@quadrilaterals Absolutely! I bitched about my cellphone service provider on Twitter and someone PM'd me almost immediately and gave me their email in order to solve the problem. From my experience the customer service reps handling the Twitter account tend to be higher ups.
@jfruh Absolutely! Consecutive governments have unfortunately chosen to allow private landlords to run rampant, rather than invest in public housing, and now we're left with a hugely inflated welfare bill. Regulation preventing landlords taking advantage of those on housing benefits, and more public housing is needed.
@angry little raincloud That's good to hear, not that you had a shitty experience obviously, but that packing it in didn't hurt you. And like you pointed out, let's not kid ourselves that unpaid internships are working for free, rent/travel/food costs actually means they're more like paying to work.
@Caroline @twitter, thanks for the response, I really enjoyed your article and I hope you didn't think I was attacking you. I understand your point about consent, but I think you're giving too much credit to the employer in this instance. Many internships, especially longer-term ones (i.e. over 6 months) are based on the assumption, especially for the intern, that they will lead eventually to a paid position. Employers tend to use this to their advantage, stringing interns along with the promise of a 'real' job at the end of it. I obviously can't speak with any authority but I would hazard a guess that this is what happened at Hearst, that she stuck it out for so long based on promises by the employers until it eventually became too much and she did quit, and is now justifiably suing for compensation. Hope, combined with naivete, can blind people to the fact that they're being exploited and make them stick it out for far too long (just look at how many people stay in shitty relationships in the hopes that things will get better).
@Megano! By "part of my program" do you mean you got course credit for it? This isn't really a concept we have (to my knowledge) in the UK, and honestly it seems to just be another way for employers to justify not paying interns for their work.