Is privacy dead?

*** Rant Alert!! ***

Bill collectors. Ugh. So much worse than the stereotypical used car salesman. Bill collectors only make money if they can squeeze, extort, scare, or otherwise get money from you. And the tactics they use can sometimes seem like something straight from the annals of Guantanamo. If you’ve ever had one come after you, you know how relentless they can be.

With the collapse of our economy, more and more people are finding themselves deeply in debt, and more and more bill collectors are finding themselves employed. Because you can’t get blood from a turnip, these guys are going to be worse than ever.

That said, let me note that collectors are not currently after me, personally. For the moment, at least. What really provoked this post is the idiot who called at the crack of dawn this morning, waking me up, looking for some people I’ve never heard of. Never mind that my answering machine told him specifically whose home he’d reached; he want ahead and jammed up my machine with his message anyway: “Joe Blow and Jane Doe, this is Ur Nightmare at Angry Debt Collection. Please call me immediately at 555-555-5555.”

Look, you idiot, my message told you who lives here. So you think maybe I was lying? My name is really Jane, and Joe and I are trying to avoid you? Which of us do you think is going to be stupid enough to return your call!?

While I’m on the subject, let me mention the many calls I’ve received from collectors looking for my relatives (with a different name, I might add). Okay, someone was resourceful enough to somehow find my phone number linked somewhere to those relatives. What in his wildest dreams makes a collector think I know or care anything about said relatives’  financial problems, or that I’d help him find said relatives, or that I’d call those relatives and deliver his nasty message for him? Maybe the theory is that if you bother me enough, I’ll jump on the relatives. Sorry. Not my problem.

There ought to be a law about harassing people who happen to know people who have unpaid bills. That’s probably going to be most of us, sooner or later, and collectors shouldn’t be allowed to call us or anyone other than the debtor. They also shouldn’t be allowed to call and tell a third party that Joe Blow owes them money.

6 thoughts on “Is privacy dead?

  1. Yep. One has been calling me for a few months now. It’s not a debt thing, more a fight with a hospital. The doctor their miscoded a blood test, my insurance wouldn’t cover it, I told the hospital and the doctor eleventy billion times that they needed to resubmit it with the correct coding, and on and on it goes. So, now I keep getting messages assuring me “this is not a solicitation” and encouraging me to call back with a reference number. As if.

    [You’d think they’d be in a hurry to correct the code, resubmit the claim, and get their money. Yeah. You’d think.]

  2. Agreed – this is so ridiculous. What I also hate is how so many salespeople now use Caller ID Spoofing to hide their number or show the wrong one. Ugh.

    [During the Christmas shopping season, I started getting robocalls from Lane Bryant saying they were having a sale. (I’ve never bought anything from them.) To me that’s a new and very unwelcome kind of marketing.]

  3. Nothing worse than that! Being woken by some ass clown that isn’t even looking for you to begin with! GAR!

    [Waking me up is something no one in their right mind wants to do.]

  4. “Okay, someone was resourceful enough to somehow find my phone number linked somewhere to those relatives.”

    Or maybe some relatives of yours have been giving their creditors your phone number. Can’t trust anyone these days.

    [Ooo, I never thought of that. Hmm. Nah, they wouldn’t … would they? Hmm.]

... and that's my two cents