I’ve had a few exasperating customer service myself (most notably trying to get my Xbox 360 repaired) but this guy’s dispute with Verizon really takes the cake. Before a trip to Canada (outside of his unlimited-data plan), he checked on the rate for browsing the Web on his phone over there. He was quoted .002 cents per kilobyte. So, if he downloaded 5 kilobytes, that would be .01 cents (.002 x 5 = .01, one one-hundredth of a penny). If he downloaded one hundred times that, 500 kilobytes, he would be charged 1 cent. In fact, he downloaded about 38,000 kilobyes, and expected to be charged about 76 cents.

Verizon charged him 76 **dollars**. The problem seems to be that no-one at Verizon is capable of basic arithmetic. Their billing system is clearly set up to charge 0.002 *dollars* per kilobyte (0.2 cents / kilobyte), but the support reps consistently quote 0.002 cents per kilobyte (.00002 dollars per kilobyte).

He recorded the support call complaining about the overcharge, and all 27 minutes of it is a hoot. The guy has the patience of a saint, even when two different reps agree that 1 dollar is different from 1 cent, and half a dollar is different from half a cent, but somehow .002 dollars and .002 cents is the same thing.

This is the product of the American educational system. At one point the supervisor even complains, “I’m not a mathematician!”, but you don’t need to be a mathematician to understand decimal points and multiplication. This is grade school arithmetic, people!

Reminds me of the time (not even recent) when I bought a dozen oranges for 12 cents each, took them to the register to have the cashier take each one individually, call off ‘twelve’ and punch that number into the register. When I said “That’s a dollar forty four” he looked kind of blank and said “Gee, now did you know that.”