NEW CASTLE —
OK, I did it. I’ll admit it.
I clicked on the flashing banner on the side of the web page. You know, the one offering you great new discounted auto insurance rates or some miraculous cure to all that ails you. I know you have seen them all and have been tempted to click them just to see if you could save a few bucks or transform your life.
I went for the auto insurance one. Since I’m frugal, or as my wife would say a “cheapskate,” they drew me in with the lure of saving money. I filled in my first and last name as visions of savings danced in my head. As I was hypnotized by the flashing cheesiness of the alluring graphic, I even gave them my real address.
They never asked for vehicle makes or models or for any type of driving history. Nor did they ask for any additional identifying items such as birth date, Social Security number, or credit rating. Maybe it was the mesmerizing graphic or some other type of voodoo magic that compelled me to provide my real phone number. Big mistake!
The following Monday I received an avalanche of solicitation calls. A grand total of 28 — 17 of which were from one company. At first, I explained I was not interested and was not in need of their services. But they continued the bombardment of calls. After the first few I was getting angry, frustrated, and annoyed. The next time the phone rang I decided to have a little fun. If they were going to waste my time, I was more than willing to waste theirs.
I answered the phone with an intangible broken-English dialect, proclaiming I was from Israel and didn’t need insurance. The kid on the other end of the line stuck to his script and stumbled his way through, asking what state I lived in. I proclaimed that I lived in Israel, the Holy Land, land of our Lord. He eventually hung up.
Another time I answered by saying “Anaheim County Sheriff’s Office.” The person on the other end didn't say a word and immediately hung up.
Another time I acted like an old and senile man, asking if this was my son Josh calling (I know, it was the first name that came to mind). I kept asking why he only calls when he wants money. I also went on and on about “the war” and how these kids don’t understand what it means to be patriotic. They eventually told me to have a nice day and hung up.
On yet another call, I told the guy that my friends and I were having a contest to see how many solicitation calls we could get in one day and that he just put me in the lead. I also told him if I could get him to call me back I would get extra points in our little game. He laughed, and I asked him to call me right back. He agreed and hung up, but never called back.
They also flooded my mailbox with quotes and offers. I received no less than 20 letters from State Farm, Allstate, GEICO, Erie, and several different independent brokers. I even got two different quotes from the same State Farm agent in the mail on one day. These quotes were, of course, for two different amounts.
I'm not sure what they were basing these “quotes” on. As I said, I didn’t give them any driver’s information, Social Security numbers or vehicle information. But somehow they were able to offer me all types of numbers and figures. Funny thing is that every single quote I received from these companies that alleged to save me hundreds of dollars, were significantly higher than what I'm currently paying.
Just goes to show, you can’t believe everything you see on the Internet.
NEW CASTLE —
OK, I did it. I’ll admit it.
- News Bloggers
Tim Kolodziej: What is your definition of The Dream?
Johnnyswim. I know, I know. Me neither. I had no idea what that word meant until a couple of months ago, when a friend of mine on Twitter was absolutely gushing about a great concert he had just seen.
The Couch Potato: Does "House of Cards" crumble or stand?
The old Couch Potato has been methodically working my way through the hit Netflix series, “House of Cards,” over the past few weeks and let me just say, it’s pretty good.
Gary Church: It was an uphill climb, but this driver was a real trooper
It's always a tragedy when I have to cover a drowning for The News. I hope I never have to go to Kennedy Mills again for this purpose. It is located at the bottom of a twisty, turning hill on Frew Mill Road.
Lisa Madras: I struggle with goodbyes, so I’ll just say ‘thank you’
After 12 amazing years at the New Castle News, it is finally time for me to say goodbye. I walked through the doors of this building believing that I had found the place I would live out the rest of my days, content in the chaos of deadlines and bylines, inky fingers and editorials.
Josh Drespling: When the family’s away, this bachelor will ... work?
It was inevitable. I knew it was coming and the situation was unavoidable. Over the course of the last few weeks I have been preparing myself for this moment and it has finally come.
Gary Church: Geez, whatever happened to privacy in the men’s room?
I never know when a blog moment may happen. This recent blog moment occurred during the Rockin’ the River concert at the Cascade Riverplex.
Tim Kolodziej: LeBron’s return, and his essay, can teach us plenty
So there’s this guy LeBron. You may have heard of him. He plays basketball for a living. He also writes essays. Writes them very, very well, as a matter of fact. Last week, he put pen to paper to explain why he’s returning home to play again for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Couch Potato: Is latest ‘Transformers’ REALLY that bad?
The word on the latest "Transformers" movie is that it may be the worst film of all time. I have never seen any of the "Transformers" movies, and I don't really plan on seeing this newest one, but I can't imagine that any of them are actually the worst movies of all time.
Gary Church: Despite my appearance, I’m the ultimate wingman
There's no doubt that as a child, I was way ahead of my time. When Mom made fried chicken, I would always ask, "I want the two legs sticking up."
Lisa Madras: Is this goodbye for us? That’s a great question
So we’re down to two now. Two blog to go. So close to the end, yet so much left to say. (It feels so much like the end of a relationship!) No more questions. I’ve asked enough of those.
- More News Bloggers Headlines
- Tim Kolodziej: What is your definition of The Dream?