Social Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

A legal question, not an ethical question - what's your take?

Asked by elbanditoroso (25349points) October 8th, 2018


Someone (who I have never heard of) gave MY call phone number to a whole bunch of car-hauling companies – this guy wants his car hauled from Michigan to Arizona, presumably for the winter.

I am getting text messages, some with pricing and ‘contract terms’, from these car hauling companies. And I have gotten 5 phone calls on my cell phone from various different haulers.

Here’s my question. Suppose I text messaged back to one of these companies – “Yes, it’s a deal” as if I were the guy who caused this mess by giving out the wrong phone number in the first place.

I know the ethics – it’s a shitty thing to do,

But what’s the legal side of it? I am not the guy, I don’t need a car transported, I have no relationship to the companies in question, and it’s doubtful they would ever find me.

If I said “yes, it’s a deal”, am I on the hook for the service?

I would do this more because they have annoyed me five times this morning.

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7 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

I have no idea. Interesting question, though.

My questions:

•  How do you know an actual person gave out your number, as opposed to your getting on some spammer’s list somehow?

•  What makes you think they can’t find you?

•  Do you know the legal standing of text as a written communication? If our legislators ever get back to their real jobs, maybe they’ll provide some new definitions.

Suggestion: You might text one of them back with some other message (such as “No longer in the market for this service”) and see what happens.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Don“t answer it in any way.
Block the senders it could be a way to get into your cell phone data?

Zaku's avatar

How about “Sounds good to me!” instead? ;-) Jeruba’s version is also good and is even safer than mine.

No, you would not be on the hook for the service.

On the other hand, if they know your number and get that you pranked them and wasted their time etc., one or more of them might decide to prank your number. Or as Jeruba says, it might already be someone pranking your number.

ragingloli's avatar

I would not risk it.
A binding contract can also be established by action, which this could be construed as.
Send a demonic text with Zalgo glitches instead.

kritiper's avatar

Call your broker.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Ignore it all.

LadyMarissa's avatar

I agree with @Inspired_2write!!! ANY time I receive a text from someone I don’t know especially about something I didn’t initiate, I block the text so it’s the LAST one I receive from them. I’ve also made it a habit to NEVER answer phone numbers that I don’t recognize. As soon as possible, I do a search of the number & IF it’s been reported as a known SCAM number, I block it also!!! Yes, it takes a little bit of effort on my part; however, it assures me that it’s the LAST time they will be bugging me!!! There are also apps that will notify you IF the number is potentially dangerous. I do the same with my home phone & now I receive VERY FEW harassing calls!!!

I received a text from a local eye doctor’s office reminding me that Brandon’s glasses were ready to be picked up. Having no children & not knowing who Brandon is, I called the office to tell them that they had bad phone number for Brandon. They apologized, said they would correct it, & I forgot all about it until 6 months later when I received an identical text from the same office. I decided it was THEIR responsibility to have correct phone numbers & Brandon’s guardian should be responsible for giving out the appropriate phone number; so, I blocked them from texting again assuming that when Brandon’s glasses aren’t picked up that the appropriate phone numbers will get exchanged. Whether that ever happened or not is NOT MY responsibility!!!

In your case, I’d simply block them WITHOUT any further contact!!! FYI, IF I had your cell number, I could probably give you your real name, physical address, birthday, spouse’s name along with birthday, & your children’s names & birthdays. . I can also access your criminal record; so, I can tell you every speeding ticket you’ve ever had, or if you were ever caught shoplifting, or charged with murder within 5–10 minutes of starting the process. So, DON’T think that they can’t find you IF they think you owe them money!!!

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