subscribe to your newsletter. I would be honored to donate money towards the air horn.

Gotta go. Must build statue in your honor now.


Gretchen said...

That being said (above), I realize there's a difference between my crime-free area police dept. and other places. But they should be able to take a complaint and point you in the right direction. At my work at the time I had the added bonus of being able to transfer calls outside our system. So the next time the guy called, I said "Hold on, I'll transfer you" and transferred him to the police. It was fun.

Flea said...

We recently were receiving calls from some collection agency for someone who has never had this number, whose name is nothing whatsoever like mine or my husband's. The calls were a recording, computer programmed to call us twice a day at 0900 and 2100. The worst part is that the robot on this call never actually included a phone number for this Julie or whatever to call back!

Or for me to, for that matter. So I looked up the company name on the Interwebz and called them. Good news! It worked! Haven't gotten a call from them since. Thanks for the Internet!

Jo said...

NWB, all I need to know is that you have roosters named Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and a ewe named Eff.

Please let me move in and do all your baking. Thank you.

Brenda said...

Call, email...the FTC. They will give you a claim number.

Remember the car warranty phone calls....yikes. I would get 5 a day. Even after I pushed the number 2 to be removed from their calling list.

Anyway, I reported the harrassing phone call to the FTC and the next time the call came, I told the person that I had reported them to the FTC and guess what.... I've never gotten a call back. This was all at work.

RehabNurse said...

I love the idea of video and air horn. Jim who...HOONK!

Combine the two and Dateline NBC and you'll be onto something!

LivingDeadNurse said...

hmmm...i wonder if that is the company that keeps calling my house..that time after time I tell them that person does not live here hasn't for 15yrs..and no i have no forward address...grrr

what do they think we are going to pay it for them?????

Uro*MA said...

Jo, i have to say that NCO Financial has been calling our home every day for the past month starting at 8am -9pm... You answer the phone here and they dont even say anything... so finally i started playing mary had a little lamb with the number buttons... the goggle search i did, came up with was that it is a collections company from capital one.. whatever i dont even have nor have i ever had a capital one card!! and im pretty sure the lovely lovely people who sold this house to us didnt have collection problems, he worked for the government (SS) good luck jo, lay into them !! They deserve it!!

Karen said...

1 email/phone call to NCO and then go direct to FTC. They have id'd themselves and the 'debtors' name. Violation of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) which is a HUGE deal. And YOU must say the term FDCPA; It's code to bill collectors for "I know what I'm talking about." In a previous life, yes I was one or as I refer to it, my 'professional' bitch stage. See attached synopsis

Michael Guzzo said...

I like that air horn reply.

Not that it'll help, but report them to the FTC at:

I was so sick of telemarketers that I just canceled my landline telephone service and use my cell phone for everything. It doesn't stop everything, but it sure lowered the number of annoying phone calls from dozens to one or two a month.

The Duchess said...

Ha! I used to work for a rival company....NCO is a student loan collection agency (they do collect for other businesses though, so this might not be about a student loan). It's common practice for these people to call individuals in the area with the same name in "hope" that they will reach a relative. They also call neighbors, churches, city offices, etc. The advice above to write a letter to NCO is the best idea, but be sure to write the words "cease and desist" - those are magic mana against debt collectors, the FDCPA laws require that they stop calling you and that information will be in "Jim's" file for future reference.

Don't be terribly surprised though if you hear from another collection agency looking for the same guy in the future - I wish people would just pay their student loans already and this would be unnecessary!

Hope that helps :) - and definitely use the airhorn in the interim :D