Wednesday, April 2, 2014

This Isn't the Matthew You're Looking for...

About three years ago Matt and I switched from T-Mobile to AT&T for our cell service. When we got our new numbers Matt happened to get the a number that had previously belonged to another guy named Matthew. Okay, no problem right? Except that it has been a constant nuisance and he refuses to change his phone number because of the hassle it would cause with work, friends, and family. From my perspective, this is sheer stupidity. Here's why...

JensenAckles GIFImmediately after getting the number he began getting lewd texts from sexting services. Not just one or two texts, but dozens of them a day. These texts were seriously nasty stuff, with very graphic details about what they were offering. Seriously gross, but he ignored it assuming they would go away when they realized he wasn't interested.

Six months went by and those sexting texts turned into billing from said sexting company because, apparently the asshat who had the number before him didn't pay them for previously rendered services. The lewd, graphic texts turned into threatening, angry texts. Apparently, those companies are like angry pimps when they don't get their money. Still gross.

Meanwhile he started getting phone calls and voicemail for jobs for this Matthew guy. Apparently, someone wanted to hire him for some sort of engineering-type job. At least we think so, the woman calling was foreign and we couldn't always understand her. Matt told her repeatedly that he was not the Matthew she was looking for, but she persisted until he stopped answering the calls completely. For a job recruiter, this woman was seriously pushy.

Then the bill collectors started calling. Matt told a lot of them he wasn't, in fact, Matthew Garrett and that they needed to stop calling him. Some did, others didn't. We've been ignoring it and laughing it off, but this last weekend he go on the phone with a woman who was so condescending--I mean so, so condescending--that she outright refused to believe Matt wasn't this other Matthew guy. It went a little something like this...

Collector: Matthew?
Matt: Yes?
Collector: I'm calling you regarding a debt for [very large sum] that is owed to Capital One.
Matt: Um, huh? No I don't.
Collector: It's from 2003, you'll need to pay or we're going to sue you.
Matt: Who are you trying to reach?
Collector: Matthew G-A-R-R-E-T-T.
Matt: That's not me, different Matthew.
Collector: Social Security Number ending in [numbers]?
Matt: No.
Collector: Address [street address]?
Matt: No again.
Collector: We're going to sue you if you don't pay. The federal law... [blah, blah, blah]
Matt: Wait, I am not the guy you're looking for.
Collector: Then you're refusing to pay this debt, Mr. Garrett?
Matt: Um no, you're talking to the wrong guy.
Collector: Okay, sir (super condescending disbelief), I'm going to note in your file that you said that.
Matt: You do that.

This woman outright refused to believe that Matt wasn't this other guy. This is the first time that's happened, most of them are at least willing to take him at his word, and I think it was partially that Matt answered to Matthew at the beginning of the call. But, um, his name is Matthew! This woman gave us that guys last known address and the last four digits of his SSN. That's bad business bordering on criminal. If I could remember what company she was from I'd call them and file a complaint. Give the wrong person that information and you've just aided in identity theft. Though, if I had to say, I don't think anyone would want this guy's identity.

All of this and Matt still won't change his number. I tried again to get him to change it, but he says it would cause too many conflicts. While it would certainly be a pain in the neck, I feel like it would be worth it. Oh, did I mention he's constantly getting text updates from this other Matthew's dentist? He also got a call from a doctor looking for the other guy. I honestly think he's beginning to get some perverse enjoyment out of the whole thing. Me? I would have been at my wits end with this other guy pervy, jobless, internet-shopping, indebted minutiae a long time ago. We have enough problems without fielding calls for some creep who used to have Matt's phone number--especially when those calls are threatening or condescending.

I seriously hope either this other Matthew or all the jerks trying to reach him for money or text-sex get a freaking clue. Otherwise, I may just change Matt's phone number against his will, seeing how the account is in my name. ;)