Verizon: Dollars and Sense

Published on Sunday, December 10, 2006 in , , ,

The above audio recording is agonizing to hear, and it all reduces down to a mistake in basic math made by Verizon. A Verizon customer, who used their unlimited data plan in the US, was planning a trip to Canada, and inquired about the charges he would incur while up there. He was quoted 2/1000 of a cent (.002¢) per kilobyte, but when the bill arrived, he found he was charged 2/1000 of a dollar ($.002) per kilobyte. In short, he was billed 100 times the price he was quoted.

The audio recording is 27 minutes long, but if you prefer, you can read a full transcript here, courtesy of the VerizonMath blog, which was started by the person who was incorrectly billed.

Among the most amazing twists in the story is this response by Verizon, in which they acknowledge the error, and offer to settle the matter for 50 times the quoted rate, instead of 100 times the quoted rate!

This whole episode brings to mind the story Computers Don't Argue by Gordon R. Dickson. This link is to the first of 5 pages of .GIF files, but the story is well worth the read. It's another story about a customer service issue gone wrong, told only through the correspondence that occurs as a result of a bookclub error. Thankfully, the Dickson story is fictional.

To offer your support, or to simply follow the story of this as it develops, check into the VerizonMath blog regularly.

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1 Response to Verizon: Dollars and Sense

3:54 AM

You got so many good comments on YouTube than I won't want to fall on the same ones.

But actually I love this one: "Three words: Class Action Lawsuit."

Anyway... I just find your blog looking for Magic Squares.

I'm hook to this blog...

I wonder why so many mathematicians in Vegas... (sarcastic comment). I know is because just the taxes ;)