Transcript: Verizon Doesn’t Know How To Count

UPDATE: Verizon Still Can’t Count
UPDATE: Verizon Customer Gets Full Refund

Here’s a transcript of the call between a Verizon cellphone customer and various Verizon reps who can’t tell the difference between dollars and cents. Epic. Snagged from his blog but we added some timestamps in case you want to make a disco remix. — BEN POPKEN

Download original audio here.

[Start of Call]
[on hold with Verizon Wireless customer service]
0:05 Trent (Verizon): Hi.. Hey, George?
George: Yes.
T: Hey I’m really sorry about that wait there. Hey, I got Mike on the line. He’s my supervisor over here and uh, he’ll take care of you from here on out, okay?
G: Thanks.
T: Alright.
0:26 Mike (Verizon): Thanks Trent. Good evening George, how are you doing this evening?
G: Great, except that I’ve been trying to resolve this for two calls and over 45 minutes now.
M: Okay, well lets see what we got here, I’m definitely sorry that uh, that you’ve had to call in that many times. Let’s see, ummm, looks like you’re questioning some kilobyte usage that was done while in Canada?
0:44 G: Well, let me just start out with a basic question.
M: Okay.
G: Do you recognize that there’s a difference between “point zero zero two dollars” and “point zero zero two cents”?
[pause]
M: Point zero zero two dollars?
G: Do you recognize that there is actually…
M: …and point zero zero two cents.
G: Yes, do you you recognize there’s a difference between those 2 numbers?
[pause]
M: No.
1:09 G: Okay, is there a difference between 2 dollars and 2 cents?
M: Well, yeah, sir..
G: Well okay, is it.. is there a difference between .002 dollars and .002 cents?
M: .002 dollars and .002 cents.
G: Yes, is there a difference between..
M: Sir, sir, they’re.. they’re both the same if you, if you look at ‘em on paper-wise
G: No.. they’re not, actually. It.. is .5 dollars the same as .5 cents?
M: Is .5 dollars..?
G: Is half a dollar..
M: That would be.. That would be 50 cents.
G: A half a dollar.. is it the same as a half of a cent?
M: No.
G: Right.
M: Okay.
G: So, clearly, two one-thousandths of a dollar, which is your rate for airtime as I now understand it, uh, your rate per kilobyte in Canada is two one-thousandths of a dollar. But two one-thousandths of a dollar is different than two one-thousandths of a *cent*. What I was quoted was .002 cents. That’s two one-thousandths of a cent per kilobyte.
M: Mmhm. okay…?
G: I specifically asked the rep. I said, “Are you saying it’s .002 dollars or .002 cents?” because I .. *I* recognize that there’s a difference. Just like there’s a difference between that half a dollar and half a cent.
M: Okay.
G: There’s a difference between .002 dollars and .002 cents. Your rate in Canada is .002 cents.
M: Correct.
G: Uh, it’s point, point… Well okay, it’s not true, it’s .002 dollars. You’re still quoting me .002 cents when in fact it’s .002 dollars per kilobyte. So, if you want to charge me .002 cents, I’d be happy to pay the bill, the problem is I was charged .002 dollars per kilobyte.
M: Okay, so if you take.. okay.. do you have a calculator with you?
G: Yeah, I do.
G: Okay, take this uh, 71.79.
G: Yeah.
M: And divide that by uh, 35,893 you should come out with .002
G: Yes, and what units should it be? Dollars or cents?
M: Well that’s per *kilobyte*.
G: Right. And is it dollars or cents per kilobyte?
M: Well, let me take a look here for ya.
[time passes...]
3:36 M: [looking up rates] We’re.. we’re in Canada..
[time passes...]
M: Hold on one second for me..
[time passes...]
M: [mumbles something about Canada]
[time passes...]
G: For the record, what I was quoted before I went to Canada, I called because I’m on an unlimited plan in the United States and I thought I might be paying more when I go to Canada.
M: Right.
G: What I was quoted was .002 cents. That seems to be what you believe is the rate is .002 cents. Unfortunately, your computer system charged me .002 dollars per kilobit, er, per kilobyte, so my point here is the confusion is on your side, and the first rep I spoke to, the second rep I spoke to, and including you, in calling “.002 dollars” “.002 cents”, that’s a hundredfold difference just like one dollar is 100 times different than1 cent.
[time passes...]
M: Okay… looking at the pricing here for ya.
M: Okay.. for data.
M: National roaming access coverage in Canada is .002 per kilobyte cents.
G: Can you say that again?
M: It’s .002 cents per kilobyte
G: .002 cents per kilobyte. So you just quoted me again; your price is .002 cents per kilobyte
M: Correct.
G: Okay, so now I’d like you to translate my 35,893 kilobytes into dollars if you would.
M: Okay, if you take .002
G: Cents, remember, cents.
M: Times 35,896. 71 dollars and 79…
G: No, that would be 71 cents because you started with a rate per *cent* and multiplied by the kilobytes, so that would be 71 cents. I’ll tell you what the problem is here, is you, you’re.. the original person I spoke to *before* I used my airtime…
M: Mmhmm.
G: Up to and including you, are quoting .002 dollars per kilobyte as if it’s .002 cents per kilobyte and they’re not the same, so 7:34 I assumed that you guys knew how to do math. No offense here , but i assumed that you knew the difference between .002 cents and .002 dollars. And it sounds like there’s still some confusion about that. .002 dollars is two one-thousandths of one dollar, or two tenths of one cent, which is very different than two one-thousandths of one cent. It’s one hundred times different. [pause] 8:05 I’ll give you a brief example: If you’re selling your car and I said I’m gonna give you twenty thousand for it, and I show up with 20,000 pennies, we’re not speaking the same language. If you quote me .002 cents it’s not the same as .002 dollars. So, when you just did the math .002 times 35,893, you came up with 71 cents. You didn’t do the translation from cents to dollars, which would be… you’d have to.. uh, divide by a hundred, so then you get .71 dollars: 71 cents, So, I do understand, even though it seems like maybe *you* don’t, that the rate is, I now understand: .002 *dollars* per kilobyte. But that was not what i was quoted, and that’s not how I used my airtime because i thought it was… I thought it was cheaper than it actually turned out to be, because I was misquoted.
M: Mmhm.
G: I also had no context. The previous person i was speaking to said I should have had some context because i know what the united states rates – I *don’t* know what the United States rates are, because I have an unlimited plan. I don’t have to be concerned about the United States rates.
