Sunday, January 2, 2011

Will the real Matt Green please stand up?

Last week (I think) I blogged about the other Bronwyn Green and her mis-delivered tea towels. Well, the mistaken identity cloud is still hanging over our house - only this time, it involves my husband.

To tell this story, we have to travel to the summer of 1994. Don't be scared...it'll be fun. Unless, like me you were huge and pregnant suffering the hottest, most humid summer in decades in a house with no air conditioning. In that case, the memories will be painful. Extremely painful.

Anyway, in August of 1994, I started getting phone calls from a branch of the military.They were looking for a Matt Green who was AWOL. I explained that while my husband's name was indeed Matt Green, he'd never served in any branch of the military. They asked if he was a relative. I said, no and pointed out that Green is a fairly common name and that it was conceivable that there would be more than one in the state of Michigan.

The caller apologized, thanked me for my time and promptly called back the very next day. These calls went on daily for weeks, escalating to two and three times a day. We repeated the whole call. Every. Single. Time. I asked to speak with someone in change. I explained my situation and asked that our number be stricken from their list of potential contacts. The man I spoke with assured me it would be taken care of. I got another call three hours later.

I eventually stopped answering when I saw their number on the caller ID. Then they got tricky and blocked their number, and I was stupid enough to answer.

I told the person in no uncertain terms that my husband had never been in the military, had no plans to join and to stop calling me because the missing Matt Green wasn't here. Then it got really annoying.

Military Person: Well, do you know where he is?

Me: How would I know where he is? I don't know him!

Military Person: You're probably related.

Me: I'm pretty sure I know who I'm related to.

Military Person: It's common for family to hide AWOL family members. If we discover you've done this you can go to jail.

Me: You know what? I'm nine months pregnant. There's no air conditioning in my house and it's 97 degrees with almost 100% humidity. I'm already in jail! I'm hot, I'm sweaty and I'm now I'm enraged. My husband is not the guy you're looking for. We don't know the guy you're looking for so quit calling my fucking phone.

They did.

Now, you'd think this would be a happy ending, but nay, my friends, you'd be wrong.

About two years later, we started getting calls and letters from Indiana's family court system. Apparently, our friend Matt skipped out on his child support.

I patiently explained that there was more than one Matt Green and that mine wasn't the one they were looking for.

Family Court Person: You don't know that.

Me: I beg your pardon?

Family Court Person: You don't know that for sure. They could be his kids.

Me: Uh, I do know that. We've been married for seven years.

Family Court Person: Pfft. That doesn't mean anything.

Me: Trust me. The only kids my husband has is the two year old swinging a baseball bat in my living room and the one who's currently using my bladder as a trampoline. You've got the wrong guy.

Family Court Person: Men cheat.

Me: Oh. My. God. These are issues for you to work out with your therapist. I want to speak to your manager.

She hung up.

But the calls continued...and became more diverse.

Apparently, our guy Matt defaulted on a truck loan and credit card bills. A couple times a month, we'd get calls from Ford, and three different credit card companies. This went on for about a year, and then all was quiet. We figured he'd either gotten his act together...or was in jail. We enjoyed that year.

Then we made the mistake of financing some furniture from a local store. Well, financing the furniture wasn't a mistake...but getting it from the same store where the other Matt Green had an account certainly was. The collection calls started almost immediately. Hell, our first payment wasn't due yet and we were getting called.

Then calls from the hospital started. Now considering we'd had a child without any health insurance that year, we had some hospital bills we were paying on. Well, it turns out that the other Matt Green's wife ALSO had a child that year. Only they weren't paying on their bills. Thankfully, her name isn't Bronwyn, so it made it a little easier to convince the hospital that they had the wrong family. However, that didn't stop the bills in the mail.

So fast forward a few years and I'm flipping through the kids' school directory and who do I see listed, but Matt Green and his lovely wife and their two children. I was beyond tempted to introduce myself and ask if he ever got his finances straightened out, but I decided that would be rude. By the time the next school directory was out, they'd moved from the school.

Things were quiet until earlier this year when I got a call from another auto dealer. Yep, you guessed it. He defaulted. Again.

And the guy who called was a total jackass.

Guy: I need to speak to Matt Green.

Me: I'm sorry, he's at work. Can I help you?

Guy: Yeah. You can tell him to pay his damn bill.

Me: Excuse me? What bill?

Guy: For the Lexus.

Me: I think you have the wrong guy. We don't have a Lexus.

