Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hello? Who is It?

My house phone rang at 10 AM.


"Is this Salon Cutz?" the female voice said.

"Um no, sorry, you have the wrong number."

"What number did I dial?"

"How the hell should I know, I wasn't watching you."



When I moved into the house I'm currently living in, I was assigned a phone number that had previously belonged to Salon Cutz hair stylists. I didn't know this at the time, but a never-ending parade of wrong numbers clued me in almost immediately.  The phone company never changed the number in their directory.

I tried to rectify the situation by calling the phone company myself, letting them know that their listing for Salon Cutz was incorrect. 

For some reason, the douchebag from Verizon didn't believe me.

"I'm checking here, sir, and the number we have for Salon Cutz is 867-5309."

"Yes, I know that," I replied, "but see, that's my number. That's why I called, the listing is wrong."

"That's the listing we have and no one has contacted us to change it."

"I'M contacting you. You need to change the listing, I'm getting wrong numbers all the time."

"I can only change the number if the business owner requests it."

Now I was getting angry. "I'm not asking you to change their phone number, I'm just asking you to fix the listing, changing it to the correct number!"

"Well, as far as I'm concerned, the number we have is correct."

"But it's NOT! That's MY number!"

"Can you verify that?"

Verify it? Like I don't know my own phone number. But I had another idea.

"How about if we hang up, you call 867-5309 and see who answers?"

"Oh, good idea. Okay. I'll call right back."

I hung up the phone and waited.


"Hello, this is Salon Cutz, can I help you?"

"That's what I thought, is this the owner?"

"Nah, I'm just fuckin' with you, I'm the guy from before."

"Oh. I guess this IS your number, then. We'll go ahead and fix the listing. Sorry for taking your time."

"Thanks, I appreciate it. Bye."


To the complete and utter surprise of no one, the problem was not taken care of and to this day, seven years later, the phone book still lists my number as the number for Salon Cutz. I get, on average, five or six calls a week from those in follicular need. For a while there, it was driving me batty.

But then . . .One day, I decided, screw it. If the phone company isn't going to work with me on this, I'm just gonna have some fun.

So I started taking appointments.



"Is this Salon Cutz?"

"Yes it is, this is Francois speaking, how can I help you?"

"Do you have any appointments open for this Saturday?"

"Let me check." I put down the phone, went to the fridge, and got myself a Diet Coke. "Yes, we do. We have a two o'clock and a three-thirty."

"Two would be fine."

"Your name?"


"All right, Stephanie, we have you down for two o'clock on Saturday the 12th, and you'll be taken care of by Chantelle. See you then."

"Thanks, bye."

Okay, before you imagine poor Stephanie driving aimlessly around our fine city and think to yourself, "Man, Chris is a complete JERK," I need to tell you that Salon Cutz still exists, in the same location it's always been. They just changed their phone number. So Stephanie did indeed have an appointment.

It's just that the Salon Cutz people didn't know it.

I don't know how my little jest played out, but I'd guess it went something like this:

"Hello, can I help you ma'am?"

"Yes, I'm Stephanie, I'm here for my appointment with Chantelle."

"Um, we don't have a Chantelle here. Are you sure you're in the right place?"

"This is Salon Cutz, right? I made my appointment on Monday. I spoke with Francois."


So yeah, I've taken the odd appointment from time to time. I've also been known to quote prices on conditioner, dye kits, styling gel, all sorts of things. And let me tell you, Salon Cutz has VERY reasonable prices.

Okay, maybe I AM a complete jerk.


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Grumpy, M.D. said...

I think you are handling it just fine.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Of course, some phone errors can be equally annoying.

Surfie said...

Sounds like a brilliant plan to me!

Eva Gallant said...

At least your wrong numbers are interesting. We keep getting calls for a Barbara who's delinquent on most of her accounts apparently. We've had the number for two years. It's listed correctly, but apparently Barbara never notified her creditors that she had changed her number.

J.J. in L.A. said...


After moving to my current location (25 years ago), I got calls after 2 am from drunks wanting to be driven home. Apparently, the cab service had gone out of business and I was given their phone number.

Luckily, I don't go to bed before 3 am or I would've been pissed! I just wish I'd had this post to refer to back then. *sigh*

Kage said...

so can i get an appointment for friday or not?

I'm Jane said...

Eva - I have the SAME problem! It seems that the last two people that had my number are total credit douchebags. I get calls from their creditors all the time. Depending on my mood and/or the amount of wine that I've had, I've made some really great payment promises on their behalf.

MikeWJ at Too Many Mornings said...

I love your solution. Trying to get the phone company to do anything is like pulling teeth. I'm not sure why, either. You'd think they'd want things to be right. I guess they make too much money to care.

EmptyNester said...

Complete jerk? No. More like completely hilarious! Now I want a number like that! I want to have some fun too! LOL

Awesomeness said...

Jane- you're a much better person than I am. My wrong numbers are also creditors and I have a good time telling them that they'll get their money over my dead body.

It usually ends with me yelling, "I'll see you in court, asshole!"

Pollyanna said...

Awesome! I just get all b*tchy. You handle it much better than I would.

Suldog said...

Excellent story. You could have been more of a jerk and said you'd trade sexual favors for a color and perm. All things considered, you've been a prince.

Brooke Amanda said...

That is BRILLANT!!! My mom's real estate office phone number is very close to a biker bar's number in her town and she used to get some VERY interesting drunken phone calls.

IT (aka Ivan Toblog) said...

867-5309 is Jenny's phone number

00dozo said...

Oh, I am so with you on this. I really don't think some people here can actually read beyond the first name of the business (and ours shares it with many).

But really, why get mad when you can get even?

Heh, heh.

(Ha! My word veri is "inglo" - ironically, it sounds like a hair treatment.)

tokenblogger said...


...send the bill to Salon Cuts, too?

injaynesworld said...

Am I the only one old enough to remember Lily Tomlin's bit as the phone company lady on "Laugh-In" with her trademark line, "We don't care. We don't have to. We're the phone company." Then giant Ma Bell was broken up into a crapload of little phone companies called "baby bells" that competed against each other so service got better for awhile. Now thanks to telecom deregulation we're facing monopolies again and it's time for Tomlin to return.

Okay, this was way more than you cared to know, wasn't it?

And good way to handle the problem. :)

Boom Boom Larew said...

I believe you're handling this whole phone situation quite gracefully... and stylishly.

Quirkyloon said...

Ha! I think this is great. Haven't you heard? "Jerk" is definitely in.


hee hee

Danger Boy said...

We used to have a similar problem, we'd get calls for a Heating and A/C company. Usually, they accepted that we were the wrong number and didn't call back. Once, though, I had a guy that was convinced I was the owner of the HVAC company just pulling his leg. I ended up telling the guy we'd get together that Friday night for beers and strippers...not sure how that turned out for him.

Fred Miller said...

The pricing is the best part.

In the days before cell phones, I was a homeless truck driver with my own company, and my mom was my bookkeeper. This meant that her phone number was my only number. And I have always had great credit, so she had to take all the calls from people trying to loan me money. I tried to get her to tell them I had AIDS, but she wouldn't do it.

Ya gotta have FUN!

cardiogirl said...

This is AWESOME! It's like an episode of Family Guy!

Linda Medrano said...

Frankly, Chris, you are a bad bad man.

Elizabeth Newlin said...

Poor Stephanie. She's probably walking around with offensive hair right now and it's all your fault.

Peter Varvel said...

I worked for a company that owned a salon called Select Cuts. They decided to change the name after they realized people thought the receptionists were answering the phone with "Hello, Slut Cuts. How may I help you?"

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