• Xenocide (unregistered)

    Because it cost them more to post it then they were billing.

  • Mark (unregistered) in reply to Xenocide

    It was one mistake. It shouldn't have happened the rep couldn't be sure another one would be mistakenly delivered but they advised them just in case. Everything seems normal here.

  • GMo (unregistered) in reply to Mark
    Mark:
    It was one mistake. It shouldn't have happened the rep couldn't be sure another one would be mistakenly delivered but they advised them just in case. Everything seems normal here.
    \

    Still, the next (mistakenly sent) notice shouldn't be ignored. If disconnect notices are being sent mistakenly, who's to say that these won't turn into real disconnect work orders? The person doing the disconnect won't give a rat's ass if it's a billing mistake -- they've been given a disconnect work order, and they'll do it. Not something you want to happen to your mission-critical system.

  • Markp (cs)
    Aaron:
    but I had no idea which of our many Windstream accounts this applied to.

    I guess the real WTF is that Windstream must've sent them the notice with the Billing Account field already blacked out.

  • quis (unregistered)

    To me it looks as if now would be a great time to find a secondary host? Just hope that disconnect paperwork/trail doesn't follow you to your new host/permanent record ;)

  • Leon (unregistered) in reply to GMo
    GMo:
    Not something you want to happen to your mission-critical system.

    Places it is appropriate to use the phrase "mission-critical":

    1. Front lines of the military
    2. NASA
  • GMo (unregistered) in reply to Leon
    Leon:
    GMo:
    Not something you want to happen to your mission-critical system.

    Places it is appropriate to use the phrase "mission-critical":

    1. Front lines of the military
    2. NASA

    Author's words, not mine. What a d!ck.

  • AT (unregistered)

    Heh. Reminds me of the time I worked in the kitchen at my university. The school would automatically apply 85% of student paychecks toward any outstanding bills (tuition or student fees). After taxes and the 85% percent deduction, my last paycheck of the semester was for less than a dollar, and I didn't bother picking it up before heading home for the summer.

    For the next year the school mailed me a postcard every month requesting that I mail them a self-addressed, stamped envelope to receive my 75 cent paycheck!

  • jou (unregistered)

    Well... I've got a invoice for 0.00 once.

  • h (unregistered) in reply to GMo
    Leon:
    GMo:
    Not something you want to happen to your mission-critical system.

    Places it is appropriate to use the phrase "mission-critical":

    1. Front lines of the military
    2. NASA

    Hospitals? Airplanes? Undersea special research facilities fighting with some creatures made of water that mimics face of crew?

    Seriously, "mission-critical" is overused in most civilian discussions, truth, but for some companies it's the system that has their most money Wasted-To-Failure. If Amazon loses their servers for two days, no one dies, but for the company it's the worst thing that could happen.

    Learn to put some salt on things, and they'll taste better.

  • fanguad (unregistered) in reply to AT

    Here's a surprising non-WTF. I worked at the bursar's office at my university. Every semester, all outstanding student bills less than a dollar were just set to zero. This policy wasn't published anywhere, presumably to prevent students from cheating the school out of $12 or so.

    Still, that's totally how these things should be run. Who really cares if you're $1 short on your $10,000 bill?

  • Andy Goth (cs) in reply to jou
    jou:
    Well... I've got a invoice for 0.00 once.
    Were you threatened with disconnection, etc. if you didn't pay?
  • h (unregistered) in reply to jou
    jou:
    Well... I've got a invoice for 0.00 once.
    The real question remains, did you pay?
  • burmance (unregistered) in reply to Leon
    Comment held for moderation.
  • b0red (unregistered) in reply to Leon
    Leon:
    GMo:
    Not something you want to happen to your mission-critical system.

    Places it is appropriate to use the phrase "mission-critical":

    1. Front lines of the military
    2. NASA

    Right. It's completely innapropriate to use mission-critical when something is "only" completely essential to one's primarly plan of business.

  • webhamster (cs)

    I went back to university in 2003-2004 to finish the remaining credits on the degree I left stalled in 1997 when I got a "real job" in another city. With the crunch to finish two papers and a full-time job I was overdue returning a few books to the library by a day or so but I never heard anything from the library about overdue fees so I just assumed I got them back within a reasonable "forgiveness window".

    I got my degree in the spring of 2005. This spring (3 years after I graduated) I got a letter from them stating that I owed $1.34 in overdue fees dating back to 2004 and that failure to pay the amount would result in having my grades frozen for the current semester. I haven't paid the $1.34. What are they going to do? Revoke my degree?

