Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thursday's Tourist...NOT!

I guess the economy has cut back on tourism, as I have no one lined up today to be my guest. I suppose I'll have to bore you with details from my yesterday's 'day of hell.'

It all started with a phone call to MY cell, asking for Kelly (my husband.) I'd gotten a call from the same number the previous day, so I disregarded it, but knowing I'd given them his cell, I called back, wondering what they wanted. That was my first mistake. :)

It seems ER Solutions is the mother of all collection agencies. Their agents must have gone to the Adolph Hitler School of tactics, mentally learning how to rip away fingernails via telephone or reduce you to a sniveling heap...but I digress.

The woman on the other end insisted I pay her $500 immediately for an overdrawn checking account at Washington Mutual. The fact that we don't have a checking account with them didn't seem to matter. Of course, now that the banks are all gobbling each other up, it didn't occur to her that someone might have made a keying entry in the last four digits of a social security number, nor was she interested in my suggestion that it happened.

We do have two accounts with Washington Mutual...oh excuse me...One is with Washington Mutual, the other is with the now defunct, Providian, but of course now they are all J.P. Morgan Chase. Gads...I need a score card to follow this myself.

When I asked for information, she refused to give it to me because I'm not Kelly. How she got MY cell phone number is something I'll never know, but bothering me with a matter that she can't discuss seemed a little ridiculous since I'd already told them it wasn't his phone number. But, I pushed on, knowing I handle the finances and Kelly would be clueless. Regardless, since she wouldn't divulge anything more to me, I handed him the phone and went back to my computer. When I heard him say, "You'll have to speak with my wife because she handles the money," I came back for the phone. Her continued insistence that we immediately pay or receive a big black mark on our credit report wore on my nerves and I guess Kelly could tell. He snatched the phone back, tried to argue with her, and ended up calling her some 'not so nice names' and hanging up. Now, I'm not only mad at ER Solutions, I'm pissed at him for hanging up before I got the information I needed.

So, after we screamed at one another for ten minutes and he left, I called back and asked for a supervisor. What was I thinking? This person trained the previous caller in bad manners and disrespect. But, I did manage to pull from him they are seeking Kelly Silpson, someone who lives in California. It didn't seem to matter that our name is Simpson, as long as the last four digits of Kelly's SSN matches their records, we owe the money. How ridiculous is that? The answer to every question I asked was, "I'm sorry but I can't divulge that information." Shouldn't it seem a little odd that our name and location doesn't match??? No matter to ER Solutions. They want that money and evidently don't care who pays it.

This could turn out to be a novel, so I'll simply say that at the insistence of ER Solutions (solutions, my ass) that I call Washington Mutual and fix a problem that had become ours through a mistake made by someone else, I did call. Trust me, it's no easy feat finding a contact number for a defunct bank, but I phoned the checking assistance number and relayed the entire story, only to be transferred to the credit card number since we have no checking account number they can look up. Of course maneuvering through the automated attendance without a number was my first hurdle. I think I confused the system by entering ######### fifty times.

Anyhow, after waiting another 27 minutes, the credit card guy was nice, but unable to help because it isn't a credit card issue. Duh Uh! He suggested transferring me back to checking. I think I screamed at him that I refused to listen to another twenty minutes of their ghastly music while I waited for a rep. So, he returned to his helpful demeanor, and suggested I may need legal help, and I should, at my expense, pull all three credit reports to make sure that Silpson isn't listed as an alias on them. I had pulled our credit report at then end of last year, and as far as I can see Miss Silpson hasn't been added to our family tree, and a threat of the black mark on our reports is the ax ER Solutions is hanging over us if we don't pay. Clearly Credit Card Guy isn't the solution to my problem.

This is customer service. Are you kidding me? When I asked what he suggested I do to fix the problem, he had no idea. After a pause he said maybe I should write a letter... but he's so sorry for my inconvenience and wished he could help me. Not as much as I wished he could have.

Anyhow, I went to bed at 7:30, frustrated with the world. I woke up this morning, actually feeling pretty good after so much sleep, and now I have to discover where to send this wonderful letter I've drafted. Kelly and I haven't spoken since yesterday the call yesterday morning, but maybe that's a good thing. *lol* But, so much for today being productive. I wanted to write, but not a letter.

It just occurred to me that everyone really didn't want to talk to me because I'm not Kelly, but somehow, I ended up with this whole thing dumped in my lap. He went off to work this morning with not a care in the world about this matter. What's wrong with this picture???


Jen Black said...

Oh Ginger...I feel for you, dear. we are constantly plagued by strange voices from India because a lot of UK companies have call centres abroad. And for sheer unhelpfulness British Telecom are hard to beat,

Laura @ Caninedesign said...

*solutions my ass* very funny

If I were you, I'd get one of those credit monitors ASAP. Lifelock or whatever it's called. They'll alert you if someone tries to mess with your credit.

Anyway, I don't think they can mess with your credit because your name isn't Silpson. But I bet Kelly Silpson will be surprised when he/she has a black mark on their credit from out of nowhere.

Anonymous said...

Ugh, Ginger, what a day you had. Definitely could have done without the drama. Here's hoping the situation gets solved to your satisfaction sooner rather than later.

Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you are talking about Ginger. I will pay the bills and then show him the amount of living money we have to go on until the next payday, which isn't much anymore, and he will say "lovely" and just walk away and start talking about something else.............grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!

Linda Gates

Molly Daniels said...

My hubby's the same way. I handle all the bill paying, but since nearly everything is in HIS name, I have to stand beside him if anyone calls (which thankfully isn't that often!)

We ran into a situation two years ago: We tried to open a checking acct with Regions bank, but his SS# came up flagged because we 'owed money'. We had paid this amount over ten years ago, and since we've moved, the receipt is only God-knows-where. I called the home bank to research it, but as it's been over 10 years, no one can even find the account! But yet, his number remains flagged. So we went to another bank, with no problems.

Irritating, but at least I know which bank to avoid in the future!

Toystory said...

I fought over a business phone account with Verizon for about 1 1/2 years - it definately wasn't money I owed. However the very first rep. lied and put into the "file" that I agreed to pay it etc. because she said she would "get in trouble" for talking to me this long and not getting the money. It was money I owed they said that they had misbilled to someone else and now were coming back to collect.

I did not know she did this ~~ when they finally got back to that persons file and read it, I really was angry ~~ and said they needed to retrieve the "phone" conversation from that day (don't they always say you are being recorded?) and listen to it themselves because that never happened. It caused a nightmare for me being called every day and getting nowhere fast. Finally I paid the $$, really. Tt was about $300, I didn't owe just to get them to stop harassing me. Sanity after all is priceless. Turns out they make another error on my bill -- this time to my benefit at a much larger amount ~~ and I'll be darned if I will call to try and fix it. What goes around comes around.....isn't that what Karma is all about.

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