Phone number PITA's

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Phone number PITA's

Post by DotNotInOz on Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:28 pm

While I can understand women giving out someone else's phone number to a persistent guy they're not interested in just to get rid of him, I'm becoming far less sympathetic to that practice after what's happened to us.

Ever since we got our phone number here, we've been getting calls for the people who had it before us. I've had that happen before when I'd moved, so we both figured that after a few months, they'd have notified friends, acquaintances and various other places and we'd quit getting such calls. That did not happen. We've gotten everything from calls from their dentists, doctors, church, and their cable company to confirm a repair appointment to a few that may well have been from finance companies or bill collectors from the sound of them.

Hubby works for AT&T, so he knows that a phone number must stay unassigned for at least six months after it's disconnected before it can be given to anyone else so that people have an opportunity to notify callers that it's no longer their number.

I've started picking up most calls when I don't recognize the number on caller ID since the auto-reminder recordings often disconnect when they get a machine, and we'll get repeat calls. We've got an outgoing message that starts with, "If you're calling for the Smiths [not their real name, although I don't know why I'm being so kind to these deadbeats!], this is no longer their number...etc." That seems to have registered with the real people for the most part, which has helped.

Anyway, two days ago, we got an auto-reminder for Mrs. Smith's upcoming ob-gyn appointment. So, I called back the next day and explained that this number hasn't been theirs since October 2008. I added that we've long suspected they're still giving out this number, and it's really annoying. The doctor's clerk said that Mrs. Smith gave them our number just two weeks ago!

Now, this morning, I get two calls back to back from a local medical center, the second asking for the parents of Johnny Smith. Once again, I explained the situation, and both callers agreed to remove our number from these jerks' records. The second one rather alarmed me, because it made me wonder if it was an emergency involving their kid, and this was a hospital trying to reach his parents.

I had to laugh though when I told hubby about it. He said it was a damned good thing he wasn't home, or he'd have said, "I'm not authorizing ANY medical treatment for that kid. He can just die for all I care!"

So, there is some sick humor in an otherwise thoroughly irritating situation. At least, we haven't had a call like the punchline to the old joke about this sort of thing, "Hi. This is Fred Smith. Have there been any calls for me?"

(And no, there is absolutely nothing that can be done about it other than what we've been doing unless we want to change our phone number.)
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Re: Phone number PITA's

Post by wmdkitty on Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:11 pm

LOL, I love the way you've been handling it -- with style and wit!

I once had a wrong number (same person) three times in a row. Third call I just said, "double-check the area code, this is 360." The lady on the other end was laughing at the situation, as was I.
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Re: Phone number PITA's

Post by gillyflower on Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:38 pm

A couple of months ago, a young lady (high school by the sound of it all) got ahold of my number, thinking it turned out, that it was the numbers of a friend of hers. All I knew was that I was suddenly INUNDATED by text messages she was forwarding and sending and I have to pay for them. So I called her number and asked her politely to stop texting me. I wasn't mad and I thought I was pretty clear about she just had the wrong number but I think she was so surprised that she didn't quite grasp it. I got a few calls from her, trying to talk to me to see what was wrong, before her mother called me thinking I was the mother of one of her daughter's friends and I didn't want my daughter to be friends with her daughter anymore. Yeesh! No, you just have the wrong number!

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Re: Phone number PITA's

Post by John T Mainer on Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:48 pm

Man does that get old. I used to get them from some Chinese idiots friends (maybe same final four, different area code?). None of them speak (or claim to understand) English, and I'm tired of paying for their incoming calls (all primetime of course). I switched to answering the phone

"Department of Immigration and Naturalization, enforcement division, how may I direct your call?"

The problem has gone away.

You just have to find someone to be that scares the knickers of the caller, enough to ensure they don't repeat it.

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Re: Phone number PITA's

Post by DotNotInOz on Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:47 pm

< sigh > I wish our situation were as simple as those.

Since it may well be two full years after their phone was disconnected, this is beyond ridiculous! I sure wouldn't bet any money but what it was disconnected for failure to pay the bill.

Wonder what I did with the phone number for that hitman outta Chicago?








(Naw, never had one. Not really. So, no worries.)
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Re: Phone number PITA's

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:53 am

How annoying!

