Monday, March 21, 2005

I Got Something for Your Circuits to Receive, Buddy!

OK, so, for about the past couple of years, I've been repeatedly getting this message on my answering machine. It'll go for months, then stop for a while, then start up again. Sometimes they'll call two or three times a day. It's a recorded message for somebody with a name that sounds like "Ken Armantes" regarding a "personal business matter," with a phone number and sometimes a list of hours (something like 8 AM - 9 PM Eastern). Caller ID says "Georgia," and that's it. If I actually pick up the phone, there's no human being there. I've always figured it was a collection agency, looking either for a guy who used to have my number (which I've had for years), or who gave them my number so they wouldn't call him. I mean, who else has that kind of persistence and won't say why they're calling?

It was a minor annoyance for a while, but it's now long, long since passsed the "mild annoyance" stage and edged into "annoyance large enough to make me want to smash something" stage. Because I got a new phone for Christmas, and the ringer on the damned thing won't shut off even when it says "ringer off." Which means if someone calls when I'm trying to sleep, it wakes me up. Which, when I'm on the night shift, really, really sucks.

So, when it woke me up today (again!), I finally got fed up and called the damned number. I got a recorded British voice thanking me for calling "Circuits Receivable" and telling me to press 1 for a representative and 0 for an operator. OK, I hit 1 and got a "How can I help you?"

In a voice carefully modulated to convey displeasure while concealing homicidal impulses, I said, "I've been getting a message on my answering machine, up to several times a day, telling me to call this number--"

"Can you hold?" she says, and cuts me off.

I wait for a while. I get tired of waiting (in part because I have the sneaking suspicion she's never actually coming back), hang up, redial, and hit 1 again with the intention of opening with a lightning-quick restatement of the problem and an "I don't need to be put on hold. I need you to stop calling me." It rings about 20 times, then just... stops.

And now I'm wondering. Does anybody have any idea WTF this is? Is it a collection agency? Is it some kind of weird phone scam? Googling for "Circuits Receivable" turns up very nearly nothing.

I'm starting to wonder if I can call the cops on these people for phone harassment or something.

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