  • Annon (unregistered)

    The Real WTF is everyone arguing over what the hell mission-critical means.

  • jas88 (unregistered) in reply to webhamster

    Mine threatened to block my graduation if I didn't pay the last sum remaining (something fairly trivial, in double figures) before some deadline several days prior to graduation. Not much of a WTF, but the fact they mailed this to me at home shortly before the graduation did mean I had to pay by card over the 'phone - any other payment route would have missed that deadline. You'd think they could have told me this BEFORE I went home for the (short) vacation between exams and graduation!

  • ParkinT (cs) in reply to Leon
    Leon:
    GMo:
    Not something you want to happen to your mission-critical system.

    Places it is appropriate to use the phrase "mission-critical":

    1. Front lines of the military
    2. NASA
    It is entirely dependent upon your mission. Flying to distant planets or manufacturing lingerie.
  • Thief^ (cs)

    Perhaps "business-critical" would be more accurate?

  • Claxon (cs) in reply to GMo
    GMo:
    Leon:
    GMo:
    Not something you want to happen to your mission-critical system.

    Places it is appropriate to use the phrase "mission-critical":

    1. Front lines of the military
    2. NASA

    Author's words, not mine. What a d!ck.

    Places it is appropriate to use the phrase "What a d!ck":-

    Actually, no I think I'll just leave this as a smutty inuendo...

  • PT (unregistered)

    When I canceled my Telewest cable subscription (moved out of the service area) I still received bills for several months afterward. Customer service told me I owed nothing, it's a computer glitch and I should ignore any further bills. So I did. And about six months later, my former landlord got in touch with me after receiving notice that bailiffs were going to start seizing property for non payment of bills.

  • John (unregistered)

    "Learn to put some salt on things, and they'll taste better."

    Yuk - no it won't, salt is foul, the powder of the devil.

    This is a clbuttic error in billing software - that reminds me, must finish writing billing software, and put checks in for stupidly small and stupidly large bills...

    Advice to ignore a disconnect order is trwtf, it's not something you risk (whether you're selling books or saving lives)

  • tRENT (unregistered)

    I also got multiple invoice from the government once for $0, I called and called to try to get this problem fixed, but could never. So I finally wrote a check for $0 dollars and that corrected the problem.

  • snoofle (cs) in reply to fanguad
    fanguad:
    Who really cares if you're $1 short on your $10,000 bill?
    Chase Manhattan.

    When I was in school, I had student loans totalling about $10K (thirty years ago). After working for a while, I decided to just pay it off. I called them and asked for the pay-off amount. They sent me a letter saying the amount was $xxx if paid by [date]. I sent in a check for that amount. Apparently, due to a round off error in their calculations, my balance was $0.01, which after several months of dunning me, they put in for collection.

    They refused to correct their data and wouldn't accept their own correspondance as proof of what they told me, so I sued them. Does their lawyer even call me before going to court? Of course not.

    We get in front of the judge and he asks me why I hadn't tried to work this out. I show him a 3 inch thick stack of correspondance (long before email) attesting to the fact that I had. I also stated that their lawyer never even tried to contact me. The judge ripped the Chase lawyer a new one and ordered him to get it fixed. The lawyer asks for my name and number (um, look at the summons) and says I'll be called in 3 days.

    Three days later, some VP of Fuck-ups at Chase calls and tells me that he is assigned to track down and work through my problem. Three months later, I told him I would no longer take his calls, and if it wasn't removed from my credit report, that I was going to sue him and the then CEO of Chase personally. It disappeared the next month, and I never heard from them again.

    I know it was only for one cent, but they pissed me off so much that it was the principal of the thing.

    Ya gotta love corporations and the drones that work for their billing departments.

  • stunned at the lack of skill (unregistered) in reply to webhamster
    webhamster:
    ...I got my degree in the spring of 2005. This spring (3 years after I graduated) I got a letter from them stating that I owed $1.34 in overdue fees dating back to 2004...
    I also graduated in spring 2005. A couple of years ago, I got a notice from the university about an unpaid parking ticket from 2002 threatening the same thing (forfeiting all of my classes for the quarter and being unable to register until it was paid).

    I think that I had parked in their lot with a car they didn't have on file, and at the time they had no way of knowing whose car it was, so they couldn't send a ticket. But they kept that information on file until over four years later, when they got hooked up to the state license registry and could connect that plate number to me.

