Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Have I ever told you my MCI story? I'll give you a brief summary... Years ago, MCI (now WorldCom) was my long distance carrier. One month I received a long distance bill of about $0.21. At the time, stamps were running in the area of $0.28 - a few pennies more than the check I'd be mailing to them.

So, I called customer service. I said I was willing to pay if not paying would screw up my credit with them, but that I'd rather just wait till the following month when it might be over a buck. They told me not to worry about it. Their computer was smart enough not to take a bill of less than a dollar as a missed payment. Besides, they said, it takes 90 days for them to send a serious second notice letter. So I didn't pay the $0.21.

Three weeks later I received a letter from MCI telling me that my account was seriously in arrears, and that if I did not pay at once my phone service would be discontinued. I paid, and I switched. I've been with AT&T ever since.

During the fifteen or so years since then, MCI has called or written me on a weekly basis to tell me about their wonderful service. Be it the Friends and Family campaign, or the issuance of 5,000 miles to my frequent flyer program if I switch back, or whatever the current offer was, they've never given up on getting me back. This, despite the fact that each time they've called or written I've asked them to put me on their Do Not Contact list.

So, when walking through the mall the other day, when I saw the MCI/WorldCom store closed, with lease violation notices posted all over their door, I admit that I smiled.

Of course, I then felt guilty for smiling when 17,000 people lost their jobs, and millions more had their retirement accounts severely screwed by the crash of the WorldCom stock. I'm angry as hell about the people who've been hurt by this, and the criminal activity that led to it. But I'm glad to have MCI out of my life.

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