Okay, let me start by saying, that I have always thought that what the government has to do to stop terrorists is (in my mind) not an invasion of my privacy. I have always thought that if they feel they need to tap phone lines, etc etc to catch a terrorist, so be it. I have nothing to hide. I am not a terrorist. SO what do I care, right?
My thoughts have changed.
Today we had an especially harrowing day at work. Especially. My brain was about to explode when my husband called me. Apparently my brother-in-law, whose phone number I don't even know unless I look it up, received a telephone call ON HIS CELL PHONE from someone claiming to be looking for Meagan Rodgers-Johnson. He had been getting a bunch of calls from numbers that he didn't know, and he wouldn't answer, and they never left a message. So he finally decided to answer. Yeah. He asked them who they were and why they were calling, and they couldn't and wouldn't tell him (they claimed to be protecting my privacy.)
They told him that there was an urgent matter that they needed to contact me about. He wouldn't give them any of my information (thanks thanks thanks!) and the only thing they would tell him is that they were from Afni corporation. So obviously he called my brother right away, all freaked out I am sure. Now let me tell you, I have NEVER given by brother-in-law's name or telephone number to ANYONE. Not even to a friend or family member. I can't even tell you what his number is. I was absolutely horrified that someone was tracking me down via my brother-in-law. How creepy is that? I feel violated.
So I get online looking for this AFNI company and find they are from Bloomington, Illinois. They specialize in "collections" - imagine that.
Well if you recall, I recently had a little issue where I forgot to pay my $60 Verizon bill and we decided that instead of continuing service with them and paying a $30 fee and having to setup a new account with a new number, we would switch to Vonage and pay 1/3 that cost per month. And we did. And we love Vonage. So I have this bill for Verizon, and they added all these bogus charges onto our account (you pay a month in advance you know) and I asked them to remove them, including the month of service that we hadn't even USED, and they told me that they can't, but that once another billing cycle happens, they will credit the amounts incorrectly charged. And of course they wanted me to "pay for it in full" and then they would "issue me a refund" for what I overpaid. Yeah right. Not a fucking chance.
SO one they corrected the bill, I wrote a check and put it in the envelope, and it's above the visor of my car waiting to be mailed.
SO Verizon, in that time, sent my account to collections (not a big deal, I don't really care, what are they going to do, shut off my phone? LOL.) but since the number they had on my account before was my VERIZON number, and that obviously doesn't work anymore, so they don't have a phone number to call and harass me at (oh, poor poor Verizon.) And so they started to look through my phone records, and my previous account activity, and found someone that we called with the same last name, and sent HIS contact information, his CELL PHONE number nonetheless, to their collection company. When I got ahold of that collection company, that poor guy on the other end, whoa he got an earfull It amazes me that the only bad word that came out of my mouth was "bastards" because I wanted to say "Tell Verizon they can go fuck themselves." and it was very difficult not to. I keep thinking "this is so WRONG! I have to have some rights! Should I be calling a lawyer?"
So I called husband and he was in just about the same mood that I was in when he found out it was Verizon. He said "I ought to write a god damn letter to our senators and tell them just what I think of this." I can not believe that Verizon used my own phone records to track me down, and distributed my family's contact information to a 3rd party collections company. And all this when every fucking time you called Verizon about your own account, they had to "ask my permission" to look at the account. Because they were so worried about my fucking privacy. Right. And then they go and distribute my family's personal information in an attempt to track me down over $82 fucking dollars.
So what do you all think of wire tapping and release of phone records now? Are you even just a little bit creeped out that you can be tracked down via your family members? I'm sure my barcode arm tattoo will be in the mail anyday now. Or maybe they want it on the back of my neck and I will have to shave my head so they can scan me from behind. Not sure how I feel about getting fucked from behind by the Government.