I’ve been working on something for a little more than a month now, a top secret mission of sorts assigned to me by me, because I saw an opportunity to infiltrate a corrupt organization, so I took it upon myself to do just that. I didn’t plan to get in this deep, didn’t ask to get these phone calls, but I guess I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, and I couldn’t allow myself to just stand by and ignore the calls, knowing that there are potentially thousands if not millions of people out there in danger of becoming victims to these callers. I know I didn’t have to do anything, but I wanted do my part to put a stop to this heinous organization, like a character dreamed up by Stan Lee himself, so I donned a new identity as Marcus **********. Sorry, but I can’t reveal my full name since I’m still very much in the middle of this undercover mission, but trust me, as far as fake names go, it’s a very believable one.
The phone calls started about a month ago, when my wife and I switched our phone service from Verizon to Xfinity mobile. I know, I know, Comcast is the devil and our Xfinity internet has been awful since we got it almost two years ago, but Xfinity uses the same mobile towers as Verizon, so we’d be getting the same coverage, but by switching over, we were able to get unlimited data on both of our phones for the same price we were paying with Verizon to share 3 gigabytes, so it was a no brainer at the time. Despite having kept the same phone number, I didn’t get any of the calls while I was with Verizon, but almost as soon as we switched to Xfinity, I started getting them daily. Although the numbers were always different, the calls were always the same. First, there was a recorded message telling me that this was a final courtesy call about renewing the warranty on my car, and then if I was interested, which of course I was, they transferred me to a slightly less robotic human who would then get the information about me and my car, which you would think they would already have if they were calling me specifically about my warranty, but they didn’t, because it was a scam.
Until today, I could never get past that guy, who was taking my information to find out if I qualified to talk to a warranty renewal specialist, because as the title suggests, they’re much too important to talk to just anybody who decides to answer the call made by the fake warranty company. There would come a certain point during the conversation when I couldn’t take it anymore and I would give a sarcastic response that would tip the guy off that I wasn’t really in the market to extend my car’s warranty, or I would be overly excited and say things like, “Gee, that does sound like a great deal. I can’t believe how lucky I am to have gotten this final courtesy call from you guys!” Inevitably he would hang up, without saying goodbye mind you, just hang up the phone out of nowhere, and I would be forced to wait another couple of days before I got a crack at trying to talk to the warranty renewal specialist again.
When my phone rang this morning, I just had a feeling that I was going to make it past the gatekeeper this time, and as it turned out, I was right. I used my made up name and a made up car, a 2009 Ford Explorer, picking a generic car that would be more believable than the Lamborghini I told him I had last week. I kept my voice at an even, monotonous pitch, knowing from experience that if I got too excited or annoyed, that I would be hung up on immediately. After I passed the questioning, I was told that I was being transferred to the warranty renewal specialist, and that’s when I met Matthew. In my mind I’d dreamed about the life of a warranty renewal specialist, how lavish it must be, weekends on the yacht, summers in the Hamptons, but Matthew didn’t seem all that happy to be in his current position. The whole time he grilled me further about my car and told me about everything that would be covered under my new warranty, he sounded angry, but I suppose I would be bitter too if I had a yacht waiting to take me out onto the glistening blue water while I had to be stuck in the office on a beautiful day renewing warranties.
After he told me about all the features, in my same unexcited voice, I said “Wow that sounds great,” and what followed was at least ten seconds of silence while the warranty renewal specialist presumably sized me up to see if I was actually interested in paying this fake company for a fake warranty. Things were never the same after the silence. It was like my response flustered him, and he seemed lost, stumbling over his words for the rest of the conversation, that I ended up having to lead. I asked him what the next step was, if I just needed to pay for the warranty, to which he stammered “yes,” probably anxious at having never gotten this far into the conversation with anyone before. I asked him if I should just give him my card number, but unfortunately that wasn’t going to work, and he said I would need to pay with either a check or money order. “Of course” I replied, “Who should I make the money order out to?” I was so close to getting the name of the one of the criminals involved in the scam, but I guess Matthew sensed that something was up because I was making it too easy for him, so he hung up, putting a damper on the investigation, but I’m not giving up. I’ll just have to try again next time, which should be in a day or two.