I know that telephone companies are completely ridiculous when it comes to hidden charges and horrible service. I accept that. Before I pick up the phone to call Bellsouth for any customer service request, I switch my land line from fax to phone to avoid using cell phone minutes, I grab a magazine I've been meaning to catch up on, and I hit the shitter with intent to kill some quality wait time. Then, when a representative finally picks up the phone to address my concern, I tell him to hold on a sec while I finish the next 3 paragraphs, wipe my ass, and flush the toilet. That's just my own way of saying, “Fuck you, I'm busy. Your call will be answered in the order I deem practical: after reading and pooping, but before dinner.”

Today, however, Bellsouth took every acceptable notion of anticipated disservice, threw it out the window in a paper airplane, flew it all the way to New York loaded only with bombs and terrorists, and used it to try re-bombing the World Trade Center. Needless to say, it was a miserable success.

You see, in the process of switching my service from a residential to a business phone line, Bellsouth has managed to create a fee out of negative service. For instance, if someone offers you $30 to mow their lawn, and then you go out and plant grass seed evenly throughout their yard and charge them $5 instead…you have just created a negative service. Or, if you were to pay for a private lap dance, only to have the stripper put her clothes BACK ON instead, and then charge you a $10 dressing fee…you have just been victimized by negative service.

Bellsouth has their own form of negative service: it's called, “Thin air must be worth SOMETHING RIGHT?? I mean, it's not just AIR, it's THIN!!” And voila, the “Not Assigned” charge was born:

Partial month's charge for service added (02/17/06 – 03/07/06)
9. Business Line ($48.30/mo) ………. 30.59
10. Charge for Changing Your Local Toll Company to Not Assigned ………. 1.51
11. Charge for Changing Your Long Distance Company to Not Assigned ………. 2.95

That's right, Bellsouth charges you for NOT MAKING UP YOUR MIND. In case you were wondering, “confusion” is now officially a commodity in our economy's market basket, used to calculate the GDP deflator.

Next time I get a flat tire and don't know what to do, I'll know who to blame.