So, I was being lazy last night checking out some links from my favorite blogs… I don’t remember where I found this one, but it’s hilarious – http://verizonmath.blogspot.com
Story goes like this… Dude named George has an unlimited data plan on his cell phone in the US and called up Verizon to find out what the rates were in Canada b/c he was going to take a trip there. They told him “.002 cents per kB” he had him make a note on his account of the rate b/c he wanted to cover his butt in case of problems, then proceeded to go to Canada and use his phone accordingly, using about 37,000kb of data. When he got back, he had a bill for $71 and change when it should have only been $0.71, according to the rate he was quoted.
The dude called up Verizon to complain, and talked to mulitiple call center reps and managers. All of them insisted that he was charged the correct rate because “.002 dollars is the same as .002 cents.” You can check out the phone call on YouTube and there is also a transcript on the blog. I promise that they’re worth reading/listening to. But just in case you need some additional convincing, check out some of the highlights:
George: Okay, is there a difference between 2 dollars and 2 cents?
Verizon Supervisor #1: Well, yeah, sir..
G: Well okay, is it.. is there a difference between .002 dollars and .002 cents?
VS1: .002 dollars and .002 cents.
G: Yes, is there a difference between..
VS1: Sir, sir, they’re.. they’re both the same if you, if you look at ’em on paper-wise
They go on like this for a while, with George getting nowhere with this poor mathematically challenged supervisor dude, so he is eventually passed on up to the floor supervisor.
G: [big sigh] Okay, I think I have to do this again. Do you recognize that there’s a difference between one dollar and one cent?
Verizon Supervisor #2: Definitely.
G: Do you recognize there’s a difference between half a dollar and half a cent?
G: Then, do you therefore recognize there’s a difference between .002 dollars and .002 cents
VS2: I mean there’s… there’s no .002 dollars.
And it goes on, and on, and on like that about how to just put it in a calculator, and he keeps trying to convince her that they are forgetting that they are working in cents not dollars, and she keeps saying that .002 dollars is the same as .002 cents… And then this comes near the very end…
VS2: We’re not quoting .002 dollars, we’re quoting .002 *cents*
G: Ah, God.. Honestly.
VS2: I mean the computer is calculating the, the figure here…
G: I know it is, it’s… it’s a terminology issue…
VS2: …and we are calculating the figure here, and we’re all coming up with the same thing – except for you.
G: .002 cents is different than .002 dollars. I’m being charged .002 dollars per kilobyte. .002 dollars is one tenth of one… I mean, two tenths of one cent.
VS2: Okay, well, I mean it’s obviously a difference of opinion…
G: It’s not opinion! This is.. this is..
VS2: …the amount that you’re billed for the data usage is entirely correct.
And just in case you’re wondering, after taking this to some higher ups, he did eventually get reimbursed appropriately…
Here are the links, again, in case you have a hard time seeing them in the text…