A man called me a few times today- I'll refer to him as "Bill". He was looking for a man named Wayne. He is pretty upset that Wayne's old number happens to now be my number. He explained that he has used this number for years to contact Wayne and that he needs to contact Wayne to pick something up at his home (from what I understand)
I repeatedly explained to Bill that I was provided this number from my phone provider about 2 months ago and that I am not sure what I can do for him. He is concerned about Wayne as he has had cardiac issues and he thinks he may have suffered a heart attack.
Bill was very chatty about his relationship with Wayne and I tried to interject with "Does he have a Facebook?" and "Does he have friends that you can contact?" but my questions went unanswered as he continued to talk about this dilemma.
After quite a bit of back and forth, Bill asked me if I could contact my phone provider and ask them if they know Wayne's new number- because he does not know what to do from here. I told him that it is unlikely that they will know Wayne's new number (especially if he has a new provider or no phone at all anymore) and that if my provider DID have any information such as a billing address or new number- it is not appropriate for them to provide it to me.
Bill seems like a nice man but he is very upset that I have taken Wayne's phone number. I reached out to my phone company for any guidance and Bill is expecting me to call him with any information on Wayne later.
What can I politely tell Bill to get him to understand that I cannot help him and to stop calling me?
I know I can simply block his number but the poor man just seems so confused.
My phone provider got back to me and informed me that their numbers are recycled and the time frame is at least 3 months. They also said they won't be able to locate who was the previous owner of the number- so I passed along this information to Bill and he seemed to understand it.
After some more back and forth it turns out that Wayne supposedly lives out of state and that Bill does not know much about the guy. Wayne bought a trailer from Bill a long time ago and mailed him payments in the form of multiple checks over time. So the trailer is paid for in full but Wayne never came to pick it up. So Bill called Wayne's number- (which is now my number) to ask him to pick up the trailer. Bill does know his first and last name so I gave him the 555-1212 number noted by baldPrussian.
Based on all the calls from Bill over the past few days, I began to get the feeling that Bill wasn't calling again and again because he was still confused- but because he is lonely and/or wanted to talk to someone. He often went off on a tangent and would ask me questions about myself (location, age, job, etc.) These conversations were hard to leave as he continuously brought up something else to keep me from hanging up.
But now that he doesn't have a "reason" to call anymore (inquiring about any updates from my phone provider) and his understanding that there's no more leads I can provide to him about Wayne- he nicely said he will delete my number since "it's not Wayne's anymore" even though he "very much enjoyed talking to me"