jesso: (Wonderfalls - Mahondra Fists of Fate)
Livejournal, I haven't told you about The Fax Calls lately, have I?

There's been this fax machine that's been calling my cell phone sporadically for a while now. Every few weeks/months, it will start calling my phone, usually 10-20 times in a row, with 1-2 sessions in a day, for a few days in a row. The time of day seemed random, usually during business hours but also at odd times. Once, it did this after 1am. I was not happy.

When I pick up the phone, all I hear is a beep. It beeps a single tone about once every 2-3 seconds, indefinitely. If I don't answer, it leaves the beeps as a voice mail, so I pretty much have to answer and hang up to get it to NOT leave me messages.

I didn't realize how long this had been going on until I checked my LJ tags. The first time it happened was almost 2 years ago. See? I chronicled that exciting day in this entry. It was June 2008.

I called T-Mobile, and was told they can't do anything, because the caller ID is blocked so it comes through as UNKNOWN all the time. Apparently T-Mobile is one of the cell phone providers who isn't technologically advanced enough to do block unknown numbers, no matter how badly a customer wants it. Get with the times, T-Mobile, this is 2010 and you should be able to do such a simple thing.

Once it did not come through as unknown, so I sent a fax to the number on the caller ID saying "stop faxing my cell phone!" but it didn't stop the faxes. I submitted the fax number to the FCC, even, and it didn't stop the faxes.

Today, the calls were coming in at an insane rate. I'd pick-up-and-hang-up, and before I could even set the phone down, it would be ringing again. I literally lost count of how many times the fax machine called me. Frustrated, I called T-Mobile, not expecting them to be able to do anything but looking forward to complaining loudly.

As expected, the girl on the other end of the line couldn't block Unknown Number calls, but she DID help me change my voice mail number so calls go to a fax machine instead of voice mail. I think it's because her name was also Jessica, so she was automatically awesome. I plugged in the number for the fax machine in our office, and waited. After a while, it worked and a fax came through!

Guess what it was. Guess. Keep in mind that this has been happening for almost 2 years. Keep in mind that the calls have come at all kinds of odd hours. Then guess. was from a freaking insurance company, to a doctor's office. That's right. From one office to another. And no one in either office thought to wonder why all of the faxes from Company A weren't getting to Doctor B. For two years. Yeah....

I called the "From" phone number, and talked to the lady, and asked her to please for the love of all things good in the world stop sending faxes to my cell phone. She asked for the case number on the fax I got, and I guess only changed the fax number for that case (and not the master file for the doctor's office) because I kept getting fax calls even after that. They stopped mid-afternoon, but I don't trust it- if tomorrow is 100% silent, I'll maybe start to believe it's done.

I looked up the doctor's office and called them, and asked for the contact name on the fax. "Yeah, she handles Company A, but she only works Mondays and Wednesdays," was the only answer I got. I explained that Company A had my cell phone number on record as their fax number, and asked if they had been missing faxes, and suggested that maybe that would be a reason why. "We don't have any problems getting faxes." I wanted to point out that I didn't ask if they had problems with ALL incoming faxes, but since the lady cleared didn't care at all about anyone, I just decided to call back Monday and talk to the contact on the fax directly.

So yeah, thanks to incompetence at the insurance company office and seemingly rampant apathy at the doctor's office, I've been getting fax calls for almost two years. I'm about *thisclose* to flying to New York and wreaking some havoc.

Date: 2010-04-30 04:22 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
I was really hoping it was going to be some sort of lametastic fax spam. Those things are a lot of fun to make fun of.

Date: 2010-04-30 04:35 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
That is completely what I was expecting! I was so surprised it was what it was, especially since they block their caller ID. That's something you expect from a shady organization, not a legit one.

Date: 2010-04-30 09:55 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
For YEARS, we would have random weeks where we would receive a fax call on our home line every day, sometime during the day...and then it would stop, until a few months later. We never did get to the bottom of it, and it eventually went away.

I can't believe it took TWO YEARS and you to figure this out for that office!

Date: 2010-04-30 11:16 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
Ugh, that's not only irritating for you to be getting these "faxes" for two freaking years, but for you, as an intelligent individual, to try and fix their mistake, and they don't even care? And it's important, confidential information that has to do with people's health! Sadly, a lot of people I've run into (directly or indirectly through friends/family members) in the administrative bits of the medical profession are a) incompetent b)apathetic or most likely c) both.

Date: 2010-04-30 07:10 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
That's ridiculous! I can't believe your phone service provider can't do anything about it, especially considering how bad it is.

I've been getting calls for years for either Robert or Roger - neither of whom I know. Every kind of business under the sun (travel agents, auto garages, doctors' offices, companies following up on a resume, etc.) and even regular old people call asking for them, sometimes tens of times a day. I refuse to deal with the hassle and the cost of changing my number!

Good luck with getting your situation straightened out. If it persists, I think I'd call bomb them a million times a day requesting that they update their files to remove your number.

Date: 2010-05-02 02:45 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
I refuse to deal with the hassle and the cost of changing my number!

THIS EXACTLY. Part of me just refuses to go through the hassle and pay the money just because someone else can't get their act together.

So far, though, the faxes have stopped... hopefully permanently!

Date: 2010-05-01 02:37 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
I have no doubt that this is supremely irritating to you now, but I imagine that you'll laugh your ass off at it in a few years. This is like a plot line out of Seinfeld or something.

Nevertheless, the people you talked to are some kind of bleeding morons.

Date: 2010-05-02 02:49 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
Oh, I'll definitely be laughing about it later. I'm already in the "incredulous" phase of the whole thing, where I can't even believe it happened. I really really really expected it to be some kind of fax spam, especially since they went through the effort of hiding their caller ID, and to find out it was one company faxing important information to another company and no one noticed for two years that the faxes weren't going through? It boggle the mind. It's beyond ridiculous. There aren't even words. It's like something that would happen in a comedy.


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January 2011


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