10 ways to get debt collectors off the phone

Posted by James Brindle on December 15, 2010.

There’s a bit of morality to consider here, should you own up to who you are, should you pay the money you owe to unscrupulous 3rd party debt collectors, should you even admit who you are.  Well, i’ve been to hell and back over the years on this one and there’s no right or wrong answer.

You should certainly pay what you owe but in the proportionally right amount and to the person you actually owe the money to.

In other words, I have no moral issue with underpaying collectors who bought your debt for about 10% of it’s original value but want to make the other 90% and I have no moral issue with avoiding administration fees.

However, these collection companies hound you to death with their endless calls and verbal threats, programmed to “talk at you” as fast as possible, what we want is some good old fashioned committal to paper so here’s my top ten tried and tested ways to get them to stop calling.

First though, add their number to your contacts book as a debt agency then you know who they are every time they call.

  1. Admit nothing on the phone, sometimes not even your real name, this drives them nutty
  2. Ask them for their company name first then tell them to hold on while you start your call recorder – they almost always hang up.
  3. Tell them to write to the person who’s address they have as you won’t discuss anything on the phone as you’d like time to properly consider any proposition they may want to put to you.
  4. Give them an alternate name, “Homer Simpson” works quite well for me, just keep telling them this is your name.
  5. Pretend you don’t speak English (learning to say I don’t speak English in Russian is useful here), they’ll mark your file as uncontactable by phone.
  6. Put the phone next to the radio and leave it till they hang up, repeat as many times as it takes, they’ll get the message eventually.
  7. Pretend to be a queue system and ask them to “please hold”, press mute, leave for a minute and then hang up.
  8. Ask them to call you back on your landline but the number’s been changed to 09069 xxx xxx (give any six numbers here, it’s bound to be a sex line).
  9. If you have a toddler or baby – give the phone to said infant every time, they’ll soon go away.
  10. Get a new SIM for your mobile, give that number to your friends but don’t get rid of the old so they just get a voicemail everytime.  This way you can also use the old number when you sign up for anything in a shop.

This has been a proven technique and got rid of several companies over the years, one i’m annoying the hell out of at the moment though is HFO services, they ring, it’s the same annoying bad english speaking woman who claims that she “must” speak to James R Brindle.

In the beginning I used to talk to them but when they don’t action your requests for information and just pump out more letters from their threat-o-matic machine then this is what they deserve.

By the way, HFO Services, if you’re reading this, just write to my address, I know who you’re representing, i’m one step ahead and your claim is unenforcable at law as i’ve done CCA requests to the other companies you’ve passed this particular account to none of which have been able to comply and just passed it around.

About the Author

James Brindle is a freelance technology consultant based in Blackburn, Lancashire with over 20 years of experience in the IT, Media and Telecommunications industries with specialties in Web and Mobile Application development, Voice over IP (VoIP) deployment and integration, media storage and distribution systems and wide area solutions. He has a passion for retro gaming and volunteers as a presenter and acts as vice-chairman of Blackburn's Hospital Radio service.

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