I tried to get debt collectors to stop calling me and they just wouldn’t

ArtyLoop

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The company is owed money and to ensure they comply with all the relevant laws they hand over their collections to a third-party. The debt collectors, by all accounts, have to deal with desperate people, liars and thieves all day, so how do they reliably establish whether the person answering the phone is actually the person they are looking for?
In many cases it's not a case of hand over, its a case of on-selling the debt for cents in the Rand.
 

bwana

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Why is the author of this article even answering calls from unknown or private numbers? I never answer any call that's not from a number in my contact list. If it's important they can leave a voicemail.
Private/blocked numbers I sort of get but why are you afraid to answer calls from unknown numbers? o_O
 
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backstreetboy

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Not answering calls is a luxury many people don't have, whether people who run their own businesses or us lowly journalists.

Regarding voicemail, though not core to the matter and anecdotal—most people I've chatted to about their voicemail preferences say that they don't check their voicemail. They either disable it if they know how, record a message telling people to send them an SMS if it's urgent, or just let their voicemail inbox fill up to the point that it can't store any more messages.

As a result, they assume that no-one else uses voicemail either, and don't bother recording a message when the answering machine picks up.

TrueCaller works well, but it can't help people who don't have a smartphone. Just because folks in this thread have solved this problem for themselves doesn't mean it's not a problem.

What was interesting to me about this story is that all parties concerned are in a bad spot.

The company is owed money and to ensure they comply with all the relevant laws they hand over their collections to a third-party. The debt collectors, by all accounts, have to deal with desperate people, liars and thieves all day, so how do they reliably establish whether the person answering the phone is actually the person they are looking for?

And of course there is us, the (mostly) innocent consumer who has to deal with all the spam coming to what we hoped would be a clean new number.

What could help is some kind of integration between the system the debt collectors use and the operator systems that handle number recycling. They don't have to pass through any RICA data or anything... just a flag that says the number was recently recycled, no longer belongs to the previous owner, and the date it was recycled maybe.
Really? You can get a smartphone for R400... Doubt the issue is not having an smartphone..
 

RedViking

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These are VoIP numbers, they get used for a lot of nefarious purposes. We have an 087 VoIP number at home for me to use, and on my wife's phone it is detected as a "debt collector" when I call her cell. Figures!
lol. It is actually funny if your wife is the type that likes to spend your money. :laugh:
 

Daruk

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Its called Truecaller, Bradley. Go to AppStore or Google Play, click Install Now, and problem solved to a large degree
So who's name shows up on Truecaller when you install it on a recycled sim?
 
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Jan

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Really? You can get a smartphone for R400... Doubt the issue is not having an smartphone..
I definitely wasn't saying that the issue is not having a smartphone. Not sure how you got to that conclusion, but it doesn't really matter...

South Africa hardly has 100% smartphone penetration, despite how cheap devices have become. The last figure from Pew Research was 51% (sauce). I've seen some estimates up to 60% (Kantar TNS/Google), and others below 40% (Newzoo).

The bottom line is that a significant portion of the population doesn't have access to TrueCaller on their phones. And even if everyone did, that doesn't solve the multitude of underlying issues.
 
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Jan

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So who's name shows up on Truecaller when you install it on a recycled sim?
This is something I've wanted to look into. I imagine it would be a lot like WhatsApp profiles that haven't been migrated properly.
 

ArtyLoop

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So who's name shows up on Truecaller when you install it on a recycled sim?
It gives three possible ratings: Positive, Neutral, Negative.
It also either indicates for neutral or negative what kind of caller i.e. Telemarketer or Debt Collector
 

Sollie

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This is something I've wanted to look into. I imagine it would be a lot like WhatsApp profiles that haven't been migrated properly.
It gives three possible ratings: Positive, Neutral, Negative.
It also either indicates for neutral or negative what kind of caller i.e. Telemarketer or Debt Collector
Truecaller? If you have my phone number, install Truecaller, you share my number with everybody - for which I do not thank you. You're not only stuffing my privacy up, but also everybody you have on your phone.

There may be a reason not wishing to have a number publicly known. Now, if Mr Yahoo Boi or Mr Vlad goes onto Truecaller from a virgin Google account via his browser, types in a tel nr ....., ah, this is Mrs Family.

Next minute you get an SMS: Hi Mrs Ouma, I have a favour to ask ....

Yet this is happening. Please think about how technology works and how it can be abused before blindly suggesting it as a cure. The cure may be worse than the cancer.

/Edit: Thx Arty ... fixed
 
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Sollie

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The solution is simple. Each Cellular provider show retain a registry for number initiation and termination the last five years. If a debt collector wishes to contact a person for a debt at a certain date, does that certain date match up to the current subs. If not, void the debt collection call. No privacy loss or anything, quite the opposite. It stops debt collectors dishing out personal info of a previous number owner to the new owners of the number.

