Verizon and dollars -vs- cents

Wow, wow, wow, wow. This has been covered elsewhere (and I don’t think here…I searched!). This is the most excruciating recording of people who are particularly poor at math. The gist: the guy who recorded this went to Canada, and before his trip he called up Verizon and asked what their cell phone data rate was for Canada. He was quoted “0.002 cents per kilobyte.” He thought that was pretty low, and he asked the rep to repeat it, and put it in the notes that it was, indeed, “point zero zero two cents per kilobyte.” When he got his bill he was, of course, charged 0.002 dollars per kilobyte. The following is a 22-minute conversation with three different Verizon representatives who refuse to believe that there is a difference between 0.002 dollars and 0.002 cents. If you have the time, listen to the whole thing, as it will send chills down your spine about math illiteracy in the U.S…

Verizon Doesn’t know their dollars from their cents


Having dealt with people in jobs like this, I have to say categorically that he’s an idiot for having believed them. If it sounds ridiculous, or if it’s extremely important, have it triple checked with different people. I can’t overemphasize this point. I’ve been burned by it so many times.

Out there in the big bad world, basically no one cares about you. If they’re incompetent, they’re too dumb to know it, so you can’t trust them.

I couldn’t bear to listen to the whole thing. I kept wondering if there were any way I could have gotten them to understand. But I think that the problem isn’t totally a lack of math skills; it’s a method of reasoning from the first principle of “explain to the customer why he is wrong” that’s never going to be swayed by logic.

Oh, the long pauses slay me. The expectation. They SLAY me! :smiley:

OK, I just listened to the entire thing and I found the gem quotes near the end:

Caller: “How do you write down 1 cent?”
Female Rep: “.01”
Caller: “That’s correct. How do you write down half a cent?”
Female Re: “Uh… that would be… .005 I’m assuming. I don’t know, I’m not a mathematician!”

Gem quote #2:

Female “OK, well, it’s obviously a difference of opinion.”

The good news, Verizon refunded the guy the entire amount after only 2 days no less, on a weekend.

The bad news, this isn’t the only incident .

Come on Verizon, even Waffle House has basic math on their application!

Forgot, Here is the guys blog:

Sometimes I do wish there was an edit feature… the bad people ruin it for the rest of us

Now THIS guy has a reason to bitch at customer service.


Hilarious bit of math geek commentary, from the creator of xkcd:

What now, bitches?

Here’s a link to a transcript for those who’d like to keep their 22 minutes.

I knew it. the original post I put in last night died during transference. :mad:

Here’s a not as good summury.

He should argue that a Canadian Dollar is worth less than a US dollar and because he was asking about rates in Canada, the quote was in Canadian money. The exchange rate of 0.871536 US dollars for every Canadian dollar, gives a rate of .0017431 cents per kilobyte. He already went through so much shit, why not tweek out the experience for maxium entertainment.