Sometimes you get your cell phone bill through and it might seem a little more than what you’d been expecting, but what the heck, you pay it.
However, Solenne San Jose, from the French city of Bordeaux, would’ve been hard pressed to do such a thing as her bill was a lot, lot more than she’d been expecting. In fact, it had so many zeros on it that she didn’t even know how to say it.
San Jose had decided to pull out of her phone contract early and as a result was told by her carrier she’d have to pay a termination fee that would be included in her final bill which would be sent in the mail.
Upon opening the bill and seeing the final fee, San Jose said she “nearly had a heart attack.” Why? Because it was for €11,721,000,000,000,000 (about $15 quadrillion), that’s why.
Receiving a phone bill more than 5,000 times greater than the gross domestic product of the country in which you live is really no way to start the day, so San Jose called the company, Bouygues Telecom, to suggest there’d been some kind of mistake in an effort to get it to cancel the charge made to her bank account.
But this is where things got really absurd. On her first attempt to sort the problem out, she was reportedly told that nothing could be done, and informed that “it’s calculated automatically.”
Another person at the company said someone would be in touch to sort out paying the amount in instalments. Eventually, an employee with some common sense realized a mistake had been made. The real bill? €117 ($151).
The company have reportedly said sorry for the error and told San Jose she won’t have to pay anything at all. With the stress and hassle it must have caused, however, you might think it could’ve offered a more generous apology – a mistakenly written check for a couple of quadrillion dollars would’ve been nice.