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(BBC)   French woman gets bill for €11,721,000,000,000,000. "The phone company initially told her there was nothing they could do to amend the computer-generated statement and later offered to set up installments to pay off the bill"   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 118
    More: Silly, France, phone bills, error, teaching assistant, UK and Ireland, Solenne San Jose  
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13751 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Oct 2012 at 12:35 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-11 01:04:51 PM  

AdolfOliverPanties: [1.bp.blogspot.com image 637x350]


Is that Michael J. Fox in a wig? Why is the image not blurry?
 
2012-10-11 01:04:51 PM  

topcon: How do we know she DIDN'T use the phone that much? If she gets off on this, it could be the most colossal phone-theft grab in history.


Maybe she was calling Uranus.
 
2012-10-11 01:05:32 PM  

randomjsa: 11 quadrillion? Am I reading that right?


Yes, it is about 11 quadrillion Euros.

million: 000,000
billion: 000,000,000
trillion: 000,000,000,000
quadrillion: 000,000,000,000,000

That is the French or North American system. The French say "milliards" for billions.

The British system counts alternately by named numbers and thousands of named numbers.

One million: 1,000,000
One thousand million: 1,000,000,000
One billion: 1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion US or CDN)
One thousand billion: 1,000,000,000,000,000 (or one thousand million million)
One trillion, etc.

Just count the triplets of digits and name that number. This is much less cumbersome than the British system.

Increasingly the Franco-American number system is prevailing in popular usage. If a Brit says a billion dollars, nobody is going to think he means a trillion dollars. There can be some confusion but not with money, as there are now hundreds of billionaires in the French sense of the word (the first millionaire to be called that was a Frenchman). A billion is pretty much what a million used to be in the days of the Astors and Vanderbilts.

The Fortune 400 are about as rich (well, quite a bit richer) than Mrs. Astor's 400, who were selected for enumeration by the fact that her new ballroom could "only" hold 400 people (men and women, I presume, so 200 rich married men with wives with some unmarried singletons).

It's nice to see that the French are serious about trying to solve the Euro crisis. The Germans, on the other hand, seem to think they shouldn't have to hand out trillions of dollars in free money to useless spongers unless they are bankers.
 
2012-10-11 01:05:44 PM  

ChipNASA: So that's like what $12 American???


1 Euro = 1.2939 USD, so no.

It gets even sadder.

1.00 CAD = 1.02278 USD. Even funny Canadian money is worth more than US money.
 
2012-10-11 01:06:34 PM  
I worked at Circle K many years ago. I would occasionally try to sell $1,251.25 sodas when I hit '125' twice by mistake.
 
2012-10-11 01:07:50 PM  

MythDragon: topcon: How do we know she DIDN'T use the phone that much? If she gets off on this, it could be the most colossal phone-theft grab in history.

Maybe she was calling Uranus.


Did you just accuse topcon of talking out of his ass?
 
2012-10-11 01:08:47 PM  

brantgoose: million: 000,000
billion: 000,000,000
trillion: 000,000,000,000
quadrillion: 000,000,000,000,000


Actually, those are all zero. They're just being all braggy about it...
 
2012-10-11 01:08:55 PM  
The three rocks on the one hundred trillion dollar banknote of Zimbabwe represents

a) the comedy rule of three as expounded by Bill Griffeth, the cartoonist who draws Zippy
b) a heathen idol raised to invoke the goddess of Eternal Hope;
c) next week's new currency.
 
2012-10-11 01:09:33 PM  
Lousy data plan.
 
2012-10-11 01:11:32 PM  

ChipNASA: So that's like what $12 American???


$15,165,801,900,000,000.00 US
15 quadrilion, 165 trillion, 801 billion, 900 million dollars.
 
2012-10-11 01:11:46 PM  
I sent her back in and never heard no more
'Til one day the mailman came to the door
With a special delivery from the charge-all place
Inside was a note from Mr. Green.
Said: "We ran your card through our machine
And it tells us that you overpaid your bill.
Enclosed is a check made payable to you
For nine thousand dollars.
We appreciate your business."

Well I got back on the phone again
Called Mr. Green and he was in.
And I said, "I think there's something you should know."
Then I told him what the computer had done
And I said, "Just remember, you're the one
That told me computers do not lie.
Thank you!"
 
