Wrong Number... at 4 am!

Fax machine calling at 4 am
@Ruby3881 (2000)
Canada
April 30, 2016 12:28am CST
One of the other discussions here tonight reminded me of something that once happened to our household. When my kids were quite small, one night there was a phone call at 4 am. When we picked up, there were all those nasty high pitched tones of a fax machine. We hung up, figuring someone had misdialled. Exactly seven days later, at the same time, the phone rang again. Yup, it was the fax! We got the phone number and tried to trace where the call was coming from, as obviously someone had entered our number into their fax when they meant to call someone else. The number was of no help, as it was a dedicated line and at that time we had no access to a fax machine in order to alert the company they had the wrong number. We also couldn't locate the company name, in order to call their business phone and tell them about the mistake. This went on for weeks, and we were unable to do anything about it. We called the phone company, who offered to block their number - at our cost. They told us they would waive the fee if we were being harassed, but they'd need a police report as proof. So we called the police, who said they couldn't do anything about it. But they were sure the phone company could take care of it. Are you getting a sense of the frustration this little dance was causing? Well, we called the phone company once more and this time got a different agent. We mentioned that we'd call the police, and he said he really didn't know any way to address the problem unless we paid to block. But we pressed him and said, if only he could get the company name for us we would simply call the company. And so he did. Yup! The person who answered the phone acted like we were crazy when we explained the situation, and refused to even look into it. By this time we were both starting to lose our cool. The children would wake up when the call came in, and that's just no fun for any parent. We finally called the phone company once more and explained that the company knew, and refused to do anything. That finally seemed to do the trick. The phone company agent said he would talk to the company, and told us to call him back if there were any more calls. Whatever he said to them, it must have been impressive! From that day on, there were no more calls.... [Image: ClkerFreeVectorImages/Pixabay/CC0]
21 people like this
22 responses
• United States
30 Apr 16
don'tcha jest love how nobody's responsible 'n the phone company tries to squeeze more funds from ya? i'm saddened't all the hoops ya'd the need to jump through, but glad such was finally resolved.
3 people like this
@Ruby3881 (2000)
• Canada
1 May 16
Those people who work in customer service actually have quotas for selling services to people who call for help. Did you know that?
3 people like this
• United States
1 May 16
@Ruby3881 yes ma'am, sadly i did. i jest think such's ridiculous's all.
1 person likes this
@bagarad (12653)
• Paso Robles, California
6 May 16
@Ruby3881 It certainly wouldn't surprise me.
• Surrey, British Columbia
30 Apr 16
i would suggest to leave your phone with automatic answer setting ,set in silent.so therefore nobody will disturb.
3 people like this
@Ruby3881 (2000)
• Canada
1 May 16
We had no option to do that, as hubby's boss needed to reach him during the night.
1 person likes this
• Surrey, British Columbia
1 May 16
@Ruby3881 well,there's nothing we can do about that and anyways communication is important though.
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
30 Apr 16
Hi, Kyla. A long time ago my household was getting calls about 3 am from someone in a different time zone who thought she was calling her kids. When I told her she had the wrong number she insisted that it was the right number and kept saying she was my mom, so I had to silence the ringer and keep the answering machine on all night. When I reviewed the recordings there would be one from her every night for a very long time and they all started out "Yell-Ohh, Yell-Ohh"
3 people like this
@Ruby3881 (2000)
• Canada
1 May 16
It sounds like she might have been suffering dementia, poor dear! I had a psychiatric patient once who occasionally tried to call his (deceased) mother. e even called the operator once for assistance completing the call. The number he was remembering was from the 60s and was missing a digit (this was during the late 80s.)
3 people like this
@celticeagle (119157)
• Boise, Idaho
30 Apr 16
That would be aggravating. Glad you got it straightened out. Things used to be a lot different with all landlines. I used to know all of the area codes in the country and could tell you where an area code was. I also could tell you what part of town a number was by the prefix. Not so anymore.
2 people like this
@Ruby3881 (2000)
• Canada
1 May 16
We used to do the same! The part of Montreal where I grew up had about half a dozen different prefix numbers. They often covered more than one of the suburbs, but you could guess fairly closely.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (119157)
• Boise, Idaho
1 May 16
@Ruby3881 ...It was easy to figure around here. But then the cell phones came in and who knows now.