When I first got this number, I got a lot of texts and calls for a "Shawn". I was with Seana at the time so I wasn't quite sure if someone from FL had gotten my number and was messing with us or if it was a coincidental error and didn't know how to handle it (other than cautiously), and it was just an error so after a few replies and "sorry not his number anymore" the problem went away.

Sounded like he had some pretty hot girlfriends, though.

You know, Dot, I would probably end up doing my abortion clinic speel.

"Smith's abortion clinic, you rape 'em, we scrape 'em - No fetus can beat us! How can I direct your call?"

They'd be so offended the next time they saw the "Smiths" they'd beat 'em into the ground for giving them that number. I give it two weeks.

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Re: Phone number PITA's

Post by AutumnalTone on Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:08 pm

I always expect to get wrong number calls. The cell number I have has been mine for a few years now. When I first got it, 80% of the calls coming in were wrong numbers. These days, about 25% are wrong numbers. I've had a whole litany of names being asked for, with many of them happening more than once with different callers involved.

We've had this land line number since moving into this apartment a couple of years ago and we still get wrong number calls on it. The only two I've responded to were from a cardiologist's office and from an attorney's office--I figured the offices should know that the person waiting for test results from the former or needing to know court time from the latter wasn't available at our number.
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Re: Phone number PITA's

Post by gillyflower on Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:31 pm

DotNotInOz wrote:< sigh > I wish our situation were as simple as those.

Since it may well be two full years after their phone was disconnected, this is beyond ridiculous! I sure wouldn't bet any money but what it was disconnected for failure to pay the bill.

Wonder what I did with the phone number for that hitman outta Chicago?

(Naw, never had one. Not really. So, no worries.)

Dot, is there any way to get their real phone number? I would happily give it out and/or call them every time that you get a phone call for them, especially any bill collectors.

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Re: Phone number PITA's

Post by DotNotInOz on Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:54 pm

No, no way that I know of. They're not listed in the directory anymore, which led us to suspect at first that they'd disconnected their landline to go entirely with cell phones as many people are doing now. I've checked the various online white pages, several of which have entries for us and for both of them...same phone number.

I'm thinking they went to cell phones since when their cable company called us to confirm their repair appointment, the lady said they had another contact number for these asswipes and would call that. But, I don't know...it might've been a work number for all I know. Anyway, we heard no more from the cable company.

Why on earth would you continue giving out our landline number if you're using cell phones? I just don't get why this woman would tell her ob-gyn a landline number she hasn't had for two years. The clerk said this woman gave them our number two weeks ago. Hubby says it's because they're likely deadbeats who haven't current medical insurance and are hoping the the bill collectors for the various doctors won't find them. Maybe so...who the hell knows?
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Re: Phone number PITA's

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:57 pm

Gilly and I might could find it online, since we both have a nack for research.

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Re: Phone number PITA's

Post by DotNotInOz on Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:00 pm

TigersEyeDowsing wrote:
You know, Dot, I would probably end up doing my abortion clinic speel.

"Smith's abortion clinic, you rape 'em, we scrape 'em - No fetus can beat us! How can I direct your call?"

They'd be so offended the next time they saw the "Smiths" they'd beat 'em into the ground for giving them that number. I give it two weeks.

I'd be soooooo tempted if it weren't for the fact that I have a very resonant and distinctive voice that's really difficult to disguise completely. I'd be mortified when they called back and got me again if it were a legitimate call of ours and I simply didn't recognize the listing on caller ID.

But I'm still laughing. That's better than the old "City Morgue, you stab 'em, we slab 'em and keep 'em in the cold. How may I direct your call?"
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Re: Phone number PITA's

Post by DotNotInOz on Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:06 pm

TigersEyeDowsing wrote:Gilly and I might could find it online, since we both have a nack for research.

Bet you won't find anything other than listings with our phone number. I've checked most of the local online directories myself. I'd love to be wrong about that, though, believe you me!

I'd rather not post their real names here since several online directories pull up our address and phone number alongside their listings, but if you want to take a go at it either of you, PM or email me and I'll supply their information.
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Re: Phone number PITA's

Post by AutumnalTone on Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:53 pm

TigersEyeDowsing wrote:Gilly and I might could find it online, since we both have a nack for research.

