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... putting the onus on... the *answering machine*??!!

So I get back from pottery class to see the answering machine light flashing - ooh, two new messages, wonder who they might be.... turns out they were BOTH from debt collection agencies (they use a more euphemistic term, I forget what..).

On this blog, I refer to my hubby as Kosh Naranek, which is of course a pseudonym. Let's just say that in real life, "Naranek" corresponds to a relatively common family name: just look at its distribution in the graph below!

(image taken from HERE, previously featured in this post)

When we first moved to Chicago, we'd get the occasional call from a human debt collector, looking for either a wrong Kosh Naranek (not the same Social Security #, race, etc), or looking for "K. Naranek", i.e. "Ken", "Kevin", etc etc. Rather annoying, but at least with a person on the line you can just say "Look, this ain't the person you're looking for. Move along, move along."

But now, it looks like these debt collection agencies have switched to automated voice recordings, which put the onus not just on us innocent non-owing folk, but on our answering machines!!

Here's how the message goes, more or less:
"Hello, I am calling for [insert new voice] Kal-El Naranek [end new voice]*.

If you are NOT [insert new voice] Kal-El Naranek [end new voice] please hang up now.

By allowing this message to continue, you are acknowledging that you ARE [insert new voice] Kal-El Naranek [end new voice].

There will be a 3-second pause for you to hang up if this is not the case.

[3-second pause].

[insert new voice] Kal-El Naranek [end new voice], please contact Ms Whoever immediately at the Blah Blah Debt Collection Agency to discuss an important business matter. Please call 1-888-EAT-SHIT extension 666. Thank you.

*W*T*F*? Are they willfully forgetting the existence of answering machines??? Because no thanks to this ridiculous "if the message plays all the way then we've got him/her!!" stance, our phone # is now supposedly the place to locate THREE different in-debt Naraneks, all of whom are neither Kosh nor me.

... and even better - if I were to call back the name/number provided to TELL them they're on the wrong track, would I technically be in trouble for having listened to a message that was specifically NOT for me/Kosh??

How the #*&@Q*&*^%@#@(*^@$ to fix this?

Who the #*&@Q*&*^%@#@(*^@$ to complain to?????

. . . I took pictures of my most recent pottery products, but am now so NOT in the mood to share. Maybe next post, k?

* NOTE: Totally reminds me of how the Lucy Liubot inserted "Philip J Fry" into her sentences... if you've seen that episode of Futurama, you'd know what I mean... and if you don't, this might give you an idea.


  1. We just had to change our number. Some deadbeat had our number before and even though we'd had it for a year and a half, they kept calling us. They accused me of being her. We told them to call anyone with the same name in this area code and exchange b/c they're all related. The rudeness & harassment became more than we could take so we just changed the number (the phone company didn't charge us when we explained why).

    I'm sorry now I didn't say, "Yeah it's me and you'll never just your money, f-ers!"

  2. Eden> yikes!! Hopefully it doesn't get that bad for us! We *should* be leaving Chicago in a few months, if all goes well, anyways, so maybe it'll all get left behind...


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