Diversified Collection Services, Inc. (DCS) — harassing phone calls
My friend and I are academic tutors, and recently I put up a website for our services. It's basically a page with profiles of me and a few of my friends who do tutoring. Each page contains a short bio of the person and his or her contact information. Well one of them, let's say his name is John, has a bunch of debt with some credit card companies and one of them farmed out the debt collection to DCS. Now DCS is calling ME trying to get to John! The first few times a man called to ask to talk to John; I explained that my phone number was not John's phone number, and that John was merely listed on a website I built but was not an employee of mine.
A couple weeks later a woman from DCS called me and I explained to her, again, that I made a page for John on the website but that I did not hire him or pay him any wages. I explained that we work individually, that students or families paid us directly, and that there was absolutely NO exchange of money or wages between tutors. I also explained that we do not keep a master client list either so if she wanted to know who John's clients were, she would have to ask him because I didn't know a single thing about that. I also asked not to be called again.
About a month went by and everything seemed to be okay until another guy called me from DCS asking to talk to John. I told him that this was not John's number and that he should call John and leave me alone. He said that he had spoken to John on my number before, which was patently untrue. When I told him that this was my personal cell phone and that I would know if he talked to John on it, he became testy and rude. When I told him to call John's number he said that John was not picking up. I told him that was his problem, and that if he looked up my number he would find MY name on the account, not John's. I asked again not to be called.
Another month has passed and today I got another call from DCS. This caller simply said, "Hi Randall can I speak to John?" I angrily told the caller that this was NOT JOHN'S NUMBER, and the caller became rude, said "Okay well thanks a lot, _Randall_ ("Randall" in a sneering and rude tone)" and hung up. I called the number back, got someone else, and asked once more to be removed from their call list or phone book or whatever directory they used.
What recourse do I have when a debt collection agency is harassing me for debt that isn't even mine? It's clear also that they know I cannot garnish John's wages since I don't pay him any wages - if they thought they could get a garnishing order they would already have sent it. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks
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