An Ad Too Far

Yesterday I talked about an annoyance.  Today I’m going to talk about something that really grinds my gears.

Today, on my way to lunch I noticed a letter.  There was no return address on it but the front read (in somewhat messy handwriting) “Our Neighbor At Apt 2.”  I immediately thought, “Uh oh.  Did we do something to piss off the neighbors?  Did we forget to turn the heat up one night?  Are we using too much of our house’s bandwidth?”  I left the letter and headed to lunch.

Honestly, it weighed on me a bit.  What could be so serious that it requires a letter rather than a quick text or a knock on the door?

When I returned from lunch I grabbed the letter and opened it, but when I flipped it over I noticed something odd.  There was a return address on the back — not the address of a different apartment but the address of a P.O. box in Chicago.  That’s odd.

When I opened it I found an advertisement for AT&T in faded black and white as if copied by a cheap printer.  Also on the page was notes in blue ink that appear to be handwritten.  They’re not, but they’re meant to look like they are.  They say, “Wow! great deal!,” “This could really save some money!,” and “Why wait? I’m calling today!”

Of course, this is just a standard advertisement, not a handwritten note from a neighbor, but it’s got me thinking.  AT&T just pretended to be someone else for the purposes of advertising.  Am I allowed to do that?  Can I send mail under a different name?  I’m I allowed to contact AT&T as a different individual for the purposes of tricking them out of money?  Or is this a one way street?

I’m really hoping there is a lawsuit somewhere in here.

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