Government Blunder Sends Duck Hunters to Sex Talk Line
From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune
WASHINGTON - People calling a federal phone number to order duck stamps are instead greeted by a phone-sex line, due to a printing error the government says would be too expensive to correct.
The carrier card for the duck stamp transposes two numbers, so instead of listing 1-800-782-6724, it lists 1-800-872-6724. The first number spells out 1-800-STAMP24, while the second number spells out 1-800-TRAMP24.
People calling that second number are welcomed by “Intimate Connections” and enticed by a husky female voice to “talk only to the girls that turn you on,” for $1.99 a minute.
Duck stamps, which cost $15 a piece, are required to hunt migratory waterfowl. The government uses nearly all the revenue to purchase waterfowl habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System. In 2006-2007, the latest figures available, duck stamp purchases brought in nearly $22 million.
This year’s stamps, which feature a pair of northern pintail ducks, went on sale July 1 and are good through June 30 of next year. The error will not be corrected until next year’s duck stamps.
The Fish and Wildlife Service, which administers the program, printed about 3.5 million duck stamps attached to cards with the wrong number. An agency spokeswoman, Rachel Levin, said it would cost $300,000 to reprint them.
“I don’t know that it would be worth it to do a reprint,” she said Thursday. “That’s a lot of money we can be using for wildlife conservation. With all of the needs for conservation, it doesn’t make sense to divert money away from an important cause.”