A man is being praised by the internet for his revenge on a debt collector, sending more than 600 voicemails before it was all said and done.
The now-viral Reddit post, titled, “I left over 600 voicemails for a debt collector last night,” has been upvoted 19,100 times since it was shared to the subreddit “Petty Revenge.” Redditor @Nerd_Law shared the post on June 4, which has already garnered over 900 comments.
According to a CNBC report compiled from data from 2019 from Experian, it found the average person in the United States has $90,460 in debt, which includes credit cards, loans, mortgages, and even student debt. Gen Xers have the most debt on average, amounting to $135,841.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported in 2017 that by federal law in the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act, a debt collector can contact other people, but usually only to find out how to contact the person with the debt. There are limits in place about what they can say about the person they’re trying to contact as well, and they can usually only contact others to find out where the person lives, their number, or where they work.
They generally can’t contact individuals more than once about a person, and they aren’t allowed to say they are attempting to collect a debt. Usually, they can’t discuss the debt with anyone except the person involved, their spouse, parents, guardian, or attorney.
Last Friday, the original poster (OP) received an “urgent voicemail” at 3 pm on his personal cellphone from a woman at ARS Services asking that he call her back no later than 4:30 pm The man, who is an attorney, occasionally get calls that are “time-sensitive,” as well as voicemails on his phone, however he didn’t know what “ARS” meant or who they were.
“So I call back, and it is a debt collector, and they try to bully me about some credit card debt my ex-wife of eight years has incurred with them demanding I ‘… get a message to her,'” the OP explained. “I asked them why they are calling me and leaving a message like that, and they were rude and then hung up. They wouldn’t pick up when I called back.”
The OP then used an “Android phone redialer app,” and called the number throughout the night and left more than 600 voicemail messages. The man added, “Should be a fun Monday morning for them. Happy Monday ARS!”
In an update, the OP said the app is called “Auto Redial,” that the incident occurred in the US, and that the collector was in New York debt. The OP said he looked up “ARS” before calling them back and got numerous “hits,” making it hard to tell who exactly was calling him, which he believes was the “intent of their voicemail.”
Redditors Give Their Thoughts
Numerous people weighed in with their own thoughts in the comments, and were loving the man’s choice to leave hundreds of voicemails. “Sweet revenge,” a Redditor expressed.
One Redditor brought up the point that “it’s illegal for debt collectors to inform you of her debt without her permission. She could sue and win very easily.”
Another user could just tell it was the US before they even read the post. “It’s like the f**king wild west there,” they said. “I have nothing but professional disdain for American debt collectors.”
A Redditor mentioned the OP’s profession as a lawyer, insisting, “The thought of an attorney doing this makes it so much funnier to me, Lol.”
Meanwhile, a user thought the idea was “brilliant,” adding, “We need to find ways to send emails to companies sending us emails from accounts that you can’t reply to.”
Another user wasn’t so sure it would work out the way the OP had planned. “Monday morning they saw 600 messages from the same person, listened to the first, and deleted the rest.”
Some people recounted their own stories, with one user saying they had a debt collector “harass” them “for months because I had the same first name as their debtor. Never heard of this person in my life, but that didn’t matter apparently .F**king absolute scum.”
Newsweek reached out to ARS National Services for comment.
Other Viral Moments
This isn’t the only viral moment involving some type of revenge. A man’s demand for nicer gifts for his kids backfired in late May. The internet praised a student’s $400 revenge on their roommate last month. In addition, a teen girl got revenge after being left out of the family photo.