Messing with Companies

By Joe Rector

All of us usually admire dogged determination. However, when that characteristic is displayed by some companies, it makes our blood pressures rise to stroke levels. I’ve run into several of those annoying situations lately, and airing my grievances about them might make me feel better.

I immediately ask reps on the phone to slow down because I can’t understand a word that is being spoken. Quiet overtakes the line for a few seconds before the individual begins the spiel with the same garbled language coming over the phone. Eventually, I convince the caller to slow down so I can understand what they want. The man or woman on the line wants to know if I would like to sell my property in Gallatin, Tennessee. I explain that I have already sold the condo and ask that their records be updated and my name be removed from their call sheet. Their response comes with a quick hanging up. A year later, these goofballs are still calling and asking about the condo; however, now I receive emails from some other outfits that ask if I want to sell my property or even just a lot. Again, the answer is “no,” but the calls continue.

I was a customer of a certain cable company for more than 40 years. I’d receive an occasional reduction in price, but the bill would creep higher in no time. So, I finally cut the cord, and chose a new provider who offered fiber optic internet connection. Then I found a cheaper television service. My costs have been reduced by over $100. The original provider has been calling me and emailing me with “special savings” packages, but I won’t go back to them. Why didn’t they offer money-saving programs to me while I was a customer? I reckon all cable companies are ready to make a deal when you tell them you’re leaving. At any rate, a daily call from a different number comes from someplace across the ocean. A man who still struggles with English reads a script to me. All the while I am trying to stop him so that I can tell him that I am not interested. Eventually, I hang up, even though I know tomorrow will bring another call.

The contact that gets me most comes from a place called Hiawatha Manor. My mother decided at some point prior to 1996 to buy a timeshare week at this place in Crossville. She thought a good time to go would be a week in February. No, I don’t get the thinking behind that at all.

In June of 1996, my mother passed after a long battle with cancer. As the executor, I followed all the rules, and one was that I publicly announce via a newspaper her death so anyone who had an outstanding debt could file against the estate. No company did.

A year later, I got a call from an agent to inform me that the maintenance fee for the place was overdue. I explained to him that my mother’s estate was already closed and that no new claims could be filed. He insisted so rudely that the bill be paid that I finally told the agent that he’d have to talk to my mother. I ended by asking if he would have her call me if he got through.

Two months ago, I received a letter from this same place, and it stated that the outstanding bill was now nearly $12,000, Because I had time to “mess” with them, I wrote back a reply and explained past communications I’d had with the company. I stressed the fact that what they were complaining about was a 27-year-old account that became moot when the estate was closed by the courts. My parting words came again as a request to have my mother call me if they reached her.

It’s best to just ignore such ridiculous calls and letters that come. However, I still have enough “smart-ass” in me that I find giving such inefficient companies a hard time comes naturally.