Thursday, December 03, 2009

What's next, an airport named after Bre-X?

The stretch of Jarvis between Bloor and Charles streets has been renamed Ted Rogers Way in honour of the chairman of Rogers, who died a year ago. For years, the threatening extortion notices otherwise known as bills have been coming from 1 Mount Pleasant Road, but it is Jarvis Street, named after the great city father Samuel Jarvis and made famous by its meth addicts, streetwalkers and ever-shifting fifth lane, that suffers.

There are so many jokes to be made about this. I'm going to try this one: everyone in the country, as well as all visitors to Canada in the last six months, will be billed retroactively for a toll to be imposed on this road in six months. The only way out is to opt out of this billing. When you call to opt out or to protest at this travesty after the fact, you're going to have to get through that casual douchebag who tries to make the experience of dealing with Rogers slightly better than being gang-raped at noon in the Sahara.

"Hey, I'm going to try and help you out. So, just tell me what it is that you're calling about. For example, if it's billing, say billing."

"Billing."

"I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch that. Let's try again."

"Billing."

"Did you say wireless phones? If this is correct..."

The experience of dealing with a sleazy company is instructive and worth bearing in mind the next time someone, such as opponents of healthcare reform in the United States, rhetorically asks if you want to trust healthcare to the government, as though private insurance. No one has ever been thrilled to wait at a government office, but no one ever got off the phone from dealing with a phone company, large retailer, credit card company or anything of the sort feeling that its for-profit orientation delivered a fantastic, friendly outcome.

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