Guy: Well, do you have a son who defaulted on a car loan?

Me: I have sons, but neither of them are driving.

Guy: Well does your husband have another son?

Me: No.

Guy: Are you sure? He would have been born in 1976.

Me: Nope. It's not possible.

Guy: Lots of guys have kids their wives don't know about.

Me: Look, unless my husband has access to a freaking time machine, it's not his kid. It's physically impossible. I'd like to speak to your manager.

Fast forward to this past Friday. We got a call from the collections department of our bank. Panicking that someone had gotten a hold of our debit card and drained our account, I called back. The person I spoke with had no idea why we were called. She said everything was fine with our account, but then she put me on hold to check a few things.

When she came back, she apologized and said we'd been called by mistake. It seems the other Matt Green is now a customer at our bank and his account is (surprise, surprise) overdrawn.

*headdesk*

I have this fantasy where he changes his name...or my husband does. But so far, neither of them seems willing to go along with it.

11 comments:

Devon Rhodes said...

OMG, I can't imagine how complicated that would be having the same name. We just had the same PHONE # with, yes I'll say his name, David Riverman, who got calls for years from collection agents. One time I had a person refuse to believe I didn't know him and I finally hung up on her. SHE CALLED BACK and told me I was rude for hanging up on her!! I told her it was beyond rude for her to not believe me and keep calling back and hung up again. SHE CALLED BACK AGAIN! LOl, it's funny later, but at the time I was steamed. I turned off the ringer and let her stew. The calls finally stopped...ten years later when we gave up our land line.

barbara huffert said...

You could sue everyone who calls more than once for harrassment and then take a wonderful, relaxing vacation. You deserve it after all that!

Margaret Yang said...

I'm thinking that mistaken tea towels are quite a bit nicer than harassing phone calls.

Other Matt sounds like a prick.

JacquƩline Roth said...

OMG I'm so glad you posted this and I saw it. We have exactly the same problem. Thanks to the blessed Internet it's also possilbe for it to be a scam now of days. I get calls for someone with my name. Banks and other creditors call repeatedly and want personal information to "confirm" that I am not that person. No I am not giving you my ss# so you can be sure I'm not her. Oddly my grandmother had the same problem. The only difference was that the other woman spelled her middle name "Ann" with an "e".

Chris said...

Ack!!! Do you keep an eye on Matt's credit report?! In case some of this BS is going against it?!

Bronwyn Green said...

@ Devon - OMG, what a rude hag!!! I can't believe how abusive some collections people are.

@ Barbara - Can you really sue for that? If this guy keeps up, I might be able to take that dream vacation after all - lol!

@ Marg - I heartily agree! (to both!) :D

@ Jacqueline - Guh! I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this too! BTW, how's that sweet boy of yours?

@ Chris - We used to when we were getting constant calls, but I think it's been a while. Thanks for the reminder!

Hmmmmm...word verification is psycoph. Yep, I think that's for the other Matt.

Chris said...

Or... it means you should read Jordan Castillo Price's PsyCop series...

My veri word is suall. Sue all people using your name who are not you?

Sandra Cox said...

OMG. I feel your pain. We had the same situation years ago when we lived in WI, maybe not quite as intense, but the calls from the collection agency, name in the paper for being in jail, IRS calls, attorney calls, issues with whatever store we were in.

Happy New Year, Bron. How did we manage to miss each other at Romanticon?

Bronwyn Green said...

@ Chris - another series for my pile! Normally, I'm not sue happy, but if this dude messes up our credit...

@ Sandra - Sandra!!!! How are you?! I'm so sorry you had to deal with that, but I have to admit, it's nice knowing we're not alone with this crap.

Actually, I didn't go to Romanticon this year - or last year, now - I ended up at Authors After Dark, instead. It was fantastic! But I was bummed not to see my EC buds at Romanticon. :( Will you be going this year?

Kimberley said...

OMG - The other Matt is a real piece of work. I would have hunted him down and probably done something entirely illegal but very satisfying. - lol - My mother gets those calls because there is another woman with the exact same birthday, name spelling and was born in the exact same hospital as her about five hours apart. It gets to a point where you just want to hunt down the other person and beg them to pay their freaking bills. Of course the way you wrote had me laughing while I was feeling your pain...

Genella deGrey said...

So sorry you had to go through all that! UGH!

That's why I don't answer my phone (unless it's during RT) when numbers pop up and I don't recognize them!!
:)
G.