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Of course you know, THIS means war!

I had MCI as my long distance carrier years ago. Eventually when I got my cell phone with it's current calling plan, I dropped them as my carrier because they suck. Or at least I thought I dropped them. Since I make no long distance calls from my home # and I didn't get any bills from them I thought they were gone. Unfortunately, just like bad Chinese food, they came back.

(Apparently) they decided to start billing all of their customers a minimum monthly fee for the priveledge of being MCI customers (a trend that I have never been able to understand). Now of course since I didn't know that they were still my carrier and since I had explicitly told my local phone company to not have any long distance on that line when I moved into my current place, I assumed that the MCI stuff I started getting was just adverts. Wrong.

So, at some point, I noticed that I was getting a lot of mail from MCI. I took a look at one of them and was confused at owing them $11.00 (at the time). A couple of months, many calls and many more minutes on hold and I still couldn't get to anyone who could/would do anything abou tthis. So I just wrote a pissy letter to them.

MCI sucks, don't use them!

To whom it may concern:

I am writing in regard to the above account. I believe that this account was created in error and that the current charges of $19.35 are incorrect. To my knowledge, I never signed up for any MCI long distance calling plan and I was under the impression that the telephone line (915-***-****) in question did not even have long distance to begin with.

If you would take a moment to check, I have not made a single long distance phone call from that telephone. Furthermore as of September 2002, I have choosen to have SBC communications serve as my long distance carrier. The most recent bill that I received from MCI included charges for October.

I have repeatedly attempted to contact one of your customer service representatives, but the only numbers provided on your statements and other letters have led to your billing department and when I informed them that the account should not exist in the first place they referred me to your customer service lines where I have been on hold for 30+ minutes on numerous occasions without being connected to a customer services representative because the customer service lines have been "experiencing heavy call volume" for the last several months.

Quite frankly, I am fed up with this. If I receive another piece of mail from MCI harassing me about this account, I will be forced to direct that mail and a very strongly worded complaint to the appropriate state and federal telephone regulatory agencies.

In Summary:

I did NOT select MCI to be my long distance carrier at my current address.
I did NOT consent to being charged $3.87 per month by MCI
I have NOT used MCI for any long distance calls from this number.
I do NOT owe MCI for any long distance service.
The current bill for $19.35 is INCORRECT.

I expect MCI to IMMEDIATELY cancel/delete/erase the above referenced account.
I expect MCI to cease billing me for this account IMMEDIATELY.
I expect that MCI will NOT take any actions which may negatively affect my credit rating. I do not have a business relationship with MCI therefore MCI has no justification for taking any such actions.

If you have any questions about this matter, you may reach me at (915)***-****. If I am not home, you may leave a message with a call back number and I will return your call. Thank you for your time and attention in this matter.


A Very Pissy Dragon

PS - Yes, I realize that I'm getting cranky over less than $20.00. It's not the amount of the bill but rather the fact that I can't get through to them to tell them to go away. I find it amusing that a long distance company can't get a few more folks to answer phones when they see that something they did is not going over well with folks at large. Furthermore, charging everyone $4.00 a month is a good way to make people go away if they don't need long distance on their phones. Hell, even if I didn't have the free long distance on my cell phone, I would add it to the cell phone and tell MCI to fuck off.

A better idea would be to jack up the rate/minute and then wait until someone did call from those phones (e.g. a random friend who didn't ask) and then you could bill them in good (albeit sneaky) faith. All this crap has made me want to never deal with their lame crap again. At this point, I would go out of my way to not do business with MCI even if it cost me some $$ to do it.


MCI is currently billing me monthly, supposedly for in-state long distance. I switched to Sprint and MCI claims that sprint only asked them to give up the out-of-state long-distance, not the in-state. so supposedly this is sprint's fault, not theirs. I haven't gotten around to calling sprint yet.
Ugh. I'm glad the phone companies here haven't started doing that.

Apparently in TX, you can only have one company for long distance (although they can bill you different rates for calls in state and out) and one for local calls.

It seems to be a cyclical thing though. Every two or three years we end up having some random problem with one of our phone lines.
Sprint sucks if you use their cell phone service. I hate them and everyone I know hates them. Maybe their landline service is different. I guess it's a battle of the lesser evils, and the least suckiest!

Now, I'm feeling a little stupid for asking this, but if you have MCI, but not for long distance, do they still charge you? I'm going over to MCI because it's less expensive for the local plans than SBC. Lemme know!
Really? I've had a sprint cell phone for 3.5 years and have been pretty happy. What kind of problems?
Really? Hmmm... that's odd. Everyone I know loves their sprint cell phones. Apparently around these parts they work quite well. I still use verizon though because my dad has been using the same cell phone # for 20+ years and he's against changing and they do have comparable service in town (and better/cheaper service out in the sticks).

AFAIK, you can have whoever you want doing your long distance and local service. I believe that my current problem is specifically with MCI Residential Long Distance (at least that's who I wrote to) and it's specifically because I don't have a calling plan of any type (funny that considering I didn't even know they were serving that phone line).

Are you sure MCI is cheaper than SBC? Last I checked SBC had some plans for under $10.00 a month and if you want various bells and whistles they usually have some deal for X additional features for $10.00 (or something like that). The main reason that I'm loathe to change away from SBC is that they still have the perks of being a monopoly and lots of times you end up with much worse service and whatnot when you deal with someone else.

I've seen situations where company A says that it's SBC's fault and SBC says that their stuff is ok and it's company A's fault and nothing gets resolved. If you have SBC for everything though less of those problems tend to pop up (although they are fairly rare).
With all the cell phone companies offering free long distance plans, I fully expect to see AT&T, MCI, etc. to come up with some "creative charges" to offset their losses...
Heh, with all the effort they spend coming up with creative charges you'd think they could have a few more people answering their phones although if you can't get through to the customer service, then they can keep billing you and invariably they probably count on people feeling lame when they say "I didn't feel like being on hold".

I mean, I could just pay them, but it's matter of principle and I'm not going to give them the satisfaction of having this work.
i have a MCI calling card at home and love telling the long distance companies to go away... especially when MCI calls me. i love not having to deal with long distance carriers-- i remember getting charged per month, per day minute, per night minute... and it invariably sucked because then they try to lure you away from each other and harass you non-stop.


i don't even like pac bell, but they're not as annoying when you don't make any changes.

You know, that's probably an effective phrase for a great many things in life ;)

What I don't understand is how long distance companies can charge such insane rates and yet cell phone companies can charge a flat rate of $4 or $5. I mean, even with your most basic cell phone calling plan, you could probably get something like unlimited nights and weekends and free long distance for under $40.00