Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rant #488: 1-800-Not-What-You-Think

Ever use a 1-800 number?

I am sure that you have.

Even in this day and age of Internet communication, just about every company worth its salt uses such a number, mainly for customer service inquiries.

Well, what happens when you call the number? Do you connect with who you think you are connecting with?

Evidently, a Philadelphia, Pa.-based company doesn't think that when you call such a number, you should get the party you want.

No, this company believes that you should get phone sex services.

PrimeTel Communications, a little-known company that reportedly owns a whopping portion of the 1.7 million 1-800 numbers that are still around, often redirects you to phone sex services when you are making your call.

Just today, I called Newsday because I did not get my paper on time.

Happily, I got Newsday on the phone, and the problem was taken care of.

What would have happened if I got a phone sex operator, or a sex chat line operator?

"Hello, this is Phone Sex USA," the operator might have said in a sultry voice.

"Is this Newsday?"

"No, this is Phone Sex USA."

"All I want is my newspaper."

"No, I know what you really want."

"No, it's 5:30 in the morning, and I don't have my newspaper."

"C'mon big boy, what we can give you no newspaper can."

"It's too early in the morning for this. All I want is the newspaper."

"We know what you want. I will redirect you."

Of course, that would be if I decided to hold the line for that long.

Anyway, who wants to hear this trash?

And the bigger question is, how did this company get control of so many 1-800 numbers, under the noses of AT&T, Verizon and others?

I don't get it. Maybe I should call a 1-800 help line to ask them about this ...

Nah, better not.

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