Friday, July 10, 2009

Wrong # Wrangler

When I'm not playing around on the Internet, I'm still wrangling wrong numbers as a debt collector at the day job. I can tell few people have found my helpful tips post on this blog about on dealing with wrong numbers because the irritable people on the other end of the phone continue with their inept attempts to end the insanity.

This post is about what I wish I could say...

To the lady that reported we had a wrong number 367 days after we started calling...

DC: Do you really want us to stop calling? Really, really want us to stop calling?

Lady: That's a stupid question.

DC: I just thought that 250 calls would make such a nice round number ... and, wow, it looks like hit that mark on Friday.
That was a day dream response to a particularly rude person that put up with calls for an entire year before flipping their lid ... and flip their lid they did.

In reality I said: "I apologize for the trouble and the calls will end."

After all, the debt collection agency that I work for pays my bills and I need the job during these times of economic woe so I won't end up on the receiving end of debt collection calls.

If you're getting harassing debt collection calls that don't belong to you, you have to remember the chances are very good that it is computer leaving the message and a human being won't set eyes on the electronic file until you take a step to report the error.

Here are a few answers/comments to some of the questions in this blog post: Annoying Debt Collector Calls Unwarranted.

Does someone who used to have this phone number now owe money?

In most cases, this is the reason you're getting a wrong number call. We typically start calls with the phone number that the debtor provided on their credit application ... even if that application was submitted to a bank in 1979. The older the debt, the probability that we have the wrong number closes in on 100%.

And yes, debt can be very old...

Contrary to the wishes of debtors in debt haven states, debt doesn't disappear just because you can't be sued. Consider that in 2008 Prince Charles paid off a clothing company his family had owed for 350 years. (Have no fear, I think it is safe to assume that your great-17-times-grand children will not have to cover your personal credit card debt in the year 2433 ... they will however, should the United States of America still exit, still be paying taxes to cover the interest on loans created by the economic stimulus programs that both the Bush and Obama Administrations have saddled them with.)

How did this debt collector get our phone numbers?

Contrary to popular belief, we don't waste time calling random numbers. We buy data from a company that keeps track by the social security number provided by the debtor on credit applications. Are there data entry errors? Yes, but it isn't the reason most wrong number calls happen.

When my company has employees manually skip trace, we always use the data on file as a starting place. Are there skip tracing mistakes? Absolutely, but again it isn't the main reason there are wrong number calls.

And yes ... there are stupid debt collectors that waste their time needlessly calling all the Joe Smith's in LA ... don't you work with a few imbeciles too?

Are there actual debtors out there giving false information?

Virtually all data attached to these files is provided by the debtor.

Sadly, people that have common names and/or are listed by an initial in the phone book, probably have the most trouble with debtors that give our false information.

Even worse, some people provide fraudulent information without pause. But, thankfully, that isn't common enough to completely destroy our economy.

By the way, if you know the debtor ... what you've got is a friend or relative that is honest, but doesn't want the calls. If you give out their new number, even once, they'll never use you as a message contact again!

That blog post also mention that one person "did some research and found over a hundred sites dedicated to XXX being a scam agency, with tons of complaints filed against them for violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act."

You have to know when you start searching online for information written by people that are disgruntled, that you're not going to get an accurate picture.

The truth is that scam outfits are just like fradulent debtors. They hide. They lie. They cheat. They use false information to mislead. There won't be information about court cases they lost because the authorities can't find them either. (This is one of the reasons Glenn Beck is so concerned about ACORN.)

Legitimate debt collection agencies make up a multi-billion dollar industry and will fire any bad apples that would endanger their profit margin. If a company has been around for years at the same address with the same number ... chances are you're dealing with a legitimate business. If you can find record of court cases that they lost ... chances are still good that you're dealing with a legitimate business that had some bad apples employed.

If you have concerns about the legitimacy of a letter or calls check out:

Federal Trade Commission
http://ftc.gov/

Zitronenfalter Tote Bage

This pretty yellow butterfly is an image of Gonepteryx rhamni comes from Plate II in Europas bekannteste Schmetterlinge (European Butterflies)published about 1895 by Dr. F. Nemos. The butterfly is also noted as Zitronenfalter on the lithograph. The Tote Bag is one of Today's Best over at Zazzke (Zazzle.co.uk).

