Title: Ted Kaczynski's letter to the Montana State Commerce Department
Author: Ted Kaczynski
Date: July 9, 1991

Theodore J. Kaczynski
HCR 30 Box 27
Lincoln MT 59639
July 9, 1991

JUL 09 1991

Montana State Commerce Department
Consumer Affairs Unit
1424 9th Avenue
Helena, MT 59601

Dear Sirs:

I have a complaint about the Lincoln Telephone Company of Lincoln, Montana. I do not know whether this is the right government agency to which to direct a complaint about a telephone company; if it is not, I would appreciate it very much if you would inform me what state or federal agency oversees the operation of telephone companies and receives complaints about such companies.

The problem is that some of the Lincoln Telephone Company's pay phones malfunction in such a way as to steal the caller's quarters. You put a quarter in and it gets jammed, or it doesn't register, and the coin release doesn't work, so that either you can't put the call through and your quarters are lost, or else the call does go through and you've put into the phone 25 cents or 50 cents more than the price of the call. This problem has persisted for several years.

Over the past few years I have repeatedly complained to the Lincoln Telephone Company about the condition of their pay phones; once in person at the company’s office and several times over the phone to their operators. But the malfunctioning phones are still in place and are still robbing the public of quarters.

The worst offender is the phone at the corner of Highway 200 and Stemple Pass Road (phone number 362-9281). This phone has malfunctioned and stolen quarters from me more than 50% of the times I have tried to use it. (I still try to use it sometimes because it is the only pay phone I know of in Lincoln from which one can make a call with reasonable privacy.) The phone company knows that this phone consistently malfunctions and steals quarters yet they neither repair it nor replace it. Thus they are consciously defrauding the public.

I have also had trouble, though only occasionally, with the phone on the outside wall of the Blackfoot Market in Lincoln (phone number 362-9291).

Clearly the phone company has an obligation either to replace defective pay phones, or to repair them effectively and permanently, or to remove them altogether.

Thank you very much for your attention to this problem.

Sincerely yours,
Theodore J. Kaczynski