Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Odd Moments

You get some odd moments in living with ALS. Yesterday offered me a great example. Don't worry; I'll get there. Nothing so befits me as to take a short story and make it long.

Prior to being diagnosed with ALS, I lived in Abbotsford, BC. Changes in my marriage meant I had now committed to living in Calgary. Along the way I had gotten a cell phone from Wind, one with an Alberta number. This was in addition to my BC number; that was my business phone so I wanted to keep it. My BC cell phone was with Rogers, a different cell service provider.

When I was initially diagnosed, I kept both phones for a while. I wasn't sure how this was going to go, so I wanted to keep a foot in both camps. As it turned out, things went quickly over the first few months. I had to stop working in March of 2013, so I did not need my Rogers cell phone. I gave them a call, explained the circumstances, and asked to cancel my BC phone. They replied "Sure. That will be $400 to cancel your contract." I explained again, but they were unmoved, and un-moving. So I simply turned off the phone and never paid them. It was easy. I didn't care about any credit rating or harassment that would follow.

So for almost three years they have been trying to collect. First it was Rogers themselves through their credit group. Then Rogers sold the unpaid bill to a collections agency. They call me on an almost daily basis of late, notwithstanding that I have explained my situation to any number of people at Credit Risk Management, the collection agency. I mostly don't pick them up, but sometimes I do, just so I can explain again.

Yesterday I picked up the call. The young lady on the other end of the line said she wanted to discuss a financial matter regarding my Rogers bill. I told her I was terminally ill, unemployed, living off of a disability pension, and broke. Rogers was never going to get paid. She listened to my story and said she would update the file. I pointed out that several other people had said that too, and that I would be happy to tell my story again when Credit Risk Management called me the next time.

She didn't really know what to say after that. So she said what might be the oddest thing possible. She said "Thank you for the information. Good bye. And I hope you feel better soon." The emphasis is fine; for her I suspect it was a throw away line.

My reply, just as she was about to click off? "There is no feel better soon. Good bye."

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