M: Mmhm.
G: So. It all comes down to me being misquoted, and it’s hard.. it, would, it, it.. At the time, I, I said there could be some confusion here, so I asked the customer service rep, “Can you please write that down in the notes, that you quoted me .002 cents?”
M: Mmhm.
G: And she did.
M: Right, and I see that.. I see not only one, but I see several reps that have put it in here.
G: Right. So I.. I hope, it sounds like you may not actually see what the problem is yet, but ah..
9:51 M: Well, I’ve been working here 2 years sir, and I’ve been a supervisor for almost a year and a half.
G: Okay..
M: Okay? Umm, ya know, I’m going by what is.. what is documented here in the system.
G: Right.. so can you tell me then if, if the rate is as you quoted .002 cents per min.. per kilobyte, and I used 35,893.kilobytes, how much should I be charged?
M: By, by.. The way this is calculated? Seventy-one dollars and seventy-nine cents.
G: You did your math wrong, so what I’m saying is you did… bring up your calculator.
M: I.. I’ve got the calculator in front of me, sir. If i type in .002 and multiply that by 35 thousand, nine hundred…
G: But wait! but but.. Here’s the key.. I know, but here’s the key: What does the .002 represent? Cents or dollars?
M: It’s cents, sir.
G: Okay, .002 cents…
M: So basically you’re paying… you’re paying two tenths of a penny [pause] per kilobyte. If you want to look at it that way.
G: Two tenths? hold on, hold on.. two tenths of a penny…
M: Mmhm.
G: …would be .2 cents. You quoted me .002 cents. Do you see what I’m saying? [pause] Two tenths of one cent…
M: Mmhm.
G: …would be point two cents. You quoted me .002 cents.
M: That’s correct.
11:16 G: there’s a difference between .2 cents and .002 cents. They’re 100 times different. So which is the real rate?
M: .002 sir.
G: .002 what?
M: Cents per kilobyte!
[pause]
11:36 G: So you just said it was .2 pennies and then you also said it was .002 cents. Those are 2 completely different numbers. They’re 100-fold different. Quoting someone .002 cents per kilobyte is different than .002 dollars per kilobyte. I… I don’t know what else more I can tell ya. The math… the math on the bill is right if it’s .002 dollars per kilobyte. It was quoted .002 cents.
M: George, hold on one second for me okay?
G: Sure.
[on hold for 2 minutes, 35 seconds]
Andrea (Verizon): This is Andrea, the manager on the floor. How can i help you today?
G: Hi, uh, I think we’ve got a terminology and mathematics problem goin’ on here and it’s… It’s very basic to me, but I think we’re just having a problem because of the numbers involved.
A: Okay.
G: Just to summarize, I was quoted before I entered Canada… I was quoted .002 cents per kilobyte.
A: Okay.
G: And, just so you know, I have no context for how much you guys charge for data because I have a unlimited plan in the States so it’s uh, I don’t… Someone has… had mentioned to me I should have known that what it was because of what I pay in the states, but I pay… I get unlimited usage in the States, so I don’t have any knowledge of that. .002 cents per minute is what’s quoted for me… is what was quoted to me. My bill reflects .002 *dollars* per minute
A: What do you mean .002 dollars?
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?
A: Definitely.
G: Do you recognize there’s a difference between half a dollar and half a cent?
A: Definitely
G: Then, do you therefore recognize there’s a difference between .002 dollars and .002 cents
A: No.
G: No?
A: I mean there’s… there’s no .002 dollars.
G: Of course there it’s.. it’s two..
A: There’s .002 cents is what you’re quoted, and that’s what I do show that you… you paid, or that ya know, you’re paying for the kilobyte usage.
G: Okay. [sigh] I don’t.. I don’t know a better way to express this. .002 dollars is the same as .2 cents.
A: Okay. Well how would you… What would .002 dollars look to you?
G: It’s point…
16:37 A: Obviously, a dollar is “one, decimal, zero, zero” right? So what would a “point zero zero two dollars” look like?
G: I don’t know…
A: I’ve never heard of .002 dollars. .002 dollars, it’s just not…
G: This is just… this is just math we’re talking about… this is…
A: …not a full cent.
G: That’s right. And…
A: Okay.
G: That’s right. And .002 cents is also not a full cent. My point here, is .002 dollars if you do the math, is .00002 cents. It’s 1/100th difference. There’s a hundred cents in a dollar.
A: But you were quoted .002 cents not .002 dollars.
G: That’s correct, but what I was charged…
A: Okay, so take .002 cents as .002
G: Dollars?
A: No,cents… .002
G: [to friend] You gotta hear this.
G: .002…
A: Uh-huh.
G: …cents, is two one-thousandths of one cent. I’m teaching math here.
A: [laughs] And I… I mean, I’m trying to get what you’re saying here, but it’s just not…
G: Here’s the… Let me… Let me cut to the chase…
A: I’m sorry that you um, already talked to a few different people here..
G: …Let me cut to the chase.. Well
A: …and they’ve all explained to you that you’re being billed .002 cents, and if you take…
G: I’m not being billed…
A: …and put it on your calculator.. it shows you that..
G: No it doesn’t, I can do…
A: We never said that you’re gonna get billed .00002 cents.
G: That’s right, you said I was gonna get billed .002 cents per kilobyte, and I’d be happy to pay that. Now, why don’t you bring up your calculator?
A: .002 cents, yeah.
G: Take .002, and we’re talkin’ about cents, right?
A: Right, .002, and if we multiply that by the amount of kilobyte usage that you have…
G: 35,893.
A: …35,893, that comes out to what you paid, $71.79.
G: Cents. You never did the conversion from cents to dollars.
A: Cuz we’re talkin’ about cents, we’re gonna multiply the amount of cents by the amount of kilobytes that you used…
G: Okay, ya know, ok…
A: …not dollars, nobody’s mentioning anything about dollars.
18:51 G: Let me start over here. Let’s… Let’s just say, hypothetically, that your rate was one cent per kilobyte. Right?
A: One cent, that would be .01
G: Right. .01 in her calculator. Correct. So, if it was one cent per kilobyte, and I used one hundred kilobytes, what would my charge be? You would take .01…
A: Uh-huh.
G: …times 100. And you come up with 1.
A: Right.
G: Right? for 1 dollar.
A: Right.
G: That’s if it was 1 cent per kilobyte. You’re telling me, you’re telling me though that the rate is not 1 cent, it’s .002 cents.
A: Right. [pause] that’s less than one cent.
