Customer receives €11,721,000,000,000,000 phone bill

I've heard of some pretty outrageous phone bills in my time, but nothing so ridiculous as the €11,721,000,000,000,000 a French woman had to pay to close her phone account. Solenne San Jose, from Pessac in the Bordeaux region of southwestern France, was understandably shocked to hear she had to pay so much money - 11.7 quadrillion euros - saying "there were so many zeroes I couldn't even work out how much it was."

It's like paying this, except with all the money in the world

Operators at Bouygues Telecom told the woman that they initially couldn't amend the insane fee, however after some phone calls it was revealed she was supposed to only pay €117.21. Obviously 12 zeros had slipped in there somewhere (was it the office cat?), with the telecom company blaming it on a "printing error" and then a client-staff call center misunderstanding.

It's lucky that she didn't have to pay 11.7 quadrillion euros, because that turns out to be more money than the GDP of the entire world (around 54.3 trillion euros). What a relief!

Source: The Age | Case of euros image via Shutterstock

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BBC Radio 2 quoted the telecom company saying "It must be right, the computer calculated it!" I think there's where the client/call centre misunderstanding came in.

"Bouygues Telecom said the mix-up had been due to a printing error and a subsequent misunderstanding between the client and staff at their call centre."

I love how they are blaming the client as well, when the full blame should rest on their shoulders!

soldier1st said,
Whoever prints those bills must be desperate for "Easy Money"
Naw, I'm sure whoever's printing those bills just gets their regular paycheck. The bills go directly into the company account and not in someone's, not even the CEO's pockets. If anything, I'd say they did it for "Easy 15 minutes of fame".

That's generally true. The first line of people you speak to when you call support really can't do anything.

Their job is just to read from a pre-scripted thing, make sure you really have a problem and if so pass it on to a supervisor. They can't edit your bill (even if its obviously an error).

And they blame it on a printing error? My guess is that they where thinking something in the lines of "hey, let's earn some easy money" XD

GDP = Gross domestic product

Please don't forget your readers who's native language is not English. Please explain (not so commonly used) abbreviations when you can, don't assume everyone knows what it means.

rvdv said,
GDP = Gross domestic product

Please don't forget your readers who's native language is not English. Please explain (not so commonly used) abbreviations when you can, don't assume everyone knows what it means.

Not to sound like an a**, but GDP is basic vocabulary in financial English, it also is one of the more common abbreviations in English news overall.

Glassed Silver:ios

rvdv said,
GDP = Gross domestic product

Please don't forget your readers who's native language is not English. Please explain (not so commonly used) abbreviations when you can, don't assume everyone knows what it means.

But since they can read the letters, they can easily use Google. Right?!

Glassed Silver said,

Not to sound like an a**, but GDP is basic vocabulary in financial English, it also is one of the more common abbreviations in English news overall.

Glassed Silver:ios

Yeah and don't you like study GDP and GNP in sixth or seventh grade Social Studies?

Glassed Silver said,

Not to sound like an a**, but GDP is basic vocabulary in financial English, it also is one of the more common abbreviations in English news overall.

Glassed Silver:ios

Yes, GDP is basic vocabulary in financial English, but it is also standard practice to open abbreviations when they are being used in a news article.

Remember, there might be some people who won't know the abbreviation you're using. It shows professionalism to open them.