Years and years ago when my first two were pretty young we used to belong to a family movie club. Every few months they would send you a new family film, usually put out by them, and if you didn’t like it you could send it back. They would usually send you a reminder a couple of weeks prior to shipping you a movie with a description of the upcoming shipment and if they didn’t hear back they would send the movie or you could “opt out” by checking the little box and send it back and they would NOT send you the movie.
We did this for several years and usually always enjoyed the movies they sent. They were always nice Christian family films and usually with a message or lesson attached. Sort of like a modern day Aesops Fable if you will. After several years, as the older two got to be preteens and then teens, the movies really didn’t interest them anymore and I kept several that they never even watched. #3 has always been so A D D that it was hard to get her to sit still long enough to watch a movie.
It’s been SO long since we got any movies from them that I can’t even remember the last one that we got, I just remember that I had forgotten to send in the little card telling them NOT to send it and that I sent it back. I also called and told them I was sending it back and NOT to send any more. I also wrote on the invoice they enclosed with the last movie why I was returning it and that I would like to cancel our membership and not to send me any more movies.
End of story, right? WRONG. A couple of months ago, yes … over a DOZEN years since I received my last movie from them and returned said movie I get a phone call from said movie company. I can’t remember the EXACT conversation word for word but this is pretty much the conversation.
Family Film Guy: Good Afternoon, Ma’am!
FFG: Could I speak to Mrs. _______ (asks for me by my last name).
Me: This is she. May I ask who is calling?
FFG: This is ________ from the Family Film Company Blah Blah.
Me: Yes, how can I help you?
FFG: Well, I see you are a loyal customer and we have a new movie that’s going to be released soon that I just KNOW you and your kids are just going to LOVE!
Me: Sir, I’m not sure what records you’re looking at, but my kids are all grown now and I only have one left at home. (this was shortly before #3 moved out)
FFG: Well, I’m sure the little one you have left at home will just LOVE this movie. Can we ship it to you at _________? (Our old house we moved out of in 2004)
Me: Sir, my “little one” is 18 years old and I think she’s probably a little too old for those types of films now and we no longer live at that address.
FFG: Oh, no ma’am! In fact, I’m sure your WHOLE family will enjoy this movie. It transcends age barriers and we find that all members of the family enjoy this movie!
Me: No thank you. She’s hardly ever at home and I don’t watch that many movies so thank you but NO THANK YOU.
FFG: Ma’am I don’t think you understand how good this movie is and I’m sure your grandchildren will love it then! If you can just give me your new address….
ME: Sir, I don’t think YOU understand. I don’t have little kids at home anymore. I don’t have any grandchildren. I don’t even have any neighbors that are little or nieces or nephews that live nearby and I don’t want to be rude BUT I AM REALLY NOT INTERESTED but thank you for calling.
FFG: Hold on just a minute, please. I understand you might not be interested in receiving a new movie from us, but while we’re talking I’m looking at your “file” and I notice you still have an outstanding balance on your account.
Me: EXCUSE me? How can that possibly be? I have not dealt with you guys or been a member in over a dozen years! What kind of balance are you talking about and what was it for?
FFG: Well, I’m not sure ma’am. I don’t have that information in front of me but I can assure you it’s legitimate. We’d be willing to settle for $XXX and clear this off our books.
Me: Are you KIDDING me? This has GOT to be a joke. You can’t tell me how much I owe you but you’re sure it’s legit and you’re willing to make “a deal”? I’m sorry but I think you have your information mixed up.
FFG: No ma’am. I see that we mailed you such and such a movie and you never paid for it.
Me: Sir, it has been SO long since I received a movie from you guys that I can’t even remember what it was myself but I assure you that I mailed it back. If you mailed anything AFTER I mailed that movie back and told you NOT to send me anything else then that is YOUR problem, not mine and I can assure I will not pay for that or any future movies you might try to send me to extort more money from me. I think it is absolutely ridiculous that you are calling me more than a dozen years after you think you mailed me my last movie to ask for money. And if I DID still owe you money then why the HECK are you trying to send me ANOTHER movie? I am very confused by this whole phone call.
FFG: So you don’t want to “settle” this debt today?
Me: Ummmm, NO… not ever and I don’t intend to. I’m hanging up now.
WTF??? AND he called back a couple of days later and we had a similar conversation. I told him again I was not going to give him anything. I now am receiving 2 to 3 phone calls a DAY from this company even after I told him NOT to call anymore! I don’t even pick the phone up anymore when they call. Thank God for caller ID. Any suggestions on how to get rid of this scam artist? Can you believe the audacity of these companies? Have you had similar experiences?
So, after I finished writing this, about 30 minutes later my phone rings and I look at the caller ID and GUESS WHO? Yep, Family Film Guy… so I answer the phone and he goes: ” So I see you’ve been a loyal customer and I hate to bring this up and it will only take about 90 seconds, but I see you have an outstanding balance here, and I’m sure it seems silly to call over such a small amont since you’ve owed it for so long but I know a way we can make it all go away!”
Me: Are you SERIOUS?
FFG: No, really, we can make it all go away and you have to do is…
ME: (interrupting him) No, I mean, we just spoke about this about a MONTH ago… AT LENGTH.
FFG: Oh, no, that wasn’t me.
Me:Yes, it was you because I remember your accent. I’m not trying to be rude here but before you go any further, let me refresh your memory. I told you then and I stand by what I said. True we WERE loyal customers for years and no we have not ordered anything for a long time because we have no children left at home and no grandchildren. We do not WANT any more of your movies. Anything that you have sent us in the past has either been paid for or returned. I am getting tired of being called 3 and 4 times a day and having to ignore your phone calls. I would appreciate very much if you take my number off your redial and DO NOT CALL ME EVER AGAIN! Now, that being said, please have a nice day, I am hanging up now.
And I did. I hope that takes care of the problem.
On a totally unrelated note: If you read my post “Did You Say Rockfish?” about my dear friend, Weldon and his wife Janet, and his service dog, Bixen, please go back and read the comments. Janet left a very nice comment thanking you all for your kind comments , giving you “the rest of the story” and also had a favor to ask so if you’d please be so kind to go back and read her comment I’d really appreciate it! Thanks so much guys! I really do appreciate my bloggy friends and my little circle of readers. You guys are awesome!