G: .002 cents, if… if you, if you… in, in pure mathematics, it’s the only way I can express this, .002 cents is 2 one thousandths of one cent.
A: Okay.
G: Right?
A: So it’s less than a cent right?
G: It’s very much less than a cent.
A: Okay.
G: So, two one-thousandths of a cent. So lets start with two cents, just like we started with the one cent.
A: Okay, why are we doing two cents? We need to be doing .002 cents.
G: [big sigh]
A: My, I guess my point is, is that we quoted you .002 cents.
G: That’s right.
A: If you write it down is decimal point zero zero two…
G: No, it’s not, this… this is what I’m saying…
A: …so all we have to do with the calculator is decimal point zero zero two and multiply it by how many kilobytes that you had…
G: This is where… This is where you’re wrong, I, I don’t know how to make this any clearer. Let’s try this. Write down 1 cent. How do you write down 1 cent?
A: Point zero one.
G: How do you write down half a cent?
A: Uhhh, that would be point zero zero five of a cent.
G: Okay.
20:55 A: [laughing] I don’t know, I’m not a mathematician. All I’m telling you is I can tell you that with the calculator…
G: Yep.
A: …and we take the .002 as everybody has told you that you’ve called in and spoke to…
G: Yes, but…
A: …and as our system bill accordingly, is correct.
G: But you said .002 *cents*. Why don’t you just write it down on a piece of paper. You have .002 *cents* not dollars. .002 *cents*…
A: Right
G: …times my 35,893. It’s a number, but it’s still in *cents*. If you quoted me .002 *dollars*, everything is correct. If you quoted me .002 dollars, which represents two tenths of one cent – per kilobyte, then everything is fine. But I wasn’t quoted two tenths of one cent, I was quoted two one-thousandths of one cent. I was quoted .002 cents. It’s a terminology problem. You guys are quoting .002 dollars as if it’s cents, simply because there’s a decimal point involved.
A: We’re not quoting .002 dollars, we’re quoting .002 *cents*
G: Ah, God.. Honestly.
A: I mean the computer is calculating the, the figure here…
G: I know it is, it’s… it’s a terminology issue…
A: …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.
22:25 A: Okay, well, I mean it’s obviously a difference of opinion…
G: It’s not opinion! This is.. this is..
A: …the amount that you’re billed for the data usage is entirely correct.
G: [exasperated] Ah, God.. Okay, well, you know what, I’m gonna post this recording on my blog, and…
A: And that’s, if that’s what you want to do, that’s fine.
G: …that’s what I’m gonna do, and, and then you guys all at Verizon can learn math, and you’ll learn how to quote it correctly. The rate as I understand it now, and according to my bill, which is now, I’m getting *after* the usage, is .002 *dollars* per kilobyte. Just so you know. if it was cents, you’d have to quote it as two tenths of one cent, or .2 cents.
A: Right.
23:08 G: It would be like – another example: Half of a meter is very different than half of a centimeter. Half of a centimeter is written “.5cm”. Half of a meter is “.5m” They’re two very different things. You can’t just write .002m equals .002cm. They’re one-hundredfold different. What I was quoted was a rate per cent, not per dollar. Uh, a rate in cents, not in dollars. If I was quoted .002 dollars, there would be no problem, but I was quoted .002 cents. I was quoted fractions of a cent.
A: Okay, well, the only thing I can say is it was just a misunderstanding between…
G: It was a misunderstanding, but I did the diligence to ask what the actual rate was, when she told me .002 cents, I said “Are you sure? Can you note it in my account?”, and she did. As .002 cents. But the problem here is that you’re not even acknowledging now that there’s a difference between .002 when you’re talking about dollars, and .002 cents. My assumption was it was .002 cents, because that’s what you told me. But it’s been calculated on my bill as .002 dollars, or two tenths of a cent per kilobyte, which is different than two one-thousandths of a cent per kilobyte.
A: Okay.
G: It’s a hundredfold different. My, my bill according to what you quoted me should be 71 cents not 71 dollars.
A: Okay. Well, again, there’s not… we’re not going to be able to make any adjustments to the bill because it is correct, and I do apologize if it was… obviously miscommunication or misunderstanding in explaining that to you.
G: Okay, is there someone i can escalate this to? because…
A: No, I’m the floor manager, so…
G: Because this is not adequate. An example I gave to the previous rep would be, if I said to you “I’ll give you twenty thousand for your car” and I showed up with twenty thousand pennies. It… it matters whether you say .002 dollars or .002 cents.
A: Okay.
25:19 G: Unfortunately, it seems like our educational system is making an ambiguity between .002 dollars and .002 cents, they’re very different.
A: Okay.
G: So I was quoted a different rate than I was charged and you don’t seem to want to take responsibility for that.
A: Okay, well, I mean, if you wanted to contact the corporate, you could do that on our website…
G: Can…
A: There’s a link under support that you can send an email directly to the corporate office and request that they contact you.
G: I.. I’m on there right now can you just bear with me while I find it?
A: Sure.
G: Support…I don’t see it here, where would I see it? Under “Contact Us?”
A: Om, just a second here. [typing]
A: OK, yeah go to the actually the “Contact Us.” Its going to give you a drop down box to choose whether you are a customer or not.
G: Um Hmm
A: Once you select the dropdown box its going give you a grid here that says “send an email.” You type in all of your information…
G: I don’t see that. I’m already logged into my account, is that the problem?
A: Are you hitting “Contact Us” at the very top in blue?
G: Om…
A: It should still allow you to get there even if you are logged in.
G: “Contact Us.”
A: At the very top where it says “Home, Site Map.”
G: Yeah, so I click on that.
A: OK
G: “Send us an email – What type of Verizon Customer?”
A: Yes, exactly.
G: “I receive a monthly statement”?
A: Hit “Yes” and then this is the email grid that you fill out.
G: OK great. And what was your name again?
A: Andrea.
G: Andrea, is there a way I can get back in touch with you if I need to?
A: I can just give you my direct line?
G: OK great.
A: It’s 888 581 1070 extension xxxx.
G: Alright, thanks.
A: Thank you.
G: Bye bye.
A: Bye.
27:24 G: [Click] Fucking buffoons.

