The government inadvertently offered people who wanted a duck something altogether different. The Fish and Wildlife Service isn’t going to remedy the error because doing so would cost too much.
That’s according to this wire service report, “Gov’t Error Sends Callers To Sex Line: People Hoping To Order Duck Stamps Greeted By Phone-Sex Line Due To Printing Mistake”:
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.
Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Rachel Levin said reprinting the 3.5 million duck stamps would run $300,000. “I don’t know that it would be worth it to do a reprint,” she said. “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.”
And so a typographical error becomes an accidental subsidy for a phone sex company.