Cutting to the Core

Beware of MCI

Sometimes I just don't understand how I can be so stupid. I know that when some annoying, amped-up telemarketer calls and interrupts my dinner, I should just hang up. I usually tell them I'm not interested, parley their attempt to convince me I am, and then I'm off the phone. At least, that's what I usually do.

So last month I'm sitting around the house thinking to myself how beautiful my wife is when the phone rings. I pick it up and give a cheery greeting and find myself talking to a young lady trying to get me to switch my long-distance service over to MCI.

My current long-distance carrier at the time was Sprint and I didn't really have any problems with them. I paid 7 cents a minute for long-distance calls and $4 a month for my international calling program. My wife and I could call home to Thailand for 25 cents a minute.

So this young lady tells me I can have unlimited long-distance in the United States for $15.99 a month with a $4 charge added on to that for my international calling plan. I thought about it for awhile and finally decided that unlimited calling in the United States for $15.99 is worth it and I said OK. She set me up and that was that.

Fast forward two weeks and I get a letter from the High-Toll Fraud Department from MCI asking me to call them as soon as possible to speak with them. I called them up one afternoon on my lunch break and asked them what was up.

They said someone has made eight phone calls to Thailand in two weeks and they wanted to know if I was aware of it. I told them yes, I was aware of it, and that I had signed up for the INTERNATIONAL CALLING plan for the sole purpose of calling Thailand.

The person I talked to in the High Toll Fraud department thanked me for clearing this up and wished me a good day. I thought it was over with.

The next evening as I'm returning home I noticed my mother had called and left a message. She lives in Spokane Valley and I decided to call her back. I couldn't though. I kept getting a recorded message telling me the phone call couldn't be completed at this time. I called down to my office and I got through and it was then I realized MCI had shut off my long-distance.

I called the good folks at MCI's High Toll Fraud department and asked them why they had shut off my long-distance service. I was told that since I was a new customer and they didn't know anything about me, MCI would have to talk to my previous phone company. I asked them what for and was told they wanted to see my calling history.

I was livid. How dare they. I asked them how much my bill had accrued and was told I owed a grand total of $23. This of course hadn't been billed yet.

MCI convinced me to switch to their long-distance service and then when I used their service, they cut me off because they didn't know enough about me.

I told them to stop being stupid and re-connect my service. They told me they couldn't do that until they talked to my previous phone company. I said forget it and canceled my service with a very unhelpful, snotty lady who refused to give me her name, citing safety concerns. After I jumped through all the hoops to cancel my service with MCI, I was told that I would still have to call Sprint and tell them I left MCI or MCI would still charge me for long-distance service even though I had just canceled my service with them. I was so angry I didn't argue.

The next day I called Sprint and tried to get my old service back but they tried to sell me some stuff I didn't ask for so I got mad and told them I wanted the bare, minimum service from them, plus internet. I got rid of my caller ID, call waiting (which I really miss), my international plan and my long-distance service. I've joined the likes of my mom and I'm going to use a calling card for now on. The phone companies can go to H - E - double toothpicks.

My mom gave me a calling card about two years ago and I thought I would use that one. I still had some money left on it and it allows me to call long-distance in the United States for 2.9 cents a minute. I would show these evil phone companies they can't mess with me.

I finally found my phone card and have been using it for the last two weeks. The only thing that bothers me is it's an MCI calling card.

Those evil-doers have their fingers in everything.


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