Zitronenfalter bag
Zitronenfalter by vintage_emporium
Design a Customizable Bags at www.zazzle.co.uk

Zitronenfalter Tote Bag

This pretty yellow butterfly is an image of Gonepteryx rhamni comes from Plate II in Europas bekannteste Schmetterlinge published about 1895 by Dr. F. Nemos. The butterfly is also noted as Zitronenfalter on the lithograph. The tote bag featuring Zitronenfalter is one of Today's Best at Zazzle.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

authonomy

http://authonomy.com/
authonomy
from HarperCollins

I didn't find this networking community for writers, readers and publishers one on-line, but in a magazine. Authonomy.com has been developed by book editors at HarperCollins in part to find new talent. Writers can post their work on a well-used site and get feedback from the community (so long as you aren't creating a profile for commercial purposes or a few other rules). The top books will be read by HarperCollins, so some people may get publishing contracts thanks to this community. Readers are needed to critique and rate the hopeful authors, providing instant feedback might get writers that you enjoy a publishing contract.

Colorful Blue Photo Frame Magnet

A bright, colorful and customizable photo frame for the square magnet. Use your own image and create a personalized birthday gift idea for your best friend. A cute gift for new parents.

Alaska State Quarter Magnet

"The Great Land," features a grizzly bear emerging from the waters clutching a salmon in its jaw. The coin’s design includes the North Star displayed above the inscription “The Great Land” and the inscriptions “Alaska” and “1959.” The quarter's engraver: Charles Vickers. The source image thanks to US Mint.



Tags: alaska, alaskan, souvenir, great, land, grizzly, bear, salmon, coin, us, mint, state, quarter, design, engraving, north, star, 1959

Gold Fleur de Lis Business Card

These customizable business cards are becoming popular items in the Silhouette Emporium shop. Here is pictures a solid gold (color) fleur de lis (gold symbolizes "power" during Mardi Gras), but there are other colors available...



Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Pink Lollipop Tie

Having fun designing ties lately creating this funky pink and red swirl lollipop design. You can change the background color. Red, white and black is super cool!

Singing in the Rain Pressie

There is a really cute baby shower gift idea at Today's Best at Zazzle. It is a "Singing in the Rain" onesie with three umbrellas with pastel colors and silhouette patterns.



Aussie slang in the keywords:

umbrella - brelly, parasol, winter brolly, brolly, brella, brellie

onesie - pressy, pressie

Robodog Dog t-shirt

Man's best friend, from the future: a cute robot dog. Another cute addition to Zazzle's Today's Best feature. Science fiction is a favorite theme in the linkage here, so had to add this doggy tee.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Sunday, July 05, 2009

FeaturePics

FeaturePics
http://www.featurepics.com/

People that use sites like Zazzle and Cafepress and want to purchase clip-art and stock photography that can actually be used on Zazzle and Cafepress legally should check out this site. They have licencing options listed on the Site that illustrate if you're willing to pay a little more, you can use the images for re-sale on products.

Pretty Pink Flowers


Pretty Pink Flowers, originally uploaded by Annalee's Pics.

If anyone knows what kind of flowers these are, I would appreciate the tip. I'm not sure. I can guess, but I'd probably be wrong. So I'll just say that they are some pretty pink flowers in a pot at the Motel 6 in Springfield, Oregon near the I-5. They were back by the pool at the Motel 6 at I-9 off exit 195A.

Sun Dews


sun dew 04, originally uploaded by BLUUY.

Here is a macro of some sun dew plants that remind me of the fireworks I just posted. This particular image is backlit, but the basic red shape surrounded by blue balls of dew is showcased.

Happy 4th!


Happy 4th!, originally uploaded by e d d d d d d d i e.

A lovely 4th of July fireworks pic I saw on flickr this morning! The red and blue balls created by these fireworks remind me of some tiny plants called sun dews that I used to find along the banks of pond I lived near when I was a child.