I don’t know anyone by the name of Rosalita, and I’m not sure that I ever have. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a lovely name. I even added it to Hunch’s name chooser for baby girls. Someday it would be nice to meet a Rosalita. One thing I’m sure of, though, is that there’s no Rosalita living in my apartment. But GE Money seems convinced of just the opposite.
Ok: admission. In a tip of the hat to nostalgia, I still have a landline in my apartment. Don’t call me crazy: there are portions of my abode (namely the 50% of the square footage that’s below street level) that even my beloved Verizon Wireless network can’t reach. So landline-tethered I remain. I’ve had the same number for 8 years.
GE Money’s robocallers have called that landline phone no fewer than 20 times in the last 15 days, and have done so repeatedly over the years. Occasionally the caller ID identifies them, but cleverly, they also use multiple numbers and area codes from several different states, several of which show no caller ID. Some of those numbers include 605-335-5648, 480-707-4006, and 937-534-2092.
I’m rarely home when these calls come in, but on several occasions I’ve attempted to call one of these numbers back. I’m greeted with a recording that this is a credit collection call, and I should hold. I’ve held anywhere from 2 to 8 minutes; in all cases I hung up before the call could be answered by a real person.
This morning I was actually at home when one of the calls came in; I answered and was STILL told to wait for an operator (which took 30 seconds). Now that’s gumption. You call me, and still try to make me wait. Tech guys: at least throttle the robocalls to coincide with operator availability. The operator asked to speak to my favorite non-resident, Rosalita, and when I explained that there had never been anyone here by that name and that they had best never call me again, they said “sorry” and hung up.
Poor Rosalita; maybe she was under crushing credit card debt (likely from a retail credit card managed by GE Capital/ GE Money) and probably defaulted. But damn that Rosalita: somewhere along the way she may have provided my landline phone number as hers.
But shame on GE Money: how hard would it have been to check phone records to see who my landline number was actually attributed to? If you type my landline number into Google, my name and address is right there in black and white.
More generally, GE, what a sleazy business to be in. Rather than tarnish your name, wouldn’t it be better to sell the collection records of your deadbeats to a third party who can collect under another name? These methods are beneath the name of General Electric.
I have an easy solution for robocalls, telemarketing calls, and any other uninvited calls. Any caller that’s not pre-approved by the call recipient pays $2.00 for the first ring for “disturbing the peace”. Then they pay $.25 for each additional ring. Think of it as the “pay per ring” model. The fees are shared between the call recipient and the telecom provider. This might cause predatory callers like GE Money to think hard (and at least do a little ROI analysis) about how much they really want to harass and reach the wrong person.