Most days I don't have to deal with talking with creditors or salespeople, but yesterday was one of them. And as I've been learning, their goals are pretty much the same, to get the money out of my bank account.
One creditor I called yesterday on a 6 year old $90 debt to confirm it was still outstanding (and mail them a check) went into 20 question mode after being friendly. She wanted to know where I lived now, was I married, where I worked, phone numbers, wanted my check over the phone right away (and it was FREE!). I ended up just hanging up on her once I found out what I needed, which it was still active. Sent the check out.
AT&T also sent me an e-mail recently that my DSL contract was ending and that they were going to make it month-to-month for me, for the low low price of $5 more a month or I could sign up for an even more expensive plan. I decided to give them a call and see what we could get. Ended up with a plan costing me $10/month the first 6 months and $20/month for the following 6 months. That will bring my total phone bill down to $28/month for the next 6 months. As we were wrapping up, he started going on how the bundles are great starting at $85/month where you get TV included and that he could offer DISH network to me for only some amount a month. I almost laughed and told him I still owe $300 from the last time we had DISH last year.
Lastly, I called our marriage counselor's billing person and it took a little time but I got her after 5PM. She first apologized about not calling, it had been a busy day for her and she just came back from a trip in Italy. I did my "we're in a financial pickle, anything we can do to pay a lump sum for less than the total?" and then she went on like a recording about how it's tightening up for everyone these days. As if going to Italy is tightening up, maybe she had to give up the month-long trip around the world for just 2 weeks in Italy. We settled for 50% of the outstanding bill.