1 person likes this
@Ruby3881 (2000)
• Canada
1 May 16
@celticeagle Yes, all the new area codes, prefixes, and so on. We have 5 cell phones in our family, but three different calling prefixes.
1 person likes this
• Midland, Michigan
30 Apr 16
Unbelievable that the originating company didn't want to find out what was happening, but it may have been difficult at best. Especially if every office has their own fax machine. If it were me, I'd just unplug my phone while sleeping. I'd let family to know that if there were any emergencies with other family to call my cell instead.
2 people like this
@Ruby3881 (2000)
• Canada
1 May 16
I didn't have a cell phone back then, and we couldn't turn off the phones because hubby's employer would call at all hours (he worked on call, on remote filming locations.)
1 person likes this
@bagarad (12653)
• Paso Robles, California
6 May 16
A lot of companies send out unsolicited faxes in the middle of the night like the ones I mentioned above - junk faxes. They are automated to take advantage of lower night rates. The originating company only cares when someone takes their bait and calls back. They aren't concerned about the ones with no response.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (170727)
• Switzerland
30 Apr 16
I cannot believe that the police was unable to do something for you. Also the phone company has taken a lot of time to finally decide to help you, very frustrating.
1 person likes this
@Ruby3881 (2000)
• Canada
1 May 16
The police only like to get involved with very serious things - they want it to be a crime they can make an arrest for. This wasn't worth their while...
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (170727)
• Switzerland
1 May 16
@Ruby3881 Here the police like to get involved even in very minor problems.
1 person likes this
@Ruby3881 (2000)
• Canada
1 May 16
@LadyDuck Is that a helpful thing (as in, they're preventing bigger crimes) or is it because they are overbearing? Here we are now dealing with the RCMP, the federal police, rather than with a municipal force. It's a much more community-oriented philosphy, but still we have red tape to deal with. The individual officers can be very kind, and they try to help as best they can. But policy sometimes gets in the way...
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (130202)
• Bunbury, Australia
30 Apr 16
This would really be the pits after a while. Wasn't the company concerned that they weren't getting their faxes?
1 person likes this
@Ruby3881 (2000)
• Canada
1 May 16
They seemed not to care at all. Mind you, it could be that after a few weeks a supervisor picked up on it.... I kind of hope that person who was so ignorant with us lost their job.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (130202)
• Bunbury, Australia
1 May 16
@Ruby3881 That would be karma, wouldn't it?
2 people like this
@Ruby3881 (2000)
• Canada
1 May 16
@JudyEv And well deserved, at that! We live too much in a world of "not my department" and people doing the bare minimum just to get by. It's disgraceful. I know that the corporate bosses treat employees badly, but when employees behave that way they are just giving them an excuse for treating people as expendable...
2 people like this
@DaddyEvil (25738)
• Aurora, Missouri
18 May 16
That isn't impressive, Kyla! All the phone company representative had to do was tell the business you were going to contact the police about them harassing you at 4 am. Since a judge would have upheld a harassment charge on the timing of the call, you would have won and the company would have had a big fine to pay, as well as compensation for the inconvenience they caused you. You could have also dialed *69 after you hung up your phone. Most fax machines will ring and a person can answer when a call comes in that is not connected to a fax machine. Are you still around? I haven't seen you in a few weeks now and am getting worried!
1 person likes this
@Ruby3881 (2000)
• Canada
24 May 16
Law suits such as you describe are pretty rare in Canada. Companies know it, including the phone company and the one responsible for the annoying calls. As far as using the *69 function, we did try that. Whether the fax was set not to ring or whether the culprits simply ignored the phone, we never managed to reach a human being. I think we even tried to fax them a message to say they had the wrong number. They really didn't care!
1 person likes this
@DaddyEvil (25738)
• Aurora, Missouri
25 May 16
@Ruby3881 Personally, I have only filed a couple of suits in my life, Kyla. Maybe the paucity of litigation against them is the reason your companies are so blase about waking citizens in the wee hours of the morning? IDK, but it wouldn't be allowed to happen here, not without the phone company quaking in their boots over the possible litigation should the transgression happen again, and again. I am happy to see you back! I was beginning to think I would need to do a bit of tracking to check on you!
