With a presidential election little more than a year away, polling season is upon us. Surveyors are swarming, trying to determine which issues are most important to eligible or likely voters, and which candidates voters are presently leaning toward.

You've got to wonder about the validity of the results obtained. After all, who doesn't run in the opposite direction when spotting a pollster at the mall or on a street corner? Who bothers to respond to email questionnaires, assuming they get past the spam filter? Who answers a phone call from an unknown or unidentified number?

People like Elizabeth A. Blackburn, evidently.

Blackburn may not have caller ID like most folks on the planet, or she may just be lonely, but you can call her any time, day or night, and it's likely she'll pick up the phone. She might not like hearing from you, or she might be busy doing something else when you call, but she'll answer. Apparently you can call her repeatedly, even annoy her, and she'll still pick up the phone.

Blackburn does have a breaking point, however. Her annoyance threshold is 300 calls. That's when she decides you've gone too far and it's time for action. When she finally does take action, she does so with a vengeance.

She is suing Consumer Portfolio Services (CPS) in Kanawha Circuit Court for violation of the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act.

CPS "provides indirect automobile financing to individuals with past credit problems, low incomes, or limited credit histories." Elizabeth may be a client -- judging from the phone calls, and perhaps a delinquent one. She complains that CPS called her more than 300 times over an eight-month period.

Persistent debt collectors can annoy a debtor. Still, the question persists: Why not pay the bill, or quit answering the phone?

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