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. ElPresidente408 says:

    I understand what the mistake was, but that was needlessly complicated.

    • Barry Chase says:

      35,893
      x .002 CENTS
      ————
      71.786 CENTS
      XXX-71.786 DOLLARS-XXX

      See Verizon? You don’t get to suddenly say “DOLLARS” because it suits the *desired* bottom line.

      It CAN’T be simpler than that. If they don’t get that, then there’s no hope for the future of humanity.

  2. How is it that there are so many people to whom basic math, and this is quite basic, is near-impossible?

  3. gypsychk says:

    Head hurts. Remind me again: Do I take .02 hundred aspirin, or 2.00 hundred? *shrug* Same difference.

  4. Theora says:

    The last time I worked in a call center (shudder), I was required to pass a math test before I even got to the interview part of the process. I can’t understand the problem that these people are having with very, very basic math. It’s not like he’s asking them to do vector calculus, or something.

    Jeez.

    Maybe we just have standards that are too high – we are crazy enough to expect that people not be morons.

  5. fishfucerk says:

    that was very possibly the most awesome thing I have ever read.

  6. Poormojo says:

    Does the Verizon website still claim .002 cents?

  7. Steve_Holt says:

    fishfucerk beat me to the comment, but let me second that this was a truly great post. I guess some people don’t enjoy reading/listening to endless transcripts/calls, but this is just gold. I cannot believe that this actually occurred! The fact that there was billing confusion is meaningless… three different CS reps could not understand 4th grade math explained in a very straightforward and coherent manner. Just unbelievable. This is the stuff that got me hooked on consumerist daily. Thank you George.

  8. jwissick says:

    When they handed out brains, she asked for .002% of a brain…

    If you can’t see the problem here, punch your math teacher.

  9. Carpetsmoker says:

    This is amazing.

    “I don’t know, I’m not a mathematician. All I’m telling you is I can tell you that with the calculator…”

    That’s the problem, they all learn how to operate a calculator, they all learn formula’s, but they never learn the logic behind it …
    I almost always made my math and physics test and exams without a calculator, and it’s not even that hard, and always finished first or as one of the first (even “complicated” stuff like pi or sin are easy once you know how)

    They should ban calculators from all schools….

    • mellemelle says:

      @Carpetsmoker: Seriously! We’re not allowed to use calculators at my university. Some of the lower level courses do, but I have never been allowed to use a calculator.

  10. rbf2000 says:

    I’ve had to do things like this mulitple times throughout my retail employment. At Circuit City the receipts can be a little confusing so some people like to question their validity (especially with tax and exchanges), and I had to sit there with a calculator and prove to them that they in fact can’t do math.

    The tricky part is that you can’t just show it to them, you have to explain it to them, too. I had a wife come in one time, and I spent about 10 minutes explaining her receipt to her, and I showed her with a calculator, writing down all of the steps of exactly what I did, and of course I was right. About an hour later, her husband came in, so I sat there for 10 minutes explaining it to him, too. He never actually understood it, but he saw that I was doing the math correctly, so he went home apparently content.

    Once people get something in their head, it is hard to convince them otherwise.

    Not that it would have changed anything, but I think I would have stuck with the line that they are multiplying by .002 cents, and so you would came up with 71.xx cents, and if they wanted dollars they would need to divide by 100. Since they apparently couldn’t understand that .002 cents is actually .00002 dollars.

    It’s hard to teach people math in a 10 minute sitting.

  11. omicronpersei8 says:

    They probably never wrote down “.002 cents/kb” but just wrote “$0.002/kb”. I know many people who would call the latter “2 thousandths of a cent” or “.002 cents” just because it’s on the cents side of decimal point.

  12. bodhisoma says:

    First, you’re CLEARLY correct, and you tried harder than any human should be expected, but I think you came SOOOO close to nailing them to a tree but botched the exchange here:

    A: Right, .002, and if we multiply that by the amount of kilobyte usage that you have…
    G: 35,893.
    A: …35,893, that comes out to what you paid, $71.79.
    G: Cents. You never did the conversion from cents to dollars.

    There is no conversion necessary.

    .002 CENTS x 35,893 = 71.786 CENTS.

    In fact, they’re applying a conversion (x100) out of thin air.

    But great job on schooling them though I weep for the US educational system…

  13. Triteon says:

    Excellent analogy with the car, George!

  14. bciuppa says:

    LOL !!!

    When I was a teen I worked for a grocery. One day a house wife / mother came through my lane and needed to settle a $200 bill with cash.

    She was convinced that there were 4 20’s to $100 just like there were 4 quarters to a single dollar. So she tried to give me $160 for a $200 bill. IE 8 20’s. I explained to her that she owed me another $40 dollars. She reluctantly gave me the money.

    Later she came back to the store w/ her husband claiming that I stole from her. I told my manager to ask her how many 20’s there were in $100. He did. She exclaimed … well you know. He asked her to humor him. So she responed 4. My manager and I just looked at one another. In order to appease her he counted my register.

    I bet that woman still thinks I stole from her to this day,
    — Brian

  15. drbrn_grl says:

    Major props to George for that much patience. Seriously — I wanted to blow my head off just reading it. I’m in the market for a new cell phone. And while it doesn’t seem that anybody is really any good, I will be staying far, far away from Verizon.

  16. Barnstable says:

    You got them to admit that .002 cents is two thousandths of a cent. Perhaps at that point, you could have circumvented the terminological problem thusly:

    You: so if it were half as expensive, it would be one thousandth of a cent per K?

    Them: yes.

    Y: so I could get one thousand K’s and I would pay a cent?

    T: yes.

    Y: but since it’s twice as much, I can only get 500 K’s for a cent?

    T: yes.

    Y: and so 1000 K’s is going to cost me two cents.

    T: yes.

    Y: about how many thousand K’s did I use?

    T: about 36 thousand.

    Y: and every thousand cost me two cents?

    T: yes.

    Y: what’s two times 36 cents?

    T: oh, crap…

  17. acambras says:

    God, I can’t imagine having to give a math lesson over the phone.

    I’m glad the transcript was there, because I didn’t have the time or patience to listen to the actual recording in real time.

    I hate to say it, but if the stereotype about Asians being good at math is true, this might be a situation where Verizon might do well to outsource to India.

  18. dark_legion_00 says:

    Twenty minutes after listening to the entire customer service conversation you held very well, I’m still attempting to figure out whether I’m more frustrated with the inabilities of our society to retain basic rudimentary mathematics while trying to provide customer support, or the fact that I wasn’t the customer on the end of the telephone call…

    There’s always a ladder to climb in the corporate customer support world. There are tiers and groups that always have someone above them. The trick is jumping the hoops correctly and patiently, making it to the top of the ladder where you can actually gain the service you deserve as a customer. (I should know, I’ve been through frustrating phone calls between computer manufacturers and Microsoft, several times over.)

    I really hope you pursue this situation with Verizon persistently, and continue you to post breakthroughs in your quest to teach Verizon customer service representitives simple mathematics.

    I know that if there’s anything a company hates more than dealing with a customer who is actually right, its a company dealing with negative publicity. Make a call or two to your local television and radio stations, and see if any of the stations are interested in your story. Remember, in this world of consumer-driven businesses, it only takes one voice to make a change in the “system.”