2012-10-11 01:15:31 PM  

Silverstaff: Installments?

For a bill 6000 times larger than the GDP of your country? If she paid every dime she ever made it and lived forever the sun would burn out before the bill was paid, the interest alone would be many times the GDP.

Then they blamed it on. . ."a subsequent misunderstanding between the client and staff at their call centre."

So, what's the odds that French wasn't the first language of the call center worker? Does France outsource to India too?


They outsource to Senegal.
 
2012-10-11 01:15:57 PM  

Infinity370: Um, we DO have a name for it. 10^15 is abilliard.


Wikipedia is infallible and always right!*

It says you lie!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_large_numbers

*May not be true
 
2012-10-11 01:19:01 PM  
And in the end, the French phone company surrendered all together.
 
2012-10-11 01:20:07 PM  

Mara See Mara Do: I'm curious as to what kind of error would cause a number that big.


The system had a flashback and recalculated the total in Italian lira.
 
2012-10-11 01:21:29 PM  
they must have added the price of Windows 8 to it. lol

shiat's so expensive
 
2012-10-11 01:22:03 PM  
bristle.files.wordpress.com 

Gonna need a few of these to pay that down.
 
2012-10-11 01:26:12 PM  

limeyfellow: ChipNASA: So that's like what $12 American???

1 Euro = 1.2939 USD, so no.

It gets even sadder.

1.00 CAD = 1.02278 USD. Even funny Canadian money is worth more than US money.


Canadian money ranked by funniness (Least funny to most):

People:
The Cenotaph, Ottawa: Not funny at all.
The Canadian Peacekeepers Memorial. Not funny, well, maybe occasionally.
Robert Borden. No sense of humour.
The Queen. Very serious with a bit of a sense of humour.
Sir Wilfred Laurier. Sometimes funny in a French kind of way.
Kids playing hockey. Sometimes funny, sometimes dead serious.
William Lyon MacKenzie King. No sense of humour but very funny (not always in the ha-ha way).
That Scottish Dude. Only funny if you are the one passing it off as Canadian money. But in that case, it's hilarious.
Sir John A. McDonald. Very funny.

Animals:
The Polar Bear. Not funny at all.
The Canada Goose. Seldom funny.
The Moose. Not very funny.
The Beaver. A constant joke.

Other:
Remembrance Day Poppies. Unfunny, except when American military contractors mistake them for spy cameras.
Maple Leaf. Not funny.
Inuk and other native art. Not funny (that boat thing is sort of funny)
Breast Cancer Ribbons. Could be funny with the right stand up comedian.
Canadian athletes. A constant source of humour and satire.
 
2012-10-11 01:27:11 PM  
You want that in Meeses or Gippers?
 
2012-10-11 01:32:45 PM  
For some reason, it doesn't make me feel better that phone companies are colossal assholes in other countries, too, just like they are here.

Not at all.

Also: they could at least come up with a better response than, "Sorry, we can't fix that, even though we run a giant company with computers that can change numbers very, very easily with just a couple keystrokes."

I mean, have at least enough respect for us to come up with a halfway-defensible lie. "Sorry, that has to be approved by my supervisor." There. Was that really so farking hard?
 
2012-10-11 01:34:27 PM  
That's what happens when you call Alpha Centauri collect.
 
2012-10-11 01:37:37 PM  

RedVentrue: That's what happens when you call Alpha Centauri collect.


You get charged money... for a collect call...?

I don't get the joke.
 
2012-10-11 01:38:34 PM  

Day_Old_Dutchie: randomjsa: Ugh... The European numbers are different... They don't have a 10^15 (quadrillion in US)... So i don't know what to call it.

Maybe use Exponents?
[imageshack.us image 800x600]
Campus Parking Fine + Math Major = Hilarity.


Too bad the person at the bank running the cheque processing machine isn't a math major.

REJECTED! Good waste of a stamp...
 
2012-10-11 01:38:45 PM  

brantgoose: That Scottish Dude. Only funny if you are the one passing it off as Canadian money. But in that case, it's hilarious.


Good old Canadian Tire Money. The S&H Green Stamp of North of the Border.
 
2012-10-11 01:38:49 PM  

brantgoose: limeyfellow: ChipNASA: So that's like what $12 American???

1 Euro = 1.2939 USD, so no.

It gets even sadder.

