These boards are so full of great info!
Instead of simply lurking, I wanted to return the favor.
I'd like to offer a couple of tips you might find helpful for dealing with creditors possessing an overzealous autodialer or crazy in-house collector while you are trying to sort things out. You know who I'm talking about - they disrupt you 10x/day to ask where your payment is while you're trying to sort things out (as you've told them before and they won't help you) or want to give you the latest and greatest upsell.
Either way, they either wake you up early Sunday morning or disturb a rare, quiet evening at home.
First tip: Cell phones are your friend!
If applying for credit and you have a cell phone, provide that number. Dealing with an existing creditor? That's ok! Please read on:
When they call you, either abort the call or let it go to voicemail. Now you have their number(s) (literally) Save it to your phone book. Most phones have a way to assign each entry a seperate ringtone or profile. Set theirs to "silent". Next time they call, you won't know until you get the voicemail notification.
I have done this with both Discover and NCO.
Second tip: Harness the power of the internet!
This tip can be used regardless if you have a cell phone or not: most creditors have a way for you to make payments online, right?
Ok - go to the site and find where your phone number, address, etc is listed. Look for an asterisk, dot, bold or red type. It's not there? Great! That means it's not required. Now, go to the field and delete your phone number. Replace it with zeroes (ex: 000-000-0000). The system doesn't accept it? Try your area code followed by zeroes (ex: 123-000-0000). Still won't take it? Try repeating digits (ex: 123-123-1231). Just be sure to Google the number to make sure it doesn't belong to someone else.
If for some reason you have to talk to them after you make the change and they press you for a number, tell them the truth (for instance: "My employer doesn't like us getting personal calls at work/doesn't allow giving out our work phone number"; "My number is unlisted" or my favorite "I decline, thank you".)
The beauty of both of these tips is that your creditor can still contact you via snail mail or
e-mail (since they will likely have your home address or e-mail address or both) and you will now have a paper trail when they do.
There you have it! Hopefully this will relieve a little bit of the stress of dealing with debt.
I have NEVER had a CA or anyone for that matter call me repeatedly. I think the most a CA has called was twice in one day, and that is the most. It was always once a day. I think the more time goes on, the less retarted CAs become and start to follow the law.
If I had a CA calling me like that...it would be AWESOME. I would love to sue them.
Another option - I have a nationally known cable, internet, phone provider (not sure if I can use their name here) but they have 2 options with their phone service - screening anonymous or blocked calls with a message to them that no unknown calls are being received and blocked calls for up to 12 numbers. These numbers get a recording that we are not taking calls at this time. The service also provides the ability to see who calls and when online. Once these features are activated however, you can't tell if they're still calling, but you're also not getting the calls.
This service has other features such as the extra accounts for voice mail and ringer options that you can use to screen calls to voice mail and yet get the calls you really want.
Its been great - if anyone really needs or wants us they can get us via our cell phones. It's great.
Gotta love how to work the system - only fun you get when rebuilding!