Thursday, March 25, 2010

I am not Ruby!

I don't really text, or get texts. Once in a very, very rare while I might get a text I want to get. But with an unlimited data plan on my phone, it makes so much more sense to just use IM or email. I'd have to get about 50 texts a month to make it worth paying for any plan which includes texts at all, so it's cheaper to have every text, inbound or out, cost a dime.

Every so often (and by that I mean about once per month or two) I start getting texts from some random stranger who starts talking to me as if they knew me. For instance, here's one I got in January:
Where r u guys im in the lodge i went up the quad with jordan and then we went down nose dive so im here

Where r u
I got another round of them today:
Hey wait we arent doing anything right

U there

Hey ruby do we have friends with benefits anymore

I really like u...
Almost every time this has happened, and I've responded with a message like:
You have a bad number in your address book: this is not Ruby. Please stop texting me.
The response is virtually always for them to think that the person they mean to be texting is pranking them. Why do they always think that? Is that a common joke? Is it even the slightest bit funny? And if Ruby were to do it, would she type her words correctly with punctuation and capitalization?

Usually after wasting another few dimes of mine, they get bored. Today, after they refused to believe me, I called, got voicemail, left a message saying "Do I sound like Ruby? Please stop texting me." And about fifteen minutes later, they called to ask me who I was. (I didn't tell them any more than "clearly I'm not Ruby" though.) To what end, I don't know. Clearly I wasn't Ruby. I suppose they wanted to make sure Ruby didn't just stop some random guy in the mall and get him to say stuff into her phone. That Ruby, she's such a card.

Naturally, they followed up by sending an obscene and offensive text to me. I mean, what other option did they have? Clearly, getting on with their lives, or finding Ruby's correct number, weren't possibilities.

The bad news is that AT&T's only means of blocking texts and calls from a particular number is, amazingly enough, a $4.99/month option. The good news is that the very understanding and helpful AT&T customer service representative I spoke to credited me with 60 days of that service. So now they're blocked and they can't call or text me. I doubt they're going to remember 60 days from now and still want to keep bugging me. (If so, according to AT&T, it becomes a matter to bring to the police; AT&T can't do anything about it directly.)

The most puzzling thing is how this starts in the first place. No one else I know has had this problem even once, but I've had it at least five times. Is there some person who intentionally puts my number into other people's phones when they think they're getting hers? Or maybe Ruby's number is similar to mine and she just types badly. (I and Siobhan both have a vague memory that a previous time was also a Ruby, but it's been a long while, I don't have copies of all the texts in question, and that's an easy enough thing to not remember.)

In any case, I'm heartily sick of it, and I'm going to enjoy the next 60 days. But I sure hope I don't have to pony up another $5/month for that peace of mind, not just because of the money, but because of the principle: it's just wrong that I should have to pay for the right not to be sent obscene messages from strangers and then pay for each message.

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