I don’t know what was more frustrating this morning. The fact I felt like my head was in a fog so I couldn’t concentrate or the fact that a creditor keeps calling several times each day every day expecting my financial situation to change in 24 hours. Maybe, just maybe it was the damned phone ringing that made my head foggy and unable to focus?

As you know I was laid off in early January by The Big Fat Liar. Since then my family has survived on unemployment, what was left of my retirement account (it wasn’t much), our tax return (again, not much), and a small amount of government assistance. After the first month of unemployment I knew we had to make cutbacks here at the house, so I reduced our phone bill as much as I could, reduced our tv bill as much as I could (we are in the boonies so an antenna is out of the question), and I trimmed back on everything I could.

After the second month of unemployment I had to stop paying the “non-essential” bills in order to keep the lights on, the water flowing, the vehicle in our driveway, and the roof over our heads. Now those companies that have missed a couple months of payments want a piece of the pie. The only problem is, there is no pie to be had.

Many of them have been, and continue to be, very understanding. They are working with me, deferring payments, waiving late fees and lowering interest rates, but there is one that wants their money and they want it now. They start calling at 8:00am. Within the first two hours we receive 5-6 calls from them. Yes, they keep calling back even after I talk to them sometime during that time. They argue with me on the phone and say that once they call me during a day, they do not call back on that day. Guess what? They are liars plain and simple.

Six phone calls from 8 to 10 this morning. Eight more calls between 10 and 6. Then they finish the day with six additional calls from 6 to 8 in the evening. 20 phone calls in one day, all showing on my caller ID. All from the same phone number, all regarding the same account.

Every time I answer the phone (at least once each day) I tell them that I have every intention of making a payment, as soon as I have some money come in that is not allocated for the house payment, the truck payment, the power bill, the water bill, or the phone bill. They are not happy with that answer and warn me that the calls will continue until I make some sort of payment arrangement.

I would make an arrangement with them if there was something to arrange with them. I could very easily make arrangements for a payment two weeks in the future, but if I didn’t have the money and had to back out of the arrangement that would make me look worse than telling them there is nothing to give them. Wouldn’t it?

This morning I answered the phone each time they called. I answered the phone and placed the receiver on the nightstand. After a while, apparently, they hung up because I got that weird (and loud) busy signal and the recording telling me the instructions if I want to place a call.

Tomorrow, I will be getting up well before they call, because I have a couple meetings, and I won’t be here to listen to (or answer) their stupid calls. How many times do I have to tell them the same thing, and why do they think my financial situation will suddenly change 24 hours after I tell them my situation? Are they stupid or are they trying to annoy me? If this is nothing more than an attempt to annoy me into paying it’s not working. It’s actually nice because it’s much like the wake up call you get when you stay at a hotel. They are always on time, and they always make sure I am awake and ready for anything that awaits me throughout the day.

I spoke to a potential client today, and if I bag the deal then I will have some meat to throw to the sharks circling the tank. Of course, once I pay them I have no idea how I will wake up in the morning.

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Comments

One Response to “One Ringy Dingy, Twenty Dingy Ringies”

  1. Eric on June 12th, 2009 08:52

    Plain and simple: That’s harassment!

    If you haven’t already done so, take a look at: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre18.shtm … note that according to the FTC, they have to stop calling you if you tell them to do so in writing. If they don’t, there’s are legal remedies you can take, especially if they’re calling 20 times a day, every day.

    Give hell! You don’t need that crap while trying to get back on your feet!