@AnneEJ (4986)
• Dollard-Des-Ormeaux, Quebec
30 Apr 16
That must have been very frustrating, but I am glad you persevered and got a solution.
1 person likes this
@Ruby3881 (2000)
• Canada
1 May 16
We didn't have much choice, really. Hubby often worked on remote filming locations ovrnight, so I couldn't just turn the ringer off at night...
1 person likes this
@AnneEJ (4986)
• Dollard-Des-Ormeaux, Quebec
1 May 16
@Ruby3881 I hate calls in the night, always thing there is going to be bad news.
@kaka135 (14068)
• Malaysia
30 Apr 16
I can imagine how frustrating it is, especially when you have young kids at home. I just can't imagine all the parties couldn't do anything about this, even the company! Glad that finally the phone company did help. When I was young, sometimes we received calls in the midnight because my dad was working in the production line where it was running 24 hours. So, if there were any issues, the technicians would call my dad. Glad this didn't happen all the time.
1 person likes this
@Ruby3881 (2000)
• Canada
1 May 16
We got lots of late night calls for work too. Hubby worked in the film industry, and often got called into work at 3 am.
2 people like this
@dodoazo (21035)
• Philippines
30 Apr 16
You got no more pestering call early in the morning, but the effort you have made is beyond. It is many sacrifices on your part and the trouble it has created by disturbing your sleep. It pays a patience to cure the patient.
1 person likes this
@Ruby3881 (2000)
• Canada
1 May 16
It was worth it to stop the calls, I guess. But it should not have been so hard.
@AmbiePam (49880)
• United States
30 Apr 16
Wow. That is truly maddening.
1 person likes this
@Ruby3881 (2000)
• Canada
1 May 16
Yeah, it was. I suspect the company thought they were faxing another company. It turns out somebody at the workers' comp office had been distributing our phone number on a list of some kind. I guess the number had belonged to a company that provided related services, and in all likelihood they went out of business.
@Platespinner (17045)
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
30 Apr 16
That would have been thoroughly frustrating!
1 person likes this
@Ruby3881 (2000)
• Canada
1 May 16
We used to get a lot of wrong number calls from businesses at that time. One time I was asked how many fork lifts I had, LOL! When I explained they'd reached a residence and asked how their got our number, the person was kind enough to tell me the workers' comp people had added us to a list they distributed! I suspect the number had been previously assigned to a company that went bankrupt.
@BettyB (4212)
• Summerville, South Carolina
30 Apr 16
Seems like the phone company should have been more helpful. I know it was frustrating. Luckily today with cellphones, we can put in our own block.
1 person likes this
@Ruby3881 (2000)
• Canada
1 May 16
It's amazing how much things have changed in just a decade or so! (And how spectacularly unhelpful "customer service" people can still be...)
@bagarad (12653)
• Paso Robles, California
6 May 16
I can only imagine how horrible that was. We got a lot of unwanted junk faxes at odd hours the machine was at home so it rang and woke us up. It was only bad when the machine was out of paper or something jammed and they machine started beeping in the middle of the night for us to come and fix it. I hate dealing with jams at any time because the machine keeps screeching until it's happy again, and its constant beeping makes me very tense while I'm trying to fix it. Then this happens at 3:30 AM we are not happy.
1 person likes this
30 Apr 16
you got a relief from the wrong number.....gald
1 person likes this
@PatZAnthony (12871)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
25 May 16
Thankfully, we can now dial in a # that will block the caller. That had to be so frustrating.
@mom210 (6779)
• Atlanta, Georgia
13 May 16
oh how annoying, I am glad it finally passed.You would think whoever was trying to fax would have figured out there was a problem and checked his number
@TheHorse (70936)
• Pleasant Hill, California
2 May 16
I'e called people who have no fax machine and gotten the fax machine sound, but I don't think I've been called by a fax machine.
@allknowing (68668)
• India
1 May 16
It is strange that it took you so long to set matters right.