    I called and told them I wasn't paying an almost 5 year old parking ticket I'd never been notified about, and fortunately they said no problem and just removed it.

  • Brady Kelly (proudly in Jo'burg) (unregistered) in reply to Xenocide
    Xenocide:
    Because it cost them more to post it then they were billing.

    Thanks for improving observational skills the world over.

  • Dave (unregistered) in reply to PT

    That happened to me with Telewest. It turned into a 'default' on my credit record and only six years later am I finally able to get credit again.

  • AT (unregistered)

    OK, I have an even better one: When I canceled my mobile account with Sprint a few years ago the last bill was something like $180. I paid the bill, but somehow they lost that information and kept billing me for the same amount (they actually had cashed the final payment check). I kept calling them to complain, but nothing would stop the threatening bills each month.

    Finally, they turned my account over to their internal collections department, which started calling to harass me at home. Now I'm really pissed off. I laid into the next collections person that called pretty good, and they researched my account and acknowledged that my final payment was received and that I didn't own anything.

    Apparently someone screwed up while trying to synchronize their internal systems, because the next bill I received was for $-180. Yes, now they owed me $180! For a couple of months I did nothing and the negative bill kept coming. So finally I called Sprint and said, "Look, I have no account with you. My balance should be zero, but if you think you owe me $180 then cut me a check and stop sending me this negative bill over and over."

    A couple of weeks later I received a check for $180 which I happily cashed and considered well-deserved compensation for my time dealing with their harassment!

  • Bob N Freely (unregistered) in reply to snoofle
    snoofle:
    Chase Manhattan. ... Ya gotta love corporations and the drones that work for their billing departments.

    Awesome. One boggles that a business with so much bureaucracy they can't deal with a $0.01 miscalculation at a customer-service level could continue to exist without collapsing under its own weight.

    Although, come to think of it, I guess I have a similar story. When I was in college, I was sharing an apartment, and had taken on the responsibility of paying the phone bill out of my checking account (roommate would pay me her share). One month, we got a bill from AT&T that said we had failed to pay the previous month. I checked my duplicate checks, and saw that I had cut one for the proper amount. I checked my bank statement, and sure enough, the check had been cashed. I called AT&T and got the run-around for a while before finally being transferred to the accounting department where I got to talk to a manager. He claimed they had no payment on file for my account, and did not believe me when I told him they had cashed the check.

    In the end, I had to call my bank and request a copy of the canceled check be mailed to AT&T, and also requested a copy for myself. When it arrived, it became obvious what the problem was. I had forgotten to write the account (phone) number that the payment was for on the check. Whoever was processing payments that day must have lost the payment portion of the bill that I put in the envelope. They resorted to reading the address information I had on my checks, which at that time was still my parents' home address. So they looked it up and actually wrote my parents' phone number on the "memo" line and credited the amount to their account. When I talked to the accounting manager again, he denied any responsibility on behalf of AT&T, claiming that I must have written the number there, because surely none of his employees would do that (I'm pretty sure they could be charged with fraud for that). It was pretty clear, because the handwriting was completely different. After arguing with him for a while about why I would be paying for my parents' phone bill, and why I would fake different handwriting to do it, he finally agreed to contact my parents and confirm that it was okay to remove the payment from their account and apply it to mine. I don't think he ever called them, probably because he was too afraid of admitting a mistake, but he did credit my account.

    All that over about $40 in charges. I always write the account number on checks when I pay my bills now. And yes, I still use paper checks for that in most cases. I now have the bank mail me all my canceled checks and keep them on file for a couple years. Call me old fashioned, but I just like having physical proof that they received payment.

    Then there's the time we had several hundred dollars in overseas calls appear on our bill. But that's another story.

  • Anonymous Cow-Herd (unregistered) in reply to h
    h:
    If Amazon loses their servers for two days, no one dies, but for the company it's the worst thing that could happen.
    Keith Mandement:
    In 1975, no one died. In 1976, no one died. In 1977, no one died. In 1978, no one died. In 1979, no-one died. In 1980... someone died. In 1981, no one died. In 1982 there was the incident with the pigeon.
  • Bob N Freely (unregistered) in reply to AT
    AT:
    "Look, I have no account with you. My balance should be zero, but if you think you owe me $180 then cut me a check and stop sending me this negative bill over and over."