Hey, can you do reverse number lookups? All the sites I've found to do so want $5 to give me a full background report on a number--all I want is the name of the account holder. I found mention of software that can do the lookup without a fee attached, though it's not for Macs.
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Re: Phone number PITA's

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:19 pm

Sometimes it pays to only have the business line.

What can I say, I like to be out of it.

all
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Re: Phone number PITA's

Post by gillyflower on Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:56 pm

AutumnalTone wrote:
TigersEyeDowsing wrote:Gilly and I might could find it online, since we both have a nack for research.

Hey, can you do reverse number lookups? All the sites I've found to do so want $5 to give me a full background report on a number--all I want is the name of the account holder. I found mention of software that can do the lookup without a fee attached, though it's not for Macs.

Lots of places do that. Switchboard is one:

http://www.whitepages.com/5175

And AnyWho:

http://www.anywho.com/wp

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Re: Phone number PITA's

Post by DotNotInOz on Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:13 am

Here's a good one in the "Wrong number forever" department.

Guy I used to work with told us this happened to him once. He had a phone number that was one digit off that of a local pizza place and frequently got their calls. Usually he'd say, "Did I answer the phone 'Zee Pizza, may I take your order?' ? No. This is a residence. Try again."

However, one night he got a female voice that insisted on giving him her pizza order despite his explaining she had a wrong number.

After more than one call from her, he asked her how many different ways he had to tell her that she had a wrong number, this wasn't Zee Pizza!

Her response? "But it has to be! I just put their number in my speed dial."

Here's your sign, honey.
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Re: Phone number PITA's

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Sat Feb 20, 2010 8:25 am

*headdesk*

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Re: Phone number PITA's

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Sun Feb 21, 2010 2:18 pm

My mother in law has a good friend that resulted from a wrong number. He called her number by mistake and for some reason they got to talking. Now they call each other several times a year to catch up and send each other Christmas cards, the whole bit. It's pretty interesting.

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Re: Phone number PITA's

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:07 pm

My friends joined a fundamentalist cult-church because they called the wrong number, and the Shepherd (female pastor) convinced them it was a message from God.

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Re: Phone number PITA's

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:21 pm

I once dated a girl because I had the wrong screenname, and IMed her thinking she was someone else. We were friends for years.

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Re: Phone number PITA's

Post by AutumnalTone on Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:06 pm


Those only relate where the number originates, not the name of the account holder, likely because it's a cell phone. They have links to pay sites that will provide a full background report with the name. It looks like I'm going to have to pay for a full report when I only want to know the account holder's name.
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Re: Phone number PITA's

Post by DotNotInOz on Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:30 pm

I don't think there is any way short of possibly hiring a private investigator to determine who the account holder is for a cell phone. These days, as many people as move and retain their cell phone area code despite no longer living within that area code, where the number originates may not tell you anything at all. Sure wouldn't in my case, as we kept our same cell phone numbers.

There aren't any cell phone directories as far as I know, and virtually all of the white pages-yellow pages services take their information from directory listings and public records.

Thus, I wouldn't waste the money on a full background report from one of these online services. I bet you won't get the information you want.

For instance, I just tried to find info on myself using my legal first name Dorothy and got "no results." However, our phone is listed by our nicknames. When I enter Dot, last name and merely city, state and zip code, there I am...no street address needed.
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Re: Phone number PITA's

Post by DotNotInOz on Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:43 pm

Okay, scratch that...I guess there actually are cell phone directories online. Didn't know that. My head was still stuck in "no cell directory" days, I guess.
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Re: Phone number PITA's

Post by AutumnalTone on Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:52 pm

They all seem to charge for the info. I broke down and paid the $5 to get the name. Sheesh! You'd think this could be had from 411 services for the .50 or whatever the charge is these days.
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Re: Phone number PITA's

Post by DotNotInOz on Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:40 am

AutumnalTone wrote:They all seem to charge for the info. I broke down and paid the $5 to get the name. Sheesh! You'd think this could be had from 411 services for the .50 or whatever the charge is these days.

Current fee for AT&T's directory assistance is $2.50.

Welcome to the "Why, I remember when..." club, AT. Smile Last rate for that which I recall was $.75.
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