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These Things Only Happen to Me

I don't get that many calls on my cell phone. Generally it's a member of my family calling to find out where I am or whether I can pick something/someone up on my way to/from somewhere. So I didn't even think about the fact that I didn't get any calls for a few days, until I went to pick up the Pirate yesterday.

The Pirate's been on a jury all week, listening to the sob story and pitiably weak defense of a couple of no-account, white-trash, hang-'em-high-and-let-me-poke-their-dead-bodies-with-sticks career criminals (I'm blatantly making this part up. The Pirate, being the thoughtful juror that he is, hasn't said anything to me apart from mocking the looks of the defense attorney, which isn't privileged information anyway). I went to pick him up and was trying to call his cell phone to find out where he'd be waiting, but first his cell phone was off, then it was busy. Clearly he had only just turned it on and was trying to call me.

As I pulled up, he had an odd look on his face. He snapped his phone shut and told me that he was just trying to call me, but a man answered. Well, what could I do? I looked around the truck. I had the earbud in my ear, the actual handset in my lap, and my truck is just not that large. If there were a man anywhere in it, especially close enough to answer my phone while it's screwed into my head, I'm pretty sure I'd know.

First he checked the number he had dialed. Yup, it was the number I've been giving out. Was I wrong? We looked at the "My Phone No." screen, and yes, it was the correct phone number. The Pirate dialed it again. The same man answered.

I just thought about this a few minutes ago and tried to call my cell phone from my land line. I got the same hapless dolt. Or evil, skeevy number jumper. I haven't decided yet.

I called Working Assets today and told them "someone has my phone number." At first the woman thought that I meant that someone was calling me when I didn't want them to. It took some explaining to get her to understand that my calls are going to someone else entirely. She asked me if I had forwarded my calls. I didn't think so, but just for shits and giggles, we went through the exercise of switching off call forwarding (the screen on this one is bad - you can't tell what state the phone is in). She called again and got the same guy who is, by now, pretty irritated at me.

She came back and said "I'm sorry. This is impossible." She did not say "that is very unusual," or "unlikely." It's impossible.

They may end up changing my phone number before this is all over and done with. I'm very sad about this. And annoyed. And perturbed. It's impossible.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 18th, 2004 04:37 pm (UTC)
This has happened once to my friend's DSL line, and twice to my parents' former ISP's dial-in number. Naturally, phone company people say it can't happen. I think SBC was the one doing the taking in both cases.
Feb. 18th, 2004 04:58 pm (UTC)
Of course this is impossible. That's why it happened. That's why some stranger is answering your phone number instead of you.

It's impossible.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 19th, 2004 09:46 am (UTC)
Re: money
You don't sound crass at all. You sound like a properly concerned consumer. I've been asking myself the same questions.

1. Are calls that are going to my phone number but NOT being received still being deducted from my monthly pool of minutes?

2. If this guy has somehow managed to steal my bandwidth, are his outgoing calls being charged to my phone?

3. If this guy is the unwitting victim of some mistake on the part of the phone company/companies, is he being charged for all the incoming calls that go to him that rightly belong to me?

If it's a matter of a guy who has somehow slurped my phone's codes and is stealing my bandwidth, I want a crack at him. I want to give his eyelids papercuts and pierce the webbing between his fingers with red-hot knitting needles.

On the other hand, if this guy is the victim of some colossal mistake like I am, I hope that he's on the phone to his service provider bitching just as loudly as I am. I'll bet if he's getting a bill that includes my incoming calls, he'll be letting someone know.

Either way, it's apparently been going on since after 2/12 (the last record of an incoming call on my phone), so it's not like he's going to be charged for hours of airtime that aren't his.

This whole problem comes after another problem I had when I first got the phone wherein people calling me had to call five or six times to get through.

I'd be much grouchier about it if it weren't for the fact that this is the second phone we've had with this particular provider, and I've never had a minute's trouble with the first one. I love Working Assets, and they're the most customer-friendly place I've ever dealt with. I have my long distance, cell phones and a credit card through them, and they're really responsive to problems. Their rates are really reasonable and they're really flexible. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I really like them and don't want to believe that this is their fault, and I have great faith that if it is, they'll make it right.
Feb. 19th, 2004 10:32 am (UTC)
Ooo, very freaky. And annoying. Do you think there is a crossed line soemwhere in the inner workings of the phone company, or that this guy is sitting on your nuimber? If he's sitting on your number, he shouldn't be getting annoyed, should he? When you got him, did you ask what number he was at??

Just thinking "out loud" here!
Feb. 19th, 2004 10:54 am (UTC)
This guy has got to be extremely annoyed, because, as I tally it up, he's now been called at least twelve times in two days over this.

The woman from Working Assets who spoke to me yesterday called him at least four times herself and told me that he sounded very nervous and didn't answer her questions. I don't automatically credit this to his having pirated my phone number. It could just as easily be that he's completely freaked out that suddenly he's receiving calls for someone of whom he's never heard. It would be the punchline of the joke for me to ring him up and say "This is Junglemonkee. Any messages for me?"

The only thing that worries me is that when I called Working Assets yesterday, the woman to whom I spoke said that she would put in a trouble ticket and "call me back." Just exactly where are they going to call me back?
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )