When I speak I frequently use myself as an example. This helps me to prevent the risk of embarrassing anyone besides myself, and, of course, I can know the results ahead of time and filter any information (such as social security, birth date, etc.)
I am popular!
One of the things I point out is that the popularity of my name causes me some unique issues. Before I made the effort to be found online, it was extremely difficult to find the right Jennifer Ellis. Now, apparently, it is a bit too easy.
My cell phone service is with Sprint, and about 3 months ago I got an odd text telling me I owed $300 on my bill. I found this to be strange because my service costs substantially less than $300 per month and I pay my bill early each month. I called Sprint and was told, no you don’t owe any money. Strange I thought, but I figured it was a mistake, confirmed it with my online account, and moved on.
About a month ago I got a call that scared the heck out of me. It was a collection agency telling me that it had been trying to find me and I owed payment on my Ford car. I don’t have a Ford car and, as a result, don’t owe any money to Ford. However, some years ago I did have a Ford so it took me a moment to realize, no, I don’t have one now.
Next I thought, oh great, someone has stolen my identity. In my panic I managed to convey to the person calling that I did not have a Ford and I asked for the last 4 digits of the person’s social security. I was much relieved when I learned no, this person was not me. Ford immediately removed my phone number and address and I haven’t heard from them since. The woman was most polite about the whole thing and very apologetic.
I get bugged!
I haven’t been so fortunate with Sprint, or rather ERSolutions, the company hired by Sprint to collect money from the other, bad, Jennifer Ellis. I got a letter, called immediately, and was informed, oh, this isn’t you, we will remove you from the database. A week later, a call. Oh, sorry, this isn’t you, we will remove you from the database. A few days later, a call (on a different phone number) oh sorry, this isn’t you, we will remove you from the database. Today, a call at PBI! Oh sorry, this isn’t you, we will remove you from our database.
I get irritated!
Each time the company left a message so I had to call back and explain the situation. I am a patient woman but today I got close to blowing my stack. I don’t need to be called at work by a credit agency, especially one that has nothing to do with me. I explained, calmly, that I am an attorney so I don’t need to hire one, and if I got one more call, one more letter, one more anything, my next step would be to file some major complaints.
Each time the company apologizes, the people are surprisingly polite, but they are wasting my time and I don’t like any possibility of having my credit disturbed. In these days, who would? So when the company apologized for what would be the 4th time I said, don’t apologize, fix it. The woman got a bit huffy and told me she was just trying to do her job. I said, well that’s nice, but it would be good if someone actually did her job and the company stopped bugging me. She said since I wouldn’t let her apologize I should talk to a supervisor. I got another call so I had to go, but I called back a few minutes later and talked to someone. Sure enough, two phone numbers were removed but one was not, and my address was not.
I will, of course, be following up with a letter to make sure everything is removed, but I am concerned, what will come next from the very bad Jennifer Ellis who apparently cannot pay her bills and somehow has gotten connected with me.
I’ll be putting a fraud alert on my credit, just to be safe, but this doesn’t actually seem to be a credit issue. It simply seems to come down to the fact that Jennifer Ellis is an extremely common name and creditors, looking for the bad Jennifer Ellis, have found me, the good Jennifer Ellis.