MCI has an impressive array of overlaid customer service systems. They have an automated email reply which carefully deduces your problem and sends back possible solutions, a guy in India and then another robot system of multiple steps you have to take so they can determine whether you’re actually an MCI customer and worthy of opening a ‘trouble ticket.’ Which might be dandy if any of these multi-million dollar apparatchiks worked, or, if in the first place, Neil Gaiman, of The Sandman fame, could call his daughter’s cellphone in the UK on MCI long distance lines.
When the international operator could call it just fine, and Neil could make the call on a neighbor’s Sprint lines, MCI suggested that his best solution would be to change carriers. Now there’s customer retention for you.
“I realized that nobody was listening, and I’d wasted too much of an afternoon already,” says Neil, “And I googled rate comparisons and cheerfully changed long distance carriers.”
UPDATE: Now there’s an epilogue. MCI called him back. After he had already switched. (Thanks to Rhandir!)