1.00 CAD = 1.02278 USD. Even funny Canadian money is worth more than US money.

Canadian money ranked by funniness (Least funny to most):

People:
The Cenotaph, Ottawa: Not funny at all.
The Canadian Peacekeepers Memorial. Not funny, well, maybe occasionally.
Robert Borden. No sense of humour.
The Queen. Very serious with a bit of a sense of humour.
Sir Wilfred Laurier. Sometimes funny in a French kind of way.
Kids playing hockey. Sometimes funny, sometimes dead serious.
William Lyon MacKenzie King. No sense of humour but very funny (not always in the ha-ha way).
That Scottish Dude. Only funny if you are the one passing it off as Canadian money. But in that case, it's hilarious.
Sir John A. McDonald. Very funny.

Animals:
The Polar Bear. Not funny at all.
The Canada Goose. Seldom funny.
The Moose. Not very funny.
The Beaver. A constant joke.

Other:
Remembrance Day Poppies. Unfunny, except when American military contractors mistake them for spy cameras.
Maple Leaf. Not funny.
Inuk and other native art. Not funny (that boat thing is sort of funny)
Breast Cancer Ribbons. Could be funny with the right stand up comedian.
Canadian athletes. A constant source of humour and satire.


OK, I must know: what denomination is the beaver on? Coin? Paper? And do people call it a beaver? Do they say, "Hey, I need one more beaver to buy that soda ..." or order of poutine or whatever.
 
2012-10-11 01:44:15 PM  

powhound: [i45.tinypic.com image 633x96]


Not sure about Fark, but most websites tailor their ads to the user. If that is your screenshot, try deleting your cookies and installing adblock.

/You criminal!
 
2012-10-11 01:44:17 PM  

johnperkins: I worked at Circle K many years ago. I would occasionally try to sell $1,251.25 sodas when I hit '125' twice by mistake.

 

i1057.photobucket.com
 
2012-10-11 01:46:31 PM  

Tat'dGreaser: How much did this idiot pay before making a couple more phone calls to get it cleared up?


You're right. She's clearly an idiot who actually made payments toward it. The rest of us saw that in the article too.
 
2012-10-11 01:48:33 PM  
She should pay them off in €1 coins; It would make a stack 16,969,603,764.018134096874254354569 miles high. That would fix 'em!
 
2012-10-11 01:50:02 PM  

randomjsa: Ugh... The European numbers are different... They don't have a 10^15 (quadrillion in US)... So i don't know what to call it.


I came up with 151 quadrillion US. Or 9475 times the US national debt.
 
2012-10-11 01:52:51 PM  
If the power company were publicly owned, and you refused to pay the bill, wouldn't the company have to take an 11.7 quadrillion Euro write-down eventually?
 
2012-10-11 01:53:41 PM  
How much is that in baguettes?
 
2012-10-11 01:55:26 PM  

Strobeguy: randomjsa: Ugh... The European numbers are different... They don't have a 10^15 (quadrillion in US)... So i don't know what to call it.

I came up with 151 quadrillion US. Or 9475 times the US national debt.


I think I missed a zero, 15 quadrillon US or 947 times the national debt
But whos counting?
 
2012-10-11 01:59:07 PM  

sure haven't: Haha "This is nearly 6,000 times France's annual economic output."

Lines like that crack me up. Phone companies are so intelligent.


Yeah, that line got me, too. I like that the writer felt the need to contextualize that amount, in case people reading the article didn't fully understand how comically huge the bill was.
 
2012-10-11 02:02:02 PM  

brantgoose: The three rocks on the one hundred trillion dollar banknote of Zimbabwe represents

a) the comedy rule of three as expounded by Bill Griffeth, the cartoonist who draws Zippy
b) a heathen idol raised to invoke the goddess of Eternal Hope;
c) next week's new currency.


Im going with c)...though likely they will use the rocks as weapons and not currency. Its been like 3 days, they are due for a new leader...
 
2012-10-11 02:02:30 PM  

Shadow Blasko: Mara See Mara Do: I'm curious as to what kind of error would cause a number that big.

A Dinkum Thinkum computer.

Probably a Holmes-IV


You are my new Hero!

//I just hope Mike remembers this is a "Funny Once"
 
2012-10-11 02:06:33 PM  

powhound: [i45.tinypic.com image 633x96]


Adblock Plus will fix that for you.
 