    A couple of weeks later I received a check for $180 which I happily cashed and considered well-deserved compensation for my time dealing with their harassment!

    Nice. That's how the bureaucracy works sometimes. When you owe money, they automatically forward it to collections, no matter what the amount is. When they owe you money, it has to be reviewed by a person to be resolved. Unless it's a really significant amount of money, it's always cheaper and easier for them to just cut a check instead of investigating the cause of the discrepancy.

  • snoofle (cs) in reply to Bob N Freely
    Bob N Freely:
    it's always cheaper and easier for them to just cut a check instead of investigating the cause of the discrepancy.
    Cheaper? Yes. Easier? Yes. Will they do it that way? As indicated by the stories above, probably not, because the drones doing the monkey work don't care about P&L.
  • Joe (unregistered) in reply to Annon
    Annon:
    The Real WTF is everyone arguing over what the hell mission-critical means.

    Wrong. Arguing over what "mission critical" means CAN be important. Like when you're in a budget meeting competing for money. Director asks how important your area is. Your response "We run a mission critical environment". Guy after you says "Errmmm...". You win.

  • pmv (unregistered)

    I got something similar to this the other day, from whoever gave me my school loan, only it was for 52 cents (I'm not sure how much the postage was), and they were threatening to report me to the credit agencies. When I finally got them on the phone I asked where the 52 cent charge was coming from, they told me I didn't pay my last bill in its entirety.

    me: "Well, how much was my last bill." them: "118 dollars." me: "I paid 130 dollars, didn't I?" them: "Yes I see that." me: "Then why do I still ow 52 cents?" them: "I'm not sure, can you please hold." me: "Sure."

    I almost said to never mind, I can afford the 52 cents, but I was curious. After about 15 minutes the lady came back still unsure how I have a 52 cent balance when I overpay my bill every month. Instead of contesting the charge I just told them I'd pay it on my next bill.

  • savar (cs) in reply to GMo
    GMo:
    Leon:
    GMo:
    Not something you want to happen to your mission-critical system.

    Places it is appropriate to use the phrase "mission-critical":

    1. Front lines of the military
    2. NASA

    Author's words, not mine. What a d!ck.

    My mission is to eat lunch. Having money in my pocket is mission critical. This has nothing to do with NASA or the military.

  • Bob N Freely (unregistered) in reply to snoofle
    snoofle:
    Bob N Freely:
    it's always cheaper and easier for them to just cut a check instead of investigating the cause of the discrepancy.
    Cheaper? Yes. Easier? Yes. Will they do it that way? As indicated by the stories above, probably not, because the drones doing the monkey work don't care about P&L.

    Like I said, it depends on who owes money to whom. If their records indicate they owe you a small amount of money, standard practice is to just pay it. If you think about it, it makes sense. They could pay the money, or investigate to fix their records. They might find they have to pay it anyway, in which case, they just wasted time and money investigating. The amount at which it becomes an issue worth investigating is dependent on the company in question.

  • Matt (unregistered)

    You have to love stuff like this. A couple of weeks ago here we had a OMFGTHEWORLDISGOINGTOEND moment when someone found that we had been incorrectly billing an item on our customer bills for 9 months (in the customer's favor). I knew the charge, and knew that for our largest customers, the bill line item was usually 1-2 cents.

    Anyway, long story short, I spent a week of my time fixing it and doing an impact analysis to find out it cost us $58.

    Granted the problem needed to be fixed, but it was disheartening that should a big deal was made over it when we had other items that needed more priority.

  • Jay (unregistered) in reply to Leon
    Leon:
    GMo:
    Not something you want to happen to your mission-critical system.

    Places it is appropriate to use the phrase "mission-critical":

    1. Front lines of the military
    2. NASA

    Places it is appropriate to use the phrase "mission-critical":

    1. Front lines of the military
    2. NASA
    3. The system that prints my paycheck
  • snoofle (cs) in reply to Matt
    Matt:
    Granted the problem needed to be fixed, but it was disheartening that should a big deal was made over it when we had other items that needed more priority.
    All kneel to The Process! Praise be The Process!
  • bramster (unregistered) in reply to Leon
    Leon:
    GMo:
    Not something you want to happen to your mission-critical system.

    Places it is appropriate to use the phrase "mission-critical":

    1. Front lines of the military
    2. NASA

    and missionaries?

