Friday, February 26, 2010

How to deal with bill collectors

Have you ever wondered who would come to your funeral if you died? Thanks to my wonderful mail man, Steve (that's right: I'm on a first-name basis with my mail man...we exchanged Christmas cards this past Christmas...awwww)..anyway, thanks to Steve, I have a pretty good idea as to who will be at my funeral:

a collection agent from the electric company
a collection agent from the gas company
a collection agent from AVON (<~~ha!! bet your makeup addiction isn't so bad that your cosmetics company actually sends a collection agency after you!!)
a collection agent from my (former!) mortgage company
a collection agent from Bank of America
and some creepy guy named "Mr. Brooks" who keeps calling my house. I'm figuring that he probably wants money, too, so I never return his calls.

But anyway, I'm guessing they'll all be at my funeral one day to be sure that I actually kicked the bucket & am not just trying to get out of paying my bill. And I don't blame them. I have used every trick under the sun to get them off my tail:

A couple of my favorites:

Collection Agent: Good morning, honey. Is your mommy home?
Me (though I sound very youthful on the phone): Yes
Collection Agent: Oh great! Can I talk to her, please?
Me: Okay. She in the bedroom right now. So is the mailman (sorry to get you involved in this, Steve!). I know they're awake...she's making a lot of squeelie noises.
Collection Agent: Oh no!!! That's okay!! Don't worry about it!!
Me: Are you sure? She not sleeping.... She can talk!
Collection Agent: No no no no, that's okay. I'll call your mommy later, sweetie. Have a good day!

Collection Agent: May I speak to Mr. X? (enter my last name here, though they always mispronounce it)
Me: Which one?
Collection Agent: Mr. Antonio X
Me: Is that Jose Antonio X or Juan Antonio X or Luis Antonio X?? (they don't know that there is only ONE Antonio X that lives here....and it makes it much more fun for me to hear them stumbling)
Collection Agent: I just need to speak to the one who is in charge of the billing for the **insert company's name** account.
Me: Oh...that would be Fernando Antonio X.
Collection Agent: (agitated sigh) Okay then. Is Fernando Antonio X there? (depending on the agent, enter either extreme sarcasm or about-to-burst into tears attitude here)
Me: That good-for-nothing SOB ran off just last month!! You want me to give him a message?
Collection Agent: Yes, please. Actually, can you give me his new phone number?
Me: Well, they ain't got no phone where he's at now. Do you want the address?
Collection Agent: That would be great!
Me: Okay...let me see here....I know I have it here somewhere....he's living back down in Mexico...
Collection Agent: WHAT?! He's not in the United States anymore?!
Me: Nope. He just took off. Left me with two hungry babies & just took off {insert tears and tiny sobs}. Look, ma'am, I can't find his address right this minute, but if you like, I've got a whole collection of messages that I've been writing down for him & I'm just gonna mail him the whole package next week. You want me to include a message from you, too?
Collection Agent: Never mind. Let me just mark this down in my system...'moved to Mexico' Thank you for your time & I'm so sorry to have bothered you.

And that's how I deal with telemarketers.