French woman gets a phone bill for $15,000,000,000,000,000 (that is 15 quadrillion dollars)

What would you do if you received a bill from your cell phone service provider for $15,000,000,000,000,000? Yeah… it happened. A French woman by the name of San Jose living in Bordeaux, France received a bill from Bouygues Telecom for 11,721,000,000,000,000 euros, which is roughly $15 quadrillion. In case you are curious, that is 214x more than the GDP of the entire damn world.

It isn’t entirely clear if the billion was in relation to her monthly usage or an early termination fee (and here I thought a $200 early termination fee in the US was bad…). In either case, it was obviously a mistake by the telecom company and eventually Jose’s bill was rectified to 117.21 euros/$152 dollars. However, it took some persistent pestering on the part of Jose for Bouygues Telecom to comply. In fact, Jose says she was turned down by multiple representatives before finally getting the issue resolved. One representative told her “it’s automatic, there is nothing I [the representative] can do” while another asked to help Jose set up a payment plan where Jose would pay make the amount in installments.

Leave it to the French to think of a creative way to solve Europe’s debt crisis.

[via CNET, image via Wikipedia]

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2 comments

  1. cpusrvc

    @Mike:On the one hand, I agree with you and have wished it wasn’t all so automated. Then I think of all the people who are either incompetent or have the “I don’t care, I’m just here for a paycheck” attitude and realize it probably would not be any better, maybe even worse, if it was not an automated world.

  2. Mike

    I am SO tired of our automated society replacing and preempting human involvement and intervention, at least in the minds of the handlers. In point of fact, human intervention almost always seems possible–it just takes a customer service rep. with intelligence and clearance. And it doesn’t hurt when the system has been set up with the recognition that human involvement sometimes is necessary.