  • res (unregistered) in reply to fanguad
    fanguad:
    Here's a surprising non-WTF. I worked at the bursar's office at my university. Every semester, all outstanding student bills less than a dollar were just set to zero. This policy wasn't published anywhere, presumably to prevent students from cheating the school out of $12 or so.

    Still, that's totally how these things should be run. Who really cares if you're $1 short on your $10,000 bill?

    The taxman cares...

  • Franz Kafka (unregistered) in reply to bramster
    bramster:
    Leon:
    GMo:
    Not something you want to happen to your mission-critical system.

    Places it is appropriate to use the phrase "mission-critical":

    1. Front lines of the military
    2. NASA

    and missionaries?

    Any reason you left off the paycheck line item? Paying your employees is certainly mission critical, assuming you want to have them next month.

  • Otis P Criblecoblis (unregistered)

    Due to a rounding error when calculating sales tax, I once received a bill for one cent which included 12 pre-addressed envelopes so that I could make monthly payments.

  • Random832 (cs) in reply to pmv
    pmv:
    I got something similar to this the other day, from whoever gave me my school loan, only it was for 52 cents (I'm not sure how much the postage was)

    Probably not that much - it was only so much in the OP because they sent it certified (because it was a disconnection notice i guess)

    and they were threatening to report me to the credit agencies. When I finally got them on the phone I asked where the 52 cent charge was coming from, they told me I didn't pay my last bill in its entirety.

    me: "Well, how much was my last bill." them: "118 dollars." me: "I paid 130 dollars, didn't I?" them: "Yes I see that." me: "Then why do I still ow 52 cents?" them: "I'm not sure, can you please hold." me: "Sure."

    I almost said to never mind, I can afford the 52 cents, but I was curious. After about 15 minutes the lady came back still unsure how I have a 52 cent balance when I overpay my bill every month. Instead of contesting the charge I just told them I'd pay it on my next bill.

    And what happens the next month when it happens again?

  • wolrah (cs)

    After having tried a few times to get a VoIP system working reliably in Windstream territory and failing every time because they can't seem to keep their DSL lines up for more than 8 hours at once, I'm not at all surprised to see this. It takes a lot to look dumber than Comcast, but Windstream pulls it off.

  • SomeCoder (unregistered)

    This is really minor compared to what some of you have posted but it goes along with PR and good publicity.

    A few months ago when Burger King was doing their whole Indiana Jones promotions, my wife ended up with one of those scratch off things. She ended up winning a free sandwich which she then gave to me.

    I put the ticket in my wallet and went to BK like a week later. When I presented the ticket, the manager told me she couldn't accept it because the other side got scratched slightly while being in my wallet.

    Now, you couldn't see what the other side was. It could have been the billion dollars or whatever big prize they were giving away was for all I knew. All she knew was that there were scratches on it so that was it.

    All this over a $1.50 sandwich and I probably would have spent more getting a drink and whatever else. There were quite a few people around me that thought it was insane too.

    I won't be going back to BK.

    The point of this little story: Is it really worth it to companies to fight $0.01 charges and have bad PR? Apparently a lot of the drones in the company think so.

  • Bob N Freely (unregistered) in reply to Otis P Criblecoblis
    Otis P Criblecoblis:
    Due to a rounding error when calculating sales tax, I once received a bill for one cent which included 12 pre-addressed envelopes so that I could make monthly payments.

    I would so be tempted to start sending them checks for 1/12 of a cent. Just to see if they tried to cash them. Or better yet, cut a penny into 12 equal wedges and send one a month.

  • Random832 (cs) in reply to Brady Kelly (proudly in Jo'burg)
    Brady Kelly (proudly in Jo'burg):
    Xenocide:
    Because it cost them more to post it then they were billing.

    Thanks for improving observational skills the world over.

    There was a post before this one (now deleted) that was asking what's the WTF.

  • webhamster (cs)

    Here's another one where I got a little satisfaction out paying a bill. This one was entirely legitimate but the scenario was still crazy...

    I don't make a lot of long distance calls so I rarely get long distance bills. Anyway, I had to call up a buddy on the other side of town (which for some reason is deemed to be long distance) but he wasn't home so I got his machine and left a message.

    The next month I got a bill from my long distance provider for $0.05 (the cost of leaving that message). I went to my online banking and paid it. The next month I got a notice from them that basically said "Hey, we got your 5 cents. Thanks a bunch!"

    By my math it cost them at least $1.04 to collect that 5 cents from me (in postage for the bill and the notice) and who knows how much more in processing time.

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