Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mr Charm's bill collectors

Some company has been burning up the telephone wires trying to collect a debt from Mr Charm.  The poor devils who do the calling are actually alive, but in the sense of being free agents they might as well be robots.  They have and are allowed to have, as much discretion as puppets.  In fact, they memorize their spiel and will not depart from it.  I ought to know, as I have heard it plenty of times.

Mr Charm, according to them, owes their firm, Bloodsuckrs R US, $1,000.  When I asked what the sum was for, they referred to a Mastercard which he allegedly had once had.  Since Mr Charm was a devoted user of American Express all his adult life, I did not believe in the existence of this Mastercard, and asked them to send me the particulars, like:  when did he open this account, which bank, what did he buy and when.  

In (non)response to my question, each of the poor devils informed me that they were required by law to tell me:  this was an attempt to collect a debt, Yada yada, yada.  I asked them again to give me the particulars of his debt, and they repeated the spiel.  Could they refer me to someone who knew what he was talking about?  This is an attempt to collect a debt.

A debt for what?  They didn't know.   Now Mr Charm, though once a Democrat, was a born Republican in the sense that he sat down at his desk with all the bills once a month and paid them,  though smoke occasionally came out of his ears. He even balanced his checkbook. He was the son of a woman who was too proud to go on welfare during the Depression even when her children were hungry. People like that pay their bills.

He's quite deaf now and his memory is not what it once was, but he denied emphatically ever having had a Mastercard.  And I believe him.  And if he had had one, he would have paid it.

So I decided to probe a little further.  Could they connect me to someone who knew what they were talking about?  Their canned script did not allow for any deviations from "This is an attempt...".  Could they, or someone, write to me?  I even promised to pay it if they could provide believable information.

Someone finally gave me the name of the company and suggested I write to them, but I was getting a little annoyed by this time and suggested that since they wanted my money rather than the other way around it was worth a stamp and and a look at the file.  Suppose I called you and asked you to send me $1,100.  Would you do it, with no evidence?  Me either.

So there we left it.   And since I have Caller ID, there it will remain.


paul mitchell said...

I love bill collecting call center employees, they really have no clue what they are doing.

miriam said...

Try having a discussion with one of them. They will not depart from the script.