  19. MrEcted says:

    Here is the best way to explain this scenerio. Even the most confused of us out there should be able to figure it out after this. This is very similar to Barnstable’s approach, but laid out a bit differently. It would have gone something like this:

    Me: Okay, lets take this one step at a time. You are saying that it’s .002 cents per KB right?

    Verizon: Yes

    Me: Okay write that down. So you have .002 cents per KB written down right?

    Verizon: Yes

    Me: So how much would you charge me for 1 KB?

    Verizon: .002 Cents.

    Me: Perfect. So now how much would you then charge me for 10 KB? Remember, we are just multiplying by 10 and we’re still talking about cents. Use your calculator if you have to.

    Verizon: .02 Cents.

    Me: Okay. So we now have .02 cents for 10 KB. Now how much would you charge me for 100 KB? Again keep in mind that we are talking about cents.

    Verizon: .2 Cents

    Me: Now finally, say I want 1000 KB, how much would that cost? We are just multiplying by 10 one more time.

    Verizon: 2 cents…

    Me: Now you must see what I’m talking about. How could 35,893 KB cost $71.79 when 1000 KB costs 2 cents based on the math we just did?

    • mellemelle says:

      @MrEcted: Please do not place too much faith in a Verizon Representative’s ability to do anything you had in your script. =/

  20. YodaTheCoder says:

    George, have you got a PayPal account because I’d like to make a contribution toward your bill. It’s worth it for the entertainment value.

  21. Barnstable says:

    That’s a good tack to take, MrEcted. Baby steps for math infants…

  22. Casserole says:

    It’s not even to do with maths. And he didn’t need to go in to the intricacies of maths. A simple “you’re charging me by dollars, the tariff is in cents” over and over again would have suffice.

    People are stubborn idiots when it comes to numbers, it’s naturally awkward for a lot of them. If he had just kept plugging away with the cents not dollars thing, eventually Andrea would have worked it out for herself.

  23. allen074 says:

    absolutely awesome, great way for me to end a friday night.

  24. jtt_guitar says:

    Holy Crap!!!! How stupid can you be? I think my friend’s kid could have gotten that quicker. I am so glad I don’t have Verizon. I am curious if anyone in the company ever understood the problem though. Thanks for the great post.

  25. Pishera says:

    I honestly think if any of you had tried the aforementioned techniques of slowly multiplying up, the reps would’ve again become confused as soon as they passed that decimal point.

    Once you had passed the decimal point with them, they would’ve claimed it had become dollars. It contradicts the very thought of decimals and how money is to be “said”. I work retail currently.. All day long I say “Your total is 1 dollar and 40 cents. 40 whole cents.. not .40 of a cent..

    Very interesting blog. :) Good read.

  26. psteiger says:

    The Verizon math problem is much deeper. Americans do not have under their skin the decimal thinking. Practically the whole world thinks decimally (except US). Moving the decimal point for lenght, area, volume, weight, performance, temperature, and any other measurement is from childhood as natural as breathing for the rest of thr world. The only area that is decimal in common American thinking is monetary. That’s what caused the confusion. If the Dollar was divided into 3 shillings and each shilling into 12 pennies, (the same way as a yard is divided into 3 feet and each foot into 12 inches) the Verizon problem would never occur, since common Americans would not be ever forced into decimal thinking. Untill US changes into decimal system, the Verizon math will not even be too funny for most of Americans. I experienced Europeans laughing to tears and playing the Verizon math over and over again. It’s a world hit. Now, visiting US I played it to some Americans and they do not find it too funny, it does not strike them so much, they have little decimal experience, they do not see the depth of it. No wonder, they buy eggs in dozens and not in tens as the rest of the world…

  27. psteiger:

    At first I thought you were being funny, particularly when I read this: “Untill US changes into decimal system, the Verizon math will not even be too funny for most of Americans.

    Uh? What are we on now? Binary? Hexadecimal? Oh you meant the METRIC system. Dude what kind of Eurotrash dumpster did you crawl out of? This one may be hard to swallow but believe it or not, you can have the almighty decimal in miles as well as kilometers.

    What I find highfuckinglarious is that there are a bunch of lazy Europeans smoking cigarettes and going “ha ha dumb Americans still haven’t changed to the decimal system.”.

  28. psteiger:

    For follow-up larfs, you may refer to this page:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimal_system

    Which mentions that the United States had moved to a monetary “decimal system” long before many Europeans. Thank you Thomas Jefferson.

  29. psteiger says:

    Let me add a few words. It never crossed my mind to incite some sordid Euro-American bitterness. I myself am for more than 30 years naturalized American citizen. I have no other nationality. All I have I owe to America. I am a mining engineer who has retired in Europe in my native country. All my descendents live in America. I worked for 23 years for an American major silver producing company and for a major oil company. I worked closely with engineers in this country and overseas. I know what I am talking about. All what I am saying is that the decimal thinking is not as rooted in them as in the people who grew up on decimal system. Here is an example: The area was outlined in square kilometers on Indonesian maps. To calculate volume and consequent reserves, engineers multiplied the square kilometer area by thickness in feet thus, arriving to a very strange volume unit “square-kilometer-feet.” This cannot happen to decimally thinking people.

    The US Dollar may be divided into 100 cents for longest time of all currencies however, when I immigrated to the USA in 1970 people were thinking in two bits, at least in Idaho, and still think in quarters across the country to this very day. Wikipedia says:
    The New York Stock Exchange continued to list stock prices in eighths of a dollar until June 24, 1997, at which time it started listing in sixteenths. It did not fully implement decimal listing until January 29, 2001, according to the research staff at the NYSE.
    The above does not sound too decimally. Even some stock brokers could have problems with 0.002 cents. I am not saying what is right and what is wrong. The issue is not about one nation to be stupid and the other smart. Only egocentric persons can translate the problem into such level. Brilliant, normal, and less bright people are evenly distributed all over the world. I do not think that the (three?) Verizon’s reps were stupid or that the American education system is weak. They were just normal people not too smart not too stupid just facing a problem they do not have to solve too often – moving the decimal point around. You do not have to agree with me however, this is my experience living and working in metric and non-metric countries.

    Even the rest of the world did not fully get rid of the non-decimal system. When I buy tires in Europe their width and height is in “mm” and radius in “inches…”

  30. psteiger:

    It’s all good. :) Merry Christmas.

    My new years resolution will have to be to tone down my trollness.

