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Hello Shreveport!

Five or six years ago I bought a toll-free number that I use for some business. The number I picked turned out to be very close to another toll-free customer service line, and on an average day I get three or four calls from people who keyed in the wrong number.

The calls usually come from the South and are more of a nuisance than anything, the phone company charges me every time it happens.

At first, I had fun with them—mostly people calling to check the balance on their gift cards (as you’ll hear later). I’d ask for the card number, wait a few seconds, and then tell them they had $1,750.00 or whatever on the card.

They’d be like–

“Are you serious!?! I thought maybe there was 20 bucks on there, but $1,750!?! Are you sure?”

“Yes ma’am, that’s what I show here.”

“REALLY?!? That can’t be right, could it?”

“That’s the balance on the account. I can’t add money to your balance but I can make deductions—would you like me to go ahead and change it for you in the system? Did you say $20?”

“No, no, no! Don’t do that—it’s ok.”

Then, because I’d feel bad if someone went out and spent a couple hundred bucks on a meal they thought they wouldn’t have to pay for, I’d ask them to read me the card number one more time, and then tell them it looked like I was mistaken on the first time around.

It was fun for a while. But soon the novelty wore off (or my conscience got the best of me) and I’ve thought a few times about having the number changed. Thought I’d save a little money and some hassle (the worst are the calls at 6AM on a Saturday).

Every now and then though, I’ll get a great voicemail and figure it’s worth it to keep the number a bit longer. I got this message the other day when I returned from vacation. There are some seriously awesome lines in it. The lady’s trying to call about a TGI Friday’s gift card, and it took me about 4 listens to figure out what it was she was saying about Friday…might take you the same.

“Friday…after Friday, next Friday…and uh…TGY It’s Friday, I mean.”

Anyway, I opened it up in Audacity to edit out the callback number she leaves before posting it…but as I got ready to, realized that what she left wasn’t even a complete phone number. Enjoy the Southern charm. Listen here.


1 Paul Mayne { 06.17.08 at 10:49 pm }

You are cruel. I’d do the same thing. Hilariousness. Thanks for sharing.

2 Dave { 06.17.08 at 11:14 pm }

Brilliant. I honor the place where your 800 number and Southern stupidity become one.