I woke up early one Saturday afternoon due to the incessant ringing of my phone. I do not have a lot of time to sleep during the week, so when it gets to the weekends, I try to sleep as much as possible. Biologically you can't really "catch up" on lost sleep, but your mind thinks you did, and if your mind thinks you caught up on sleep then that is all that really matters. So when my face hits the pillow on a Friday night, damn the thing that decides to wake me up.
Because of the high-stress kind of life I live, "Hollywood" as one of my friends calls me, I have to answer the phone. I refuse to go out of my way to buy a cell phone, so when people call me in the dorm I have to answer. Unfortunately for me, I was greeted by a voice from overseas on Saturday morning. I think she was Indian. I normally love the Indian accent, but when it's coming from a telemarketer trying to get me to sign up for a VISA credit card, I go into what's affectionately called "superfunhappy mode." And while in "superfunhappy mode" I lose it and start to let the person on the receiving end have it with a barrage of artful and colorful terms that would make a sailor or a profusely swearing George Washington blush.
This time was different. People were in the room, and I decided to hear the telemarketer out. She first started telling me I was pre-selected to receive a credit card. This was total bullshit. Not only because they tell everyone the same stupid line to make them feel important, but because my credit is so bad, I've started making a paper fort out of the bills I get every month. Any company that wants to give me a credit card must be brain damaged. But then, this is a credit card company directly soliciting a college student on campus, which has to be illegal in some way shape or form. Maybe they suffered head trauma and never told anyone?
The caller then, in mangled English, started to tell me how I can sign up today and start spending. I laughed and said, "Sure, what do I need to do?" And she started asking me for all my personal information. So I told her I was hung like a polar bear, you know, to scare her off the phone. Apparently she didn't catch the joke and again asked me for my home address. So I started playing along like I was interested and gave it to her. I needed more letters to finish my fort at home. Finally she asked for my social security number, and I turned dead serious. I told her I refuse to give that to her because it is illegal for her to ask that. I'm not sure if it is illegal or not, but if a college can no longer take your social security number to identify you, I'm pretty sure a billion dollar blood sucker like this company can't ask for it either. She tried about six more times before I hung up. I give this company bonus points for being persistent but that is where the praise ends.
I immediately contacted my residence hall coordinator and asked her if it was illegal for the company to call. The response was it was not, unless you are signed up on the National Do Not Call Registry. Credit card companies control people through debt. Once they have you signed on with a high credit limit they know they have you for life. 83% of all undergrads have a credit card, according to a study by Nellie Mae. They hook you with crap like "build your credit now" and advertising the credit card like it's your gateway to independence. I say, forget them. I'm urging all students to register their phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry. Tell your college you want to be free from telemarketing while attending college. And while we're at it, if your campus store has not stopped carrying advertisements for credit card companies, tear the ads up and bring them back to the store to let them know you've had enough. Maybe this way we can all get some sleep on the weekend and not have to worry about other bills besides our student loans.Powered by Sidelines