  31. psteiger says:

    Dear something_amazing,
    Merry Christmas to you. My kids just took me for a ride. I looked at every gas station how they post gas prices. All stations, without exception, posted them in this form: 2.36 9/10 instead truly decimally 2.369. They place at the third decimal place a fraction of 9/10 though it is actually 9/1000 of a dollar. It is a mathematical nonsense as square-kilometer-foot. I am not surprised at all that the normal Verizon people can’t solve 0.002 cents when they daily face Verizon-like nonsense at any gas station. Any truly decimal mind would read it as 2.36 dollars and 9/10 dollars since the unit is dollar. I am not going to dispute it I do not want to pay more. Or even better as 9/10 times 2.36-it could be the case for disputation and calls to all oil companies to claim 10% discount! You see, all gas stations do not know math any better than Verizon.

    The problem is this. Most common Americans see all physical measurements in fractions, not in decimals. The monetary system is, however, set to be decimal as the only exception for common people (I do not talk about scientist). That’s why the to-be decimal monetary system is infected by common peoples’ fractional philosophy that spreads from other non-decimal, thus fractional measurement units. The American monetary system is only quasi-decimal. However, it is a lesser hybrid today than 30 years ago.

    That’s why I originally said that all measurements should be either fractional or decimal. If American monetary system were fractional as all other physical measurements are the Verizon problem would most likely never occur. Common people could rely on fractions at any endeavor-that is called integrity. That would be, in my opinion, the worse case. However, you may disagree; there is a simpler way to integrity. That is that all physical measurements would be truly decimal. In that case the Verizon problem would also most likely never occur.

    What bothers me most that people from metric and truly decimal countries see the Verizon problem as American stupidity. When I see gas price posting 2.36 9/10 I do not know whether I should laugh as decimally raised or cry as naturalized American. That’s why I am absolutely convinced that until US goes truly metric these things will occur and the world will laugh…

  32. Shadowhawk32 says:

    This is a trip, I was sitting down listening to this and yelling at my computer! The people at Verizon are complete idiots. Oh my gawd it’s simple math, there’s totally a difference between .002 cents and .002 dollars. And if the rep was paying attention he was breaking it down nice and simple for her, she just didn’t want to listen. Dear lord our society is in trouble! It’s kind of funny but it’s kinda not!

  33. wagewhore says:

    I found your site via a link in Sublime Directory to the ‘Verizon Can’t Count’ story. I first heard an audio of this about a week ago, and it is a sad commentary on our public education system.. Thank you!

  34. Lapaho says:

    I feel your pain, George. I spent an hour one night trying to explain to half a dozen people that there was a difference between 2 feet square, and 2 square feet.

  35. midnitescthunder says:

    Maybe I can clear this up, or make it more confusing. How many kilobytes at .002 cents does it take to equal .01 cent (one penny)? If you take .01 and divide by .002, it equals 5 (.01/.002=5).Or you can add up each kilobyte at .002 cents, example .002+.002+.002+.002+.002=.01 cents. So this means 5 kilobytes costs 1 penny. Then divide 35,893 by 5, it equals 7178.6 This is the number of pennies. Move the decimal over 2 spots, and you have $71.78 Confused yet? Lets break it down farther. If 5 kilobytes= .01 cent, then how many kilobytes will equal one dollar? 100 pennies(one dollar) times 5 kilobytes=500 kilobytes per dollar. Again, take 35,893/500=71.78 Dollars. Verizon is Right!! You should have paid the dollars!!!

  36. midnitescthunder says:

    Maybe I can clear this up, or make it more confusing. How many kilobytes at .002 cents does it take to equal .01 cent (one penny)? If you take .01 and divide by .002, it equals 5 (.01/.002=5).Or you can add up each kilobyte at .002 cents, example .002+.002+.002+.002+.002=.01 cents. So this means 5 kilobytes costs 1 penny. Then divide 35,893 by 5, it equals 7178.6 This is the number of pennies. Move the decimal over 2 spots, and you have $71.78 Confused yet? Lets break it down farther. If 5 kilobytes= .01 cent, then how many kilobytes will equal one dollar? 100 pennies(one dollar) times 5 kilobytes=500 kilobytes per dollar. Again, take 35,893/500=71.78 Dollars. Verizon is Right!! You should have paid the dollars!!!

  37. toreesuh says:

    I think you’re mistaken, midnitescthunder. You made the same mistake as Verizon. .01 cents is not a penny. It is less than a penny because 1 cent = 1 penny, .01 cents is not 1 cent so it can not equal a penny. Therefore, $.01 = 1 penny and .01 cents = $.00001
    So according to your theory:

    5 kilos = .01 cents, 500 kilos = 1 cent [multiply by 100]
    36 thousand kilos / 500 kilos = 72 cents
    George’s bill was 71.79 CENTS and this came out to be 72 CENTS. [just round up]

  38. varaaki says:

    The error Verizon’s made, the same error promulgated by midnightscthunder above, is born of the fact that the dollar is the primary unit of U.S. currency, and that there is no U.S. monetary unit less than 1 cent.

    Many (most?) Americans therefore equate the decimal 0.01 with “a cent” or “a penny”, regardless of the units given after the number. Everything less than a dollar is expressed in cents; people with less of a grasp on the concept of number vs. units consider the word “cents” after the decimal to be a descriptor, rather than a real unit of the currency. Of course 0.002 is cents, they think, because it’s less than 1, and 1, they reason, is a dollar.

    I want a shirt that says “0.01 cents is not 1 penny”. Someone? Anyone?

  39. midnitescthunder says:

    If there is monetary value in less than 1 cent, that how do you explain the prices you are paying when you fill up the tank with gas? Your are paying in example. $1.999/gallon. Many, many businesses use this type of pricing. And for toreesuh, .01 cent is 1 penny. Ex. $5.01 is pronounced Five Dollars AND 1 cent!!! If a pack of gum is priced .50 cents, I suppose you are going to say thats no even a penny! Get real.

  40. MrBread says:

    I agree, but I think the shirt should geek out more, and read:

    0.01 cents

    Great post, although it made my head hurt and made me curse my own US calculator-based mathematical education. Because while I fully understood the difference he was trying to clarify, I wasn’t at all sure how to calculate it properly.

  41. CLAWZGALAW says:

    OMG! People are so fuckin’ DUMB!! That wasn’t hard to get at ALL!


    .002 CENTS is NOT the same as .002 DOLLARS.

    The best example was “is .5 CENTS the same as .5 DOLLARS???”

    No, because HALF a CENT isn’t the same as HALF a DOLLAR.
    .5 dollars is WRITTEN $0.50 (fifty cents) and .5 cents is WRITTEN $0.005

    Verzion’s STUPID ASS wasn’t doing the CONVERSION.