I myself had a pre-owned number. I had a complete profile of the previous owner. I sent a complete profile of their client to Edgars, info I should not have known, thanks to their debt collector who refused to stop harassing me. It contained a lot of personal info that would make POPI blush.

Nvm his ex stukkie also trying to get hold of him late one night when she was feeling a bit ... but that is another story :giggle:
 

ArtyLoop

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The solution is simple. Each Cellular provider show retain a registry for number initiation and termination the last five years. If a debt collector wishes to contact a person for a debt at a certain date, does that certain date match up to the current subs. If not, void the debt collection call. No privacy loss or anything, quite the opposite. It stops debt collectors dishing out personal info of a previous number owner to the new owners of the number.

I myself had a pre-owned number. I had a complete profile of the previous owner. I sent a complete profile of their client to Edgars, info I should not have known, thanks to their debt collector who refused to stop harassing me. It contained a lot of personal info that would make POPI blush.

Nvm his ex stukkie also trying to get hold of him late one night when she was feeling a bit ... but that is another story :giggle:
Erm do you do realise how expensive this will be to impement by the cartels? They're greedy so they spend as little as possible, even run their network switches until they die of old age and then only upgrade when they get told "Sorry <insert-network-name-here>, this Ericsson/Motorola <insert-name-of-item-here> is no longer made and we cannot get spares, time to upgrade Sir."

Now you want them to spend their ill gotten gains on paying PMT billions to implement another SS7-2-retention-DB-API into their core network? Don't make me laugh. Shmeel Joosub will choke on his caviar laughing at you
 

ArtyLoop

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Whatsapp? If you have my phone number, install Whatsapp, you share my number with everybody - for which I do not thank you. You're not only stuffing my privacy up, but also everybody you have on your phone.

There may be a reason not wishing to have a number publicly known. Now, if Mr Yahoo Boi or Mr Vlad goes onto Whatsapp from a virgin Google account via his browser, types in a tel nr ....., ah, this is Mrs Family.

Next minute you get an SMS: Hi Mrs Ouma, I have a favour to ask ....

Yet this is happening. Please think about how technology works and how it can be abused before blindly suggesting it as a cure. The cure may be worse than the cancer.
Whatsapp? WTF does Whatsapp have to do with Truecaller?
 

Sollie

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Erm do you do realise how expensive this will be to impement by the cartels? They're greedy so they spend as little as possible, even run their network switches until they die of old age and then only upgrade when they get told "Sorry <insert-network-name-here>, this Ericsson/Motorola <insert-name-of-item-here> is no longer made and we cannot get spares, time to upgrade Sir."

Now you want them to spend their ill gotten gains on paying PMT billions to implement another SS7-2-retention-DB-API into their core network? Don't make me laugh. Shmeel Joosub will choke on his caviar laughing at you
Depends on how it's implemented. One would make a ding in his bonus, the other would hardly even be noticed. This type of solution can be implemented at a low cost and easily developed.

But then again, you are right. It will not happen unless it's mandated from elewhere by somebody with teeth and willing to use those teeth. Let's be honest: They can't even manage a please don't market to me list despite the CPA.
 

ArtyLoop

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Depends on how it's implemented. One would make a ding in his bonus, the other would hardly even be noticed. This type of solution can be implemented at a low cost and easily developed.

But then again, you are right. It will not happen unless it's mandated from elewhere by somebody with teeth and willing to use those teeth. Let's be honest: They can't even manage a please don't market to me list despite the CPA.
Have you ever worked for one of the cartels? I have, so until such time you have no idea of the amount of red tape, lack of interest, fatcattery and other really abhorrent behaviours happen in those corridors
 

hackus17

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Lol I remember when I had an MTN data contract. SIM was only in the mobile modem. When I happened to open the SMS page on the modem settings I had something like 2200 SMS. Half of them from Truworths :ROFL:. (None of them were mine though ;))
 

Sollie

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Have you ever worked for one of the cartels? I have, so until such time you have no idea of the amount of red tape, lack of interest, fatcattery and other really abhorrent behaviours happen in those corridors
I have, designed solutions for them, implemented stuff. Also the fun part: when it's breaks - help!! That's when all the rats and mice come out to play, but that's another story, except to see how the dynamic changes if it's important.
 

SauRoNZA

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Interesting how the spam number get used for various different companies. I don't have a Woolworths account or an FNB account (only use it for PayPal). That number doesn't take a very kind 'please don't contact me'.
It’s often a case of one company being outsourced to all of them, not the number floating around.

But as was said above sometimes it is just a VOIP Forwarding number.
 

ArtyLoop

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It’s often a case of one company being outsourced to all of them, not the number floating around.

But as was said above sometimes it is just a VOIP Forwarding number.
That Woolworths number is repeatedly harassing me in the guise of a debt collection agency for an account I've never had with Woolworths. This past month, upon digging deeper and looking at the evidence now on my credit profile, it appears I've been the victim of identity theft. However, that aside, they are using the number for a lot of different things, just like the SMS gateways, different stuff coming from the same number, because my phone groups messages from the same source together.
 
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