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Wacky MCI Bill

Posted by cann0nba11 on September 17, 2007

I’m packing up lots of stuff in preparation to move into our new house. I found this gem in a file of oldies but goodies. This is a phone bill I received in college. Check out the numbers, then read the details below.

Some things worth pointing out:

  • The bill shows a total of 59,473 minutes of phone use. There are only 43,200 minutes in a 30-day month!
  • The bill is 320 pages long. It was mailed in two boxes each a little larger than the size of a box of checks. When I got it, I thought I won something.
  • Total amount due: $14, 191.95

Here’s the story: While in college at North Texas State University MCI offered students a long distance calling plan we could use in our dorm rooms. All you did was call an 800-number, enter a 5-digit code and then dial the number you wanted. It was quite common for people to randomly enter codes until they found one that worked. Well, my code (42488) was one of the ones that was found and spread around the athletic department. I had no idea.

MCI found out about this and offered ‘amnesty’ to any students willing to turn themselves in. I guess they needed help figuring out which calls were which. A picture was taken of students in the deans office waiting to meet with MCI. A good friend of mine was the main person in the photograph. The story eventually made it onto CNN and the photo taken of my friend is the one that was used with the story. Pretty funny stuff.

As to my responsibility? MCI eventually told me that I owed about $500, which was a load of crap. I contested and said that they had to provide me an itemized list of the calls before I would pay. They never did, so I never did.

Just another funny chapter in my life.


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