Local News

Chapel Hill Woman Tired of Calls About Adult Products

Posted July 25, 1999

— Wrong number phone calls can be a hassle, even if you only get a couple each month, but an 86-year-old Chapel Hill woman is getting dozens a week from people trying to order from a distributer of adult products.

Estelle Orringer loves to watch the birds around her house. But what is really for the birds are the dozens of bogus phone calls she gets every week.

"They ask for certain things, and they don't live here, or they aren't here," Orringer said, "or this number is wrong, and that's it -- I hang up."

Many of the callers hang up before she does. Others leave messages when she is not home.

It was not until Orringer's son and daughter-in-law got involved that they realized why her phone has been ringing off the hook.

"My husband happened to answer the phone and he said, 'Well, I'll be glad to take you off the mailing list if you tell us what list it is and send me some information,'" says Orringer's daughter-in-law Carol.

They received an adult lingerie catalog by PHE, Inc. in the mail -- the same Hillsborough company behind the erotic Adam and Eve mail order service.

Inside the catalog was Orringer's phone number listed for customer service.

"It is a mistake" says PHE, Inc. spokesman Bob Christian, who says Orringer's number used to be its customer service line.

But Christian admits the company did not update its order forms after it dropped the number 2 years ago.

"We're sorry," he said. "We would like to help her out, and do what we can."

The company says about 100,000 catalogs have been sent out with Orringer's number. Christian promises not to send out any more until its new order form is printed.


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