    MOVE THE FUCKING DECIMAL!!!! Didn’t we all learn this in elementary school?? SIMPLE SHIT!!


    They charged him .002 DOLLARS but he was quoted .002 CENTS…as if they’re EQUAL.

    If the dumb fucks would’ve done the conversion they would’ve realized that .002 CENTS is WRITTEN as “.00002″


    And if he charged what he was quoted (.002 cents), the math should’ve went 35,896 x .00002 = .071792 aka $0.72 bka 72 CENTS.

    But instead his bill was $71.79 because he was charged .002 of a DOLLAR, and NOT of a cent…


    Damn, the caller was SO right and clear in his argument.

    Sorry, I curse a lot when I’m aggravated……I swear I wanted 2 punch a whole thru my screen.

  42. midnitescthunder says:

    How would you say .25 cents, the price of a piece of gum. I guess that that would not cost a penny, in your theories. How about the price you are paying for gasoline?? $2.299/gal. Or another example $2.29 9/10 a gal?? Many,many businesses use this type of pricing. Explain that and explain why each one of you are paying it!!!!

  43. faust1200 says:

    The problem was that every Verizon employee was convinced that the product the billing computer was the word of God. In their thinking the computer is always right and the customer is confused. They were wrong. Unfortunately whomever complied the official billing rates as text for employee/consumer consumption made the fatal which snowballed through chain at Verizon. I understood the confusion instantly and if you don’t understand the mathematics it’s no reason to be ashamed but do not ever take any job that involves numerical values smaller than .001 (.02 cents falls into this category) I think stupidity is universal however it does speak of our lacking US education system. I do think of myself as having above average intelligence but I am hardly claiming to be a genius because on average people are quite dim. The flock of ignorant Verizon employees and managers proves this point. Just my .002 cents worth. ;)

  44. midnitescthunder says:

    I understand the .002 cents, and stand corrected the price should have been 72 cents. But what I don’t understand, as quoted by varaaki “that there is no U.S. monetary unit less than 1 cent” If this is true, why are all Americans paying $2.299 per gallon of gasoline? Or $2.29 9/10 per gal. I know of many businesses that use this type of pricing. How does the 9/10 equate into dollars?

  45. midnitescthunder says:

    I understand the .002 cents, and stand corrected the price should have been 72 cents. But what I don’t understand, as quoted by varaaki “that there is no U.S. monetary unit less than 1 cent” If this is true, why are all Americans paying $2.299 per gallon of gasoline? Or $2.29 9/10 per gal. I know of many businesses that use this type of pricing. How does the 9/10 equate into dollars?

  46. danman940 says:

    That was hilarious and frustrating. My heart actually was pounding for parts of that – I don’t know, I guess I was really LIVING the frustration. I hate to join the ranks of the other Monday-morning QBs, since you did a stand-up job of trying to teach 4th-grade math to these bozos. But I wonder if you had changed “cents” to “apples”, if that would have worked. If a kb=.002 apples, and you multiply 35,000kb x .002 apples, you get 72 apples. Now, swap apples for cents and voila – 72 cents. But then again, if they could have kept this many elements in their heads at one time, they would have figured out the problem at the beginning.

    I think the problem was ultimately NOT a math problem, but a personality problem – these reps, despite all common sense, will always think “it has to be 72 dollars because the billing computer SAYS it is.” All logic flows from that – they believe what they read and that’s all. A little smidgen of Orwell here.

  47. midnitescthunder says:

    I understand the .002 cents, and stand corrected the price should have been 72 cents. But what I don’t understand, as quoted by varaaki “that there is no U.S. monetary unit less than 1 cent” If this is true, why are all Americans paying for example $2.299 per gallon of gasoline? Or $2.29 9/10 per gal. I know of many businesses that use this type of pricing. How does the 9/10 equate into dollars?

  48. snarkyxanf says:

    I think a further difficulty is that since money in ordinary life has a smallest unit (the cent, here in the US), and all transactions are rounded to the nearest cent.

    For instance, you can’t pay 1/3rd of a dollar for something under normal circumstances, although you can get three for a dollar, which conceptually is the same thing, but I’ve seen registers at groceries that would actually record the first of the three things as $0.34 as it was scanned, and then the next two as $0.33. I assume that this is for some sort of legal or practical reason.

    When a transaction ends up being settled in cash, there simply is nothing less than a cent (for purely practical reasons). Few things have a cost close to a cent, never mind less than a cent, so nearly everything is priced at round cent amounts. So thinking about amounts less than a cent is made even harder than just dealing with a fraction (which to be fair, plenty of people are terrible at to start with), since it doesn’t correspond to how dollars and cents usually behave.

    I suspect this would have gone slightly better with continuous quantities, like weight or volume, where having less than one unit of something feels more natural.

  49. lstorm2003 says:

    I’m slightly offended, as a US born American citizen, by some of the comments I read above on the US educational system and the overall ignorance of the American public. I first heard of this today at my office and after listening to the first several seconds of it I was already laughing at the Verizon people for their lack of understanding such a plainly simple concept. I sent the video around my (American) office where everyone got a real good laugh out of it. I couldn’t find anyone at my office who did not understand this very basic concept. I’ve also shared this with friends (American) who also laughed uncontrollably at Verizon’s stupidity. Even the call center manager didn’t get it! But to assume that all, or even most, Americans do not understand the importance of units when discussing any type of measurement is ridiculous. MOST Americans DO understand! Who do you think works at call centers? These are the dumbest of the dumb… I just don’t want people in other countries to have the impression that Americans by in large can’t grasp simple concepts like this. We can! And we do! Please do not assume all American’s are as dumb as these idiots at Verizon… Sheeeesh..

  50. droe82 says:

    Oh man, I can’t even read that without my heart racing and my throat closing up.

  51. UnholyAngel says:

    something_amazing wrote:

    psteiger:

    For follow-up larfs, you may refer to this page:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimal_system

    Which mentions that the United States had moved to a monetary “decimal system” long before many Europeans. Thank you Thomas Jefferson.
    ———————————-

    Actually if you visit that page it only tells you when 3 countries of Europe decimalised, France, Malta and the UK. It states Russia was first. US was 1792. You can hardly say long before many europeans based on the webpage you site as your reference. And you read the part about Thomas Jefferson out of context, as if you follow the link to the decimal proposition of Jefferson it states: In the meeting Thomas Jefferson was employed to find the best system of weights and measures to be used in the USA. The decimal dollar had already been agreed upon in principle in 1785[1], but would not be implemented until after passage of the Mint Act in 1792. In mid-1790 he proposed two systems of units, one evolutionary with a mere refinement of definitions and simplification of the existing English system, the other one revolutionary being decimal and only reusing some of the traditional names. and if you follow the link next to 1785, you will find it was the following: Congress took into consideration the report of a grand committee, consisting of Mr. [David] Howell, Mr. [Abiel] Foster, Mr. [Rufus] King, Mr. [Joseph Platt] Cook, Mr. [Melancton] Smith, Mr. [John] Beatty, Mr. [Charles] Gardner, Mr. [John] Vining, Mr. [William] Hindman, Mr. [James] Monroe, Mr. [Hugh] Williamson, Mr. [Charles] Pinckney and Mr. [William] Houstoun, on the subject of a money unit.

