Apparently there's a certain pre-paid phone company that doesn't quite understand the difference between an inactive phone vs. canceling an account:
How do I cancel my account? It is not one of the options on your phone menu. It is not apparent how to get to a live human being to ask this question. It is a continuation of the kind of service I've come to expect from PHONECO
Upon further review of your account in PHONECO, it appears that your phone with the serial number [serial] is already deactivated in our system on [date].
Which I responded:
That's correct, but I would like the entire account deactivated, removed, and purged from your system. I don't want someone to accidentally manage to find my password and start doing things with my PHONECO account. In short, I want nothing to do with this company any more. I don't want to call Customer Service; I want a clean break from ever having to worry about having the name PHONECO come into my peripheral or other vision. Please advise how to make this possible. Thanks!
And their latest response:
Our records show that you phone has been deactivated since [date].
It's like I'm engaging with the customer-service version of Eliza:
* I'd like to remove my account from your system. > Why are you concerned about my system? * Because I no longer want to be a part of it. > You are being a bit negative. * Yes, I have had a bad experience with your company. > What about your own company? * This isn't about me, is it? > Can you elaborate on that? * That's not important. I still want to cancel my phone account. > I'm not sure I understand you fully.
Etcetera, ad nauseum.