Another reader testimonial on the emerging phenomenon of phone line regeneration. From TPM Reader TF …
Just thought I’d share my own similar experience with a zombie phone line. Many years ago when I moved from LA to NYC to pursue my graduate degree, I cancelled my LA phone service (then with MCI, remember them?).
I arrived in New York and planned to rely solely on my cell service until I found a permanent-ish living situation and could again get a land line. After a few months I found my own apartment and opened a new account, again with MCI. A few years passed, and as I was about to begin my third and final year in grad school I received an alarming correspondence – that my student loans could not be approved because of an issue with my credit.
I immediately obtained a copy of my credit report to discover that there was a substantial claim against me – from MCI – for my long cancelled LA phone line! After my own lengthy journey down the Kafkaesque customer service wormhole, I was able to get the matter resolved, which was no easy task. The whole thing was insane – especially because I was a current MCI customer in a different city whilst they were sending a collection agency after me in LA, without ever contacting about the matter. But in the end their explanation was the same, my old number had “regenerated”. Needless to say I switched service providers soon after that.