Gallstone #20

Nov 16 1999

I moved recently, and when I started the new phone service, I signed up for MCI as my long distance carrier. I figured they're no better or worse than any of the other corporate thieves, so what the hell.

Two weeks later, I get this letter in the mail. It opened with-

Your Immediate response Requested.

Call 1 800 983 5617.

The letter went on to tell me that although I had signed up w/ MCI, my order was not yet complete. I thought maybe they needed some sort of confirmation from me, so I called. I was on machine-voice 'hold' for about five minutes when a human finally came on the line. She asked for my phone number (you know, the one I punched in TWICE for the machine-voice 'hold' machine) and told me I needed to sign up for a special MCI long-distance savings package.

I said "Oh, you're fucking kidding me, right? You send me this letter, overtly stating that something's wrong with the service I ordered, and after I sit on machine-hold for five minutes, all you want is to SELL ME SOMETHING?"
"Well, sir, this plan can save you up to"
"You're missing my point. The letter you sent me is a complete lie. Who do you think you are, to lure people into listening to your sales pitch like that? Especially people who are already your customers!"
[lady on the phone takes tone of indignance] "I didn't send you that letter, sir..."
This, of course, infuriates me. It's like when the meter maid says "I didn't write the rules. I'm just doing my job."
[extra bonus hyperbolae- so were the guys operating the ovens at Auschwitz.]
"Wow, MCI must really think their own customers are stupid sheep. Or maybe it never occurred to any of the marketing pinheads that someone would be offended by this tactic. I'm changing my long-distance carrier TODAY. Jesus!"
As I was hanging up, I could hear her telling me again that she isn't the person who mailed the letter...

Why is this a tolerable, accepted practice? I posted the letter, so you can see for yourself. I am also going to have some fun trying to contact "Joe Galvin" at MCI, the person who signed the letter. I bet he doesn't even exist. We'll see.

Why are individuals held accountable for their actions, but not corporations? BigMoney, Inc. has to crash a fucking oil tanker before Joe Citizen takes issue with their behavior. Our individual apathies add up too quickly.
Why do we allow ourselves to be manipulated by such blatant fraud? What's wrong with us, that makes it OK for MCI (or anyone) to do this? Doesn't anyone else care?
Hey, I'm talking to you- wake UP! Fuck.

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