The only thing I feel like bitching about...

So, everyone who I owed money in Raleigh to has long been paid. Electricity was shut off and a final bill is long gone and paid in full. As is my insurance for that state, as is my long distance company.

Well, I got a bill from the local phone folks BellSouth last month. Or, I THOUGHT it was a bill. Instead, they were telling me I had credit coming to me! I didn’t understand the logic in it, I never sent them a deposit, but no, there it is: Credit. And to punctuate this, a check for the eleven bucks and change the next day is in my mail box. Well, okay! They prorated some of my connection fees!

Now, it’s a month later (or yesterday). And I get a bill from them in my mailbox again. I open it, figuring that it is a zero balance “thank you for your business” account closing-kind of thing.

No, it’s a bill.

It’s a bill which acknowledges that they just sent me a refund for unused services. That was all on the up-and-up.

However, they neglected to calculate a federal tax, or some such nonsense before they printed last month’s check and bill.

As such, even though I just cashed a check from them, BellSouth wants a little bit more from me before I go my own way:


Yes, that is correct. I got a bill for sixteen cents, and the bill informed me of a couple of things, lest I get in trouble with those fine people…

First, I have to pay it now, or penalties may hit me. The penalty for being late on this comes to another 3¢ if you’re keeping score at home. I might wait two months to make it an even quarter. Approrpriate amount to send the phone company, as I’ll also send a letter imploring them to, since I am no longer a customer, call someone who cares.

Even better and on the opposite side of that spectrum was the announcement that if I was unable to pay this bill, payment plans could be made.

I am shocked that BellSouth would be so lenient over such a large fee.

So, I’m thinking of calling them up and with a straight face implore them that paying the entire sum would break me. And try and work out a plan of sixteen months. “That’s all I can afford a month,” I can see me whining to the person who I know is waving her co-employees over to listen in on this call.

Working out a payment plan for a penny a month would be a great way to punish them for even sending me this bill after I cashed their check. Because the only thing more ridiculous than writing a check for $0.16 (and sending it off with a stamp that cost over twice the worth of the check) is writing sixteen checks for a penny.

Anyway, this isn’t up to my usual standards, and I’m sorry for that. I have no fundies who invaded my plane to complain about, no posters have annoyed me, and I’ve no problems with a moderator since I’ve returned (that I know of).

But there you go… The only thing I can really find in my life to bitch about right now…

Feel free to flame me for having it too good right now…

Yer pal,

Ten months, two days, 19 hours, 14 minutes and 51 seconds.
12352 cigarettes not smoked, saving $1,544.22.
Extra life saved: 6 weeks, 21 hours, 20 minutes.

See my Sig File FAQ:*

Nice to know that your humor has not suffered while away.
Welcome back.
Oh and by the way…
I’m Merc.

Please record the conversation of you asking for a payment plan and transcribe it for us. This I gotta hear (or read, whatever - don’t nitpick).

BTW - they’ll probably offer to accept a check-by-phone payment so you won’t have to pay for the stamp. The irnoy here is, I think the additional fee to pay by phone is $1.50. (At least that’s about what it is when I pay by phone.)

LOL Satan, that is hilarious.

I would call them up, assuming they have an 800 number…heck it’s their money, tell them that you would like to finalize the bill with a credit card (don’t even elude to the fact that the bill is only 16¢).

Sheesh, the call costs them more than the bill, the time spent with the customer service rep will certainly cost more than that, but insist that you have to have the bill paid off or you just wont feel right. Be as persistant as you can (I am sure a typical CS rep will attempt to have the amount waived).

Not only will you have a story to tell people but the CS rep will most likely spread it around the office, to his/her friends and you will be legendary in Raleigh for your 16¢ bill being paid.

Naw, I’d tape sixteen pennies to the bill and mail it off. Make sure you use duct tape :smiley:

Tape sixteen pennies to a brick, slap their prepaid envelope on it and mail it back to them.

Whadda bunch of nit-wits! You think they’d have some billing software parameters that terminate an account’s qualification as receivables when the bill’s own postage exceeds the amount being collected!<insert rolleyes smilie here>


And be sure to save a copy of the bill. Frame it, and put it on the wall.

Hell, I’d LOVE to have a bill for 16¢ as a decoration. I’d put it right up with my three bank statements that announce when I’ve just earned a penny in interest.

My mom got a bill from a doctor’s office once for a penny. She taped a penny to it and sent it back. They were throughly embarassed.

Under your circumstances, I’d HAVE to call an actual human being, since their computer doesn’t know nor care who you are, and this is far too funny a bill NOT to call them on. I wish they’d do that to me. I’d much rather have a sixteen-cent bill than the $35 one sitting on the coffee table…sigh

My dad once had a piddly-ass charge outstanding (11¢ or something); with whom I remember not, but that’s not really important. They sent second, third, and final notices, and called frequently. One time when they got him at work, he asked how much the rep on the phone figured they’d spent on collecting this 11¢ charge, and wondered how much they planned to spend in the future, as there was absolutely no way on God’s green earth that he was ever going to pay them their 11¢. [Reader’s Digest]They never called again.[/Reader’s Digest]

So that’s what I’d do: Make them call you to get their 16¢. It’s more absurd that way.

Something like this could only happen to a guy like you so that you could share it with us in your own special way. That is just too funny!
And I bet if you do give it time they will hound you for that 16 cents like they are me for my sons hospital bills, and that stupid stinking camp ground nazi lady.
In all seriousness get it taken care of cause you really don’t want your credit mared by 16 cents. And I am sure that some idiot would do just that.

I am glad to see you back when you can, and I was just getting ready to start a thread kinda about you.
Okay, maybe a little later in the day after a few hours sleep so its coherent.
And do let us know how any of this turns out.

And this is the important part. I feel safe in saying that they’ll agree it’s ludicrous when you make them aware of it (and no doubt it’s been automated to this point) but they’re still gonna need the dough.

It’s a tax, chief. They don’t want trouble with the feds (even if you do). They’re responsible for collecting a tax that you owe and they for sure don’t feel like taking chances. What big corporation wants an audit?

Not that I’m saying your 16 cents will bring on an audit but remember, we’re dealing with accountants here. They live for certainty.

Dont’ even pay it.Ooooooo. You can get 10 to life for that ya know…
I would plea bargain if I were you.

So he should go to court to plea it down to, say, 10 cents? Or maybe 2 minutes of community service?


That is classic! You should send them a check for 17¢ and then they’ll have to send you a refund for a penny. If you don’t cash the refund check, they’ll never be able to balance your account…or better yet, you can keep calling them and telling them that you never got your refund! How many times do you think you can get them to resend it?

Since it is a war tax, you could resist it. Write them a letter stating that not even sixteen cents of your precious resources should go to the war machine.

(Glad to see you back, S.)

Hmmmm… I say wait it out and make them turn it over to a collection agency. You think there’s a collection agency out there that would accept a $.16 account?

[oh, and by the way, Lux, your ‘Readers Digest’ ending MADE MY YEAR COMPLETE]

This reminds me of something that happened to a coworker of mine. He was sent out on a business trip with an expense account. Well, he spent $.27 more than that account, so he got a 27 cent check back. It’s still hanging on his cubicle wall. I’m sure there’s some accountant somewhere in the company who’s had a breakdown or two over it.

And it reminds me of my university where the tution fees were automatically deducted from my TA. They were exactly equal so for the whole semester every paycheck I got was $0.00 . Gotta love the automated payroll systems.

Write a check for 16¢, and in the memo section of the check write “Don’t spend it all in one place.”