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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
    More: Silly, France, phone bills, error, teaching assistant, UK and Ireland, Solenne San Jose  
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13778 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Oct 2012 at 12:35 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



118 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2012-10-11 12:36:23 PM  
Worth a shot.
 
2012-10-11 12:37:48 PM  
Did she try buying the Mechromancer DLC for Borderlands 2?
 
2012-10-11 12:38:24 PM  
What, is the computer WOPR? Can't have humans overriding the perfect computer system!
 
2012-10-11 12:38:36 PM  
"offered to set up instalments to pay off the bill"

Do they share the same customer service center as RIAA?
 
2012-10-11 12:38:57 PM  
11 quadrillion? Am I reading that right?
 
2012-10-11 12:39:22 PM  
I'm curious as to what kind of error would cause a number that big.
 
2012-10-11 12:41:46 PM  
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.
 
2012-10-11 12:42:02 PM  

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


Charging international roaming rates for domestic data usage?
 
2012-10-11 12:42:37 PM  
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.
 
2012-10-11 12:42:39 PM  
Something Scientology would draw up.
 
2012-10-11 12:42:56 PM  

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


They are using old Intel P5 machines?
 
2012-10-11 12:42:57 PM  
i45.tinypic.com
 
2012-10-11 12:43:02 PM  

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

Do they share the same customer service center as RIAA?


i once got a mistaken bill for over $5,000 one month and that sent me into a cold sweat, receiving this bill would probably kill me. Either that or i would giggle uncontrollably.

LarryDan43: "Worth a shot."


you my good sir owe me a new monitor!

/should know better than to read fark comments whilst drinking coffee
 
2012-10-11 12:43:28 PM  
She could have offered to pay it with 118 of these:

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-10-11 12:43:56 PM  

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
 
2012-10-11 12:44:06 PM  

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


Ok! Ok! I must have, I must have put a decimal point in the wrong place
or something. Shiat. I always do that. I always mess up some mundane
detail.
 
2012-10-11 12:44:19 PM  
Looks like a scheme by the French government to balance their budget in a few months. Socialists...never trust them.
 
2012-10-11 12:44:19 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.


You just have to convert it to the metric system.
 
2012-10-11 12:44:57 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.


forums.watchuseek.com
 
2012-10-11 12:45:15 PM  
She should have stopped using a negative amount of minutes. That'll teach her.
 
2012-10-11 12:46:00 PM  
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?
 
2012-10-11 12:46:49 PM  

indylaw: What, is the computer WOPR? Can't have humans overriding the perfect computer system!


Correct mein fuhrer; excuse me, Mr. President. Zhe doomsday device has to work without human interference.
 
2012-10-11 12:47:20 PM  

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

Do they share the same customer service center as RIAA?


More then likely; idiot at the call center was following the script. Likely they require the operator to always offer a payment first no matter what and don't consider looking at the bill or investigate if it's an actual error unless the call lasts more then X minutes.

They likely have a lot of scam/cheap people calling it claiming their $200 dollar bill HAS to be wrong.
 
2012-10-11 12:48:03 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.


Oddly, the BBC had no problem writing out "quadrillion" in the text of the article.
 
2012-10-11 12:48:38 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.


Um, we DO have a name for it. 10^15 is abilliard.
 
2012-10-11 12:49:22 PM  
It would suck to have a collection agency calling you every month informing you that you're trillions short on your monthly installment plan.
 
2012-10-11 12:49:57 PM  
1.bp.blogspot.com

French woman? was this her?
 
2012-10-11 12:50:14 PM  
So that's like what $12 American???
 
2012-10-11 12:50:25 PM  
They were hoping she would surrender her checking account.
 
2012-10-11 12:52:05 PM  
Haha "This is nearly 6,000 times France's annual economic output."

Lines like that crack me up. Phone companies are so intelligent.
 
2012-10-11 12:52:27 PM  
It could be worse. Fairpoint farked over my land line a week ago, and it hasn't been heard from since.
 
2012-10-11 12:52:51 PM  
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
 
2012-10-11 12:53:14 PM  
Wow, surprised the software would have the ability to put that bill out.

Verizon was doing billing error scamy stuff all the time. It had to be written into the software. I think there was lawsuits.
 
2012-10-11 12:54:43 PM  
If she was sending video by text internationally, this just might be the correct amount.
 
2012-10-11 12:54:54 PM  
How much did this idiot pay before making a couple more phone calls to get it cleared up?
 
2012-10-11 12:55:17 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


GOOD BOG MAN!
 
2012-10-11 12:55:36 PM  

Christian Bale:

French woman? was this her?


3.bp.blogspot.com

More likely her.
 
2012-10-11 12:55:41 PM  
Lazy programmers not putting in customer service alarm triggers for shiat like this is annoying. I am still surprised that telecoms (both land line and wireless carriers) do not have a red flag system that alerts someone when a customers bill is suddenly say 4x higher than normal. Inexcusable now a days
 
2012-10-11 12:56:12 PM  

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

Ok! Ok! I must have, I must have put a decimal point in the wrong place
or something. Shiat. I always do that. I always mess up some mundane
detail.


this. SO MUCH this
 
2012-10-11 12:56:30 PM  
1.bp.blogspot.com

Don't mess with the French woman.
 
2012-10-11 12:56:48 PM  

justanotherfarkinfarker: Verizon was doing billing error scamy stuff all the time. It had to be written into the software. I think there was lawsuits.


Link?
 
2012-10-11 12:57:28 PM  
Wait two years: this will seem perfectly normal.
/Can I interest you in a wheelbarrow?
 
2012-10-11 12:58:46 PM  
FTA: 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.

I guess it's true you learn something every day. Now the French are outsourcing their call centers to India.
 
2012-10-11 01:00:24 PM  

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


Well, given that it came out 117.21 * 1014 and it was originally supposed to be 117.21, some sort of conversion error.

When dealing with floating point numbers in programming, especially precision important floating point numbers like money, it's common to convert to an integer (such as changing 117.21 to 11721000000) in order to avoid a certain degree of imprecision when dealing with decimals that can cause lost pennies and what not from rounding issues. It lets you get the same result dealing almost entirely with integers, so long as you remember to convert back. It's probable that that company simply converts all monetary numbers to integers by multiplying them by 1014, then somehow had an error that caused it not to properly convert back for one person.
 
2012-10-11 01:00:48 PM  

Silverstaff: Installments?

For a bill 6000 times larger than the GDP of your country?


Or put another way 167 times the entire planet's GDP.
 
2012-10-11 01:02:01 PM  

Satanic_Hamster: More then likely; idiot at the call center was following the script.


Exactly the reason I kept getting written up when I worked for a phone company. Clear error on the company's part, and I'd offer to actually help the customer because they farking needed and deserved it. "No, sorry, you neglected to say X, Y, and Z to the customer. We have to score that call as a fail. You know that this is an example of why you aren't meeting your job performance standards, right?"

damn, i'm happy those days are over.
 
2012-10-11 01:02:27 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.


Maybe use Exponents?
imageshack.us
Campus Parking Fine + Math Major = Hilarity.
 
2012-10-11 01:03:42 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.


That's clever, I like that
 
2012-10-11 01:03:45 PM  

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

Ok! Ok! I must have, I must have put a decimal point in the wrong place
or something. Shiat. I always do that. I always mess up some mundane
detail.


Oh! What is this fairly mundane detail, halmot!??
 
2012-10-11 01:03:58 PM  

Silverstaff: For a bill 6000 times larger than the GDP of your country?


How can it be 6000 times larger? The country obviously produces at least that value in phone services alone.

/Joke due to a friend of mine
 
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