    Therefore, you can owe it to Congress that America was one of the first countries with the monetary decimal system.

    However, there are no lazy europeans smoking cigarettes and going “ha ha dumb Americans still haven’t changed to the decimal system”

    There is however, one scottish female sitting thinking “oh my god, those call centre workers could be stand for parliment in the UK!” They seems to be on the same level intellectually.


    And to George, patience of a saint. I would have totally lost my cool and told them exactly how stupid i though they were. Well, my usual tactic is to get them to agree with me without realising it. I once had a telephone provider tell me i was under contract. I informed them i had never signed a contract (which i hadnt), they then told me that i had verbally agreed to the contract, to which i told them that verbal agreements are only legally binding in Scotland and that their contract was based on English law and further to that…..i had been told incorrect information at the time of ordering the product, and the corrent details they were giving me now……i wasnt agreeing to therefore even if a verbal agreement were possible, i was not agreeing to it. I ended up getting a full refund (much to my pleasure and their dismay!). Some things are worth fighting for on principal alone!

  52. UnholyAngel says:

    @toreesuh: actually 0.1cents is $0.0001
    because $0.01 is one cent. you’re only moving it 1 decimal place because it is one tenth of a cent.

    anyone think i’m wrong? feel free to point it out.
    i’ll take criticism gladly

  53. UnholyAngel says:

    tut mucked up that first bit. was supposed to read 0.01 cents = $0.0001

    and obviously its not a tenth of a cent. its a hundredth. i knew as soon as i saw it there was something not quite right. i suppose i should proof read what i type!

    i’m so blonde.
    apologies folks. its what happens when i havent slept in 2 days lol.

    take care all x

  54. iretired says:

    The mistake is similiar to the one that drives me nuts! How about shopping at Home Depot and seeing a sign that reads– .99cents. This is less than a penny! Sounds like a bargain to me! Home Depot is very guilty but just an example. I see this math everywhere. I hope that it has bothered you.

  55. Kevmankc1 says:

    If you read the info from the verizon web site you will see you were billed correctly…They may of had several employees misquote you…we can all agree on that…I also believe they could see what you are saying but they will not tell you there computer is wrong…I would bet if you go back and read ALL the pages of your contact you signed you will find two things they included to cover their ass 1st it will probable either list the roaming rates or tell you were to find them. 2nd they will have a statement about how the written contract out weights any and all verbal agreements. A contract like this only gives the party’s involved the rights to what is contained within the 4 corners of the contract….Still fun to push people once in a while


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  56. khittenheart says:

    QUOTE
    “How would you say .25 cents, the price of a piece of gum. I guess that that would not cost a penny, in your theories”
    END QUOTE

    I would say what is typed as “point two five cents”, which equals 4 for 1 penny.

    I see this kind of mistake propagated in many retail places, and I don’t know what’s worse: that retail stores routinely write the prices they intend to charge as 100 times less than the actual price, or…. that most people look at “.25 cents” and see the same currency amount as “25 cents”

    That little dot there has meaning, folks! It’s not just a fly speck on the paper!

    twenty-five cents = 25 cents = $0.25 = “point two five dollars”

    Is this problem a math problem? Or is it an English language problem? Either way, it leads one to a disturbing conclusion about the state of the “average” American citizen’s education.

  57. jhbyer says:

    Could the service reps have been partly victims of a homonym, continually misreading .002 percent to mean .002 per cent? But were they really victims of an America dragging its dumb feet, inches, etc. on going fully metric? I’m just a dumb American, but seems to me they might have been Canadians – not that I’m trying to pass the insults. :)

  58. airshowfan says:

    “How would you say .25 cents, the price of a piece of gum. I guess that that would not cost a penny, in your theories”

    “How about shopping at Home Depot and seeing a sign that reads– .99cents. This is less than a penny! Sounds like a bargain to me!”

    Next time I see something like this, I might insist on paying in cents rather than in dollars, as an experiment. If I see a piece of gum advertised as costing .25 cents, maybe I’ll pick up 4 and pay with a penny. If the store people give me trouble, then, well, I suppose it’s false advertising or something to display one price and then charge me 100x as much.

  59. gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

    i remember reading this as it happened….
    so fucking painful to read.
    my head hurts now.

  60. jennieblue22 says:

    WOW… this is just plain ridiculous…

    Although I must say that when my relatives come visit from India and go shopping here in the US, they get a real kick out of seeing how many (how few?) cashiers actually give him the right amount of change… WITH OR WITHOUT the cash register calculator!!! I am too used to the sight to laugh anymore…

  61. tobin_crow says:

    I cant believe that all of them at verizon are such tribally backward that it took such a long time to solve this problem more ridiculous is that they were not trying to think positively .I had to register with this site..as i couldnt resit to comment on this

  62. kingofthenet says:

    I don’t blame the education institution’s in the US. A lot of people have problems with very small numbers, actually I think Verizon was right in the sense that the actual rate was most like 2 cents a kiliobyte, NO WAY would they charge 2 HUNDREDS of a penny, thats like NOTHING(although it is fair to say that INSANELY small amount was what he was quoted) The problem that caused the issue was the UNIT.Verizon was talking fractions of DOLLARS, the consumer was talking fractions of a CENT.

  63. kingofthenet says:

    A funny story happened to my friend, he was at a convenience store and the cashier was taking FOREVER and wouldn’t give my friend a break a few days before when he was short two cents.It FINALLY came he turn to pay and the cost was $2.07 so he gives the cashier $2.10 and waits for his change.The Cashier then informs him that she is “OUT” of pennies, so he tells her to go get some more.She then says in a attempt to SHAME him, “You are going to make ALL these people wait for 3 cents, My Friend replies Not at all just give me a nickle. She looks at him SHOCKED and says “I can’t just GIVE you 2 cents” My friend calmly replies so you want me to give up three cents, but your not willing to give up two?