Every company has at least one department that doesn't give out its phone number to anyone - including employees that need the number. Whether due to issues of preventing fraud or simply preventing a customer from sitting on the phone until they get what they want, the number is simply not available to anyone.


One theory

Do they work in a fallout shelter? Is their office thousands of miles below the earth's crust? How do their wives contact them in case of an emergency? Is it like those bells they put in coffins to prevent people from being buried alive? Why can they e-mail and receive faxes if they don't have a telephone? These and many other questions may never be answered.


  • Bally Total Fitness does not have a direct phone line to the cancellation department. This seems like a horrible bureaucratic mistake. However, as the illustration shows, some people will hang on the line and harass the poor guys until they break under the pressure and cancel their memberships. This is probably why the line is not available to anyone. I read a complaints board entry where this lady said she got her membership canceled by just `sitting on the phone' until it was done. Well, you can't quite do that if you can't telephone the cancellation department, can you?

No, instead they harass the phone reps, who have no power to cancel anything, and then add insult to injury by demanding a supervisor, who probably won't cancel the membership, either.

  • The fraud departments at certain retail chains do not have a publicly accessible phone line. This seems a bit cowardly, and doesn't really make that much sense, but I guess it's possible that some form of harassment may occur, such as tying up the phone line until an order is fraudulently put through on someone else's credit card.
  • The warehouse that is currently processing an order for five $300 recliners that the customer doesn't want/cannot afford. Recliners that you cannot cancel on your workstation.
  • Human Resources. This normally doesn't escalate because they're desperate for work and Entitlement doesn't work for people begging for a job.