2012-10-11 02:08:41 PM  

EZ Writer: "offered to set up instalments to pay off the bill"

Do they share the same customer service center as RIAA?


If not, they used the same math to calculate her bill.

/Eight. Billion. Dollars.
 
2012-10-11 02:09:39 PM  

limeyfellow: ChipNASA: So that's like what $12 American???

1 Euro = 1.2939 USD, so no.

It gets even sadder.

1.00 CAD = 1.02278 USD. Even funny Canadian money is worth more than US money Extreme parity we Canadian dollar also.


FTFY
 
2012-10-11 02:18:41 PM  

The Bird: She should pay them off in €1 coins; It would make a stack 16,969,603,764.018134096874254354569 miles high. That would fix 'em!


apart from being both an astronaut, and wealthiest human in the galaxy. you'd probably be arrested for fraud, as well as disturbing the peace
 
2012-10-11 02:21:08 PM  

Day_Old_Dutchie: r
Campus Parking Fine + Math Major = Hilarity.


My college charged 10cents to cash a check at the cashier.
Present the check, they ask if you have a dime, sometime you did and tossed it on the counter, then they cashed the check for you.

I used to bring in a check for CASH for 10 cents.
The girl behind the counter would look at it and then look at me and ask me I had a dime.
I would pull one out of my pocket and then toss it on the counter.
The girl would put it in the cash drawer, then pull a dime back out and hand it to me.

Later I would bring in a check for CASH for 10 cents.
The girl behind the counter would look at it and then look at me and ask me I had a dime.
I would say "No" and walk away.
 
2012-10-11 02:21:46 PM  

sure haven't: Haha "This is nearly 6,000 times France's annual economic output."

Lines like that crack me up. Phone companies are so intelligent.


I'm pretty sure that is more money than what exists on the entire planet.
 
2012-10-11 02:23:16 PM  

Joe Peanut: About $14,232,900,000,000,000 US. (14 quadrillion, 232 trillion, 900 billion). Or 713,428,571,428,571 easy payments of $19.95


Can't imagine they wouldn't charge interest, though.
 
2012-10-11 02:25:54 PM  

Fish in a Barrel: If the power company were publicly owned, and you refused to pay the bill, wouldn't the company have to take an 11.7 quadrillion Euro write-down eventually?


If they buried some bad debts in that same-write down with a little hazy accounting, they could make the whole Euro crisis disappear with one written-off residential electricity bill.

Every single sovereign debt that's made trouble in the Euro banking crisis is a tiny drop in the bucket compared to that debt.

Take out some securities based on the hundreds of trillions of euros in future interest on payments on the debt. Use those securities to pay off the national debts of every Eurozone country. Let the customer default on that debt, discharge it in bankruptcy, then let the private investors who bought the securities get hosed sparing the Euro as a currency and the national economies themselves, with only some uber-wealthy investors who could afford to take one bad investment getting soaked.
 
2012-10-11 02:43:56 PM  

Mara See Mara Do: I'm curious as to what kind of error would cause a number that big.


A faulty printer.
 
2012-10-11 02:52:40 PM  
That sounds like the National Debt after Fartbongo's second term in office.

/wait for it. 8/10
 
2012-10-11 02:54:08 PM  
Wow. That's like 2 weeks of eurozone borrowing!
 
2012-10-11 03:07:26 PM  

LrdPhoenix: integer


NO!!!!


There is something called FIXED POINT math for this exact reason. You get the precision of the necessary decimals, without the rounding and other errors associated with floating point math. It is as fast as integer math, but without the loss of information/potential bugs from ditching the decimal.
 
2012-10-11 03:19:14 PM  

EZ Writer: "offered to set up instalments to pay off the bill"

Do they share the same customer service center as RIAA?



Here's the part that got me scratching my head... "It has also apologised for the gaffe, which it says was down to a printing error and a subsequent misunderstanding between the client and staff at their call centre."

What misunderstanding was there, Lady got a phone bill that Zeus, Allah, FSM, God and Odin couldn't pay off together and wanted to know WtF was going on. Call center nitwit offered a payment plan.
 
2012-10-11 03:24:39 PM  
Let me guess... she didn't use her iPhone as Apple intended it, right? ;-p
 
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