The Phone Company
I’ll bet some of you remember when the phone company was Ma Bell. You got your phone bill from [your area] Bell, probably had a rotary phone somewhere with an actual, physical bell in it.
We can debate the merits and downfalls of the great deregulation all day, and at the end of the day, so long as can pick up the phone and make a call, I really don’t care who I write the check to. If you had a problem with your phone, you called your local phone company (from someone else’s phone, obviously), and Bob came out and unstrung the squirrel out of the phone wires. I had a friend who worked for what came after Mountain Bell, he was kind enough to give me a secret phone number that put me to the head of the line, every time.
Nowadays, try to get a human on the line. Really. I’ll wait. Businesses will stop at nothing, and I mean NOTHING to avoid talking to you on the phone. I haven’t tested this site out yet, but I’m told it helps you navigate phone trees. I can kind of understand the concept — i.e. weed out the riffraff, or get an idea of why you’re calling.
I can understand if you’re calling a huge company. I don’t understand why it’s happening when I call Bob’s Downtown Diner, or something.
But then, after the computer figures out why you’re calling, apparently it discards that information. Because, what happens when you finally DO get a human? Said human has no idea why you’re calling. I used to have to call a number daily, that required inputting several pieces of information via the keys on the phone, then be put on hold for a human, who would come on the line, and ask me the exact same information I just keyed in.
Or, how about when they call YOU, to tell you to hold the line for an amazing offer! They call me to tell me they’re concerned that my car’s warranty might have expired. Even better, they tell me that ‘their records indicate’ this.
What records? And if they have records, why are they asking me what kind of car I have? I have never bought from a dealer in my life, every car I’ve owned has been a two-private-parties thing. Here’s money, thank you for the title.
I’ll string ’em along a little, feign concern, and then drop the bomb when they ask me the make and model of my car. It’s a ’99 Camry, with 250k miles on it. I’m thinking the warranty expired a LONG time ago. PLEASE, pay for a new timing belt!
I like to mess with them, and there’s any number of funny stories and videos of people just OWNING the scammer.
My personal best, was the one where the guy calls you and tells you a car rented in your name was found at the border stuffed chock-full-o-dope. You can resolve this by purchasing gift cards and reading the numbers off to Sergeant Bob Smith (who sounds suspiciously NOT like a Bob Smith).
Scenario 1: I feigned aghastedness, asked him the make and model of the car. He told me that it was a Toyota [some small model]. I told him it couldn’t be me, since I use the Blazer to haul drugs – more capacity. This guy kept up, telling me they were coming for me as we spoke. Oh, sacred shit! I asked him if it was the same people that were coming last week.
Scenario 2: After giving the guy completely bogus information (which he didn’t apparently check, because he told me all was well), I flat up asked him: “What’s the scam, and how do I get in on it?” He had nothing.
I suppose I’m doing everyone a favor, since these scammers aren’t bothering YOU, as long as I’m bothering THEM. I live out in the boonies, and have nothing better to do.
I found a new thing I didn’t know I could do, in Google Earth, the Flight Simulater. Spolier alert: I can’t fly to save my life, much less anyone else’s. I had been scared to try this before, because I was using the ‘stock’ graphics in the computer. When I put in the new card, it’s fun! Watch as I try to take out a local radio station. I missed, but I think I hit the ground close enough to where the explosion would have, at the very least, painted the tower. Nothing personal, KBPI. You were just there.