Debt Collector Robot Has Amnesia

A wacked-out debt collector robot left a weird message on one of our reader’s voicemail. Seems someone forgot to properly program its “Madlibs” file. Take a listen and you’ll see what we mean…

(Thanks to Memphis Panda!)


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  1. PhelpsG says:

    Spooky! Just in time for Halloween, too.

    • rick_in_texas says:

      The reason they ask you to hang up is that the “autobot” notes how long you were on the phone. If it gets a hang up tone before xxx seconds then it (the computer) records that you heard the message. Now legally they can’t prove it was you, however what it does do is cause their system to call more often. So by continuing to listen this person is setting themselves up for continuted harrassment by Redline (the debt collector),

  2. Bagumpity says:

    My comments are … not available

  3. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    That one would be fun with the FDCPA if the names were in it and someone else got the message. I would tell them to pursue legal action against the 3rd party for not hanging up if they wish, but they disclosed and that is THEIR problem.

  4. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    the OP better save that in case it ever becomes a legal issue.
    “why didn’t you call back?”
    “because this is the message i got. how am i supposed to dial ‘not available’ ?”

    • dorianh49 says:

      NOT-AVA-ILAB (LE) = 668-282-4588 (53). Calling it gives me an error message, though.

    • dorianh49 says:

      NOT-AVA-ILAB (LE) = 668-282-4588 (53). Calling it gives me an error message, though.

      Wow. I just got this error message when I tried submitting the above comment. Coincidence?

      “Comment Submission Error
      Your comment submission failed for the following reasons: Publish failed: Renaming tempfile ‘/var/www/lighttpd/2010/10/’ failed: Renaming ‘/var/www/lighttpd/2010/10/’ to ‘/var/www/lighttpd/2010/10/not_available_is_not_available-comments.json’ failed: No such file or directory

      Return to the original entry.”

  5. apd09 says:

    I’m a bit confused, did the Memphis Pando put the thing at the end and then send it to consumerist?

    Yup a funny example of a debt collector not getting things correct, but they are putting consumerist on there and by extension making it seem like consumerist is the one who created the video. So who created the video and put on the end?

  6. SilverBlade2k says:

    Robots worship Satan?

  7. Macgyver says:

    I hate when computers call me, telling me to call someone back. If a human can’t call me, or leave a message, I guess it wasn’t that important to begin with, and I won’t call them back.

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      Same. If their message really is “Very Important” … then a real person should have called. If they have a robot do it, then it clearly is not critical information.

  8. Platypi {Redacted} says:

    Hah! Must be related to “Not Sure” from Idiocracy. Secretary Not Sure really solved the world’s problems!

  9. JonBonWonton says:

    Not a-vail-a-ble.

  10. Liam Kinkaid says:

    “I love you more than the moon and the stars and the *POETIC IMAGE NUMBER 37 NOT FOUND*” –Lucy Liubot

  11. summerbee says:

    This was a triumph.
    I’m making a note here:
    It’s hard to overstate
    my satisfaction.
    Aperture Science
    We do what we must
    because we can.
    For the good of all of us.
    Except the ones who are NOT AVAILABLE.
    But there’s no sense crying
    over every mistake.
    You just keep on trying
    till you run out of cake.
    And the Science gets done.
    And you make a neat gun.
    For the people who are

  12. Hank Scorpio says:

    Transcript? For those of us at work…

    • iParadox{InLove} says:

      The Transcript is… Not Available.

    • Shadowman615 says:

      “This call is intended for only Not Available. If you are not Not Available please hang up. By continuing to listen to this call you hereby acknowledge that you are the intended party… (blah blah).

      “In accordance with federal law we are advising you that this call is from Not Available, a debt collector with Redline Collection… (goes on about that, attempting to collect a debt, etc).

      “My name is Not Available, and I can be reached at Not Available. Thank You.”

  13. friendlynerd says:

    You’re a real dreamboat, BILLY EVERYTEEN

  14. Jfielder says:

    I wonder if he’s related to Not Sure?

  15. Emperor Norton I says:

    So if the robocall is left on my answering machine, will my answering machine get arrested for listening?
    As for that boilerplate crap about hanging up if I’m not the named person, assuming the robocall actually had a real person’s name in it, I often just have the machine play the messages while I do other things. I don’t stare at it like I’m a robot!

    I totally fail to see how a robocall is even legal under the federal law in regard that a debt collector is prohibited from disclosing any info to third parties!

    • nakkypoo says:

      Exactly! How can saying nothing be construed as agreement? BTW, if you don’t reply to my comment you agree you owe me a million dollars.

      • shanoaravendare says:

        This is … Not Available… replying to your post about owing one million dollars. This post is an attempt to prevent calls from …Not Available… requesting one million dollars. If you are not …Not Available…please disregard this message.

  16. quijote says:

    It must have been made by Aperture Science.

  17. danmac says:

    Is it just me, or could the “not available” refrain be used as part of an auto-tuned song in a club?

  18. qualityleashdog says:

    What prevents anyone from listening to such a message that is not intended for them? We can’t just rely on their honesty to not listen. Who would ever find out, if the eavesdropper never told that they listened? The caller certainly wouldn’t know who they were calling, since they should be convinced they are calling the correct party.
    And if they get a live operator, what’s to necessarily prevent the unintended party from impersonating the sought after party? These scavenger debt collectors are so eager to contact their prey that they don’t always verify identities.
    I know I’ve had some wrong numbers from debt collectors, and they just refuse to believe that whoever they are looking for had their number disconnected and someone else has it now. Imagine that, a debtor lost their phone service! Impossible! After they repeatedly call back and refuse to believe me, I just ‘admit’ to being whoever they are looking for, and tell them I’m not going to pay, better just sue me!

  19. FrugalFreak says:

    I’m suprised no one has said “PAY YOUR BILLS DEADBEAT!

  20. yessongs says:

    Hey, I’m Not Available, was that message for me?

  21. CaptainKidd says:

    So that’s what GLaDOS is doing nowadays.

    The cake is … not available.

  22. Tomas says:

    One’s reply obviously has to be “The finds to repay this debt are … not available.”

  23. MadConsumer says:

    Wow! A robo caller with a lisp! How cool! I wonder if this ends up in court who will Not Available be suing????

  24. Mcshonky says:

    but she is not a witch.

  25. The Marionette says:

    I got that same message a few months ago. I was assuming it was for my student loans (which i’m currently paying off), but because of all the “not availables” I just shrugged at it and continued to play team fortress in my underwear.

    • Liam Kinkaid says:

      I really wasn’t aware that Team Fortress was available on undergarments.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        *IN,* not *ON*.

        Underwear could be large enough to hold a laptop or PC.

        If you’re going to attempt to snarkily correct the grammar in someone’s post…

  26. Caffinehog says:

    Maybe I should change my name to “Not Available” just to confuse these systems….

  27. Sean says:

    So according to the message the Not Available person owes money to him/herself and is using a debt extortionist to collect the money.

  28. drmk says:

    Warning: shameless self-promotion ahead, but for purposes of hilarity.

    This happens all the time with spam ads on Craigslist; on the site I run (You Suck at Craigslist) I posted a personal ad that had obviously been written by a spambot, and a reader made a fantastic live-action video re-enactment of it.

    The post is available here:

  29. cheezfri says:

    Hey I’m good friends with Not Available. He is brothers with [Redacted]!