It is often said that computers usually don’t make mistakes – but when they do, it’s not a mistake, it a gaping blunder. Nothing could prove this better than a recent instance where a French woman received a phone bill which asked her to pay 12 quadrillion euros as fine for terminating her phone contract early.
Solenne San Jose applied to have her phone contract terminated because she recently went out of work. Naturally, she had to pay some amount of money for the early termination and for that, her provider Bouygues Telecom sent her a bill.
When she opened up the bill, it was probably the shock of her life. The amount she had been asked to pay totaled 12 quadrillion euros. That number comes with a whole lot of zeros. Jose later said, “I almost had a cardiac arrest! There were so many zeros I could not even work out how much it was.”
She immediately called up the helpline. And, as happens in many cases with customer helplines, she couldn’t get any help there. The guy on the other side of the phone kept telling her that if she received the bill, she’ll have to pay it.
Fortunately, sanity prevailed when someone at the company finally understood what a mistake it had been. The original sum that she was required to pay, it was later revealed, was a mere €117.21. In admittance of the mistake it had made, the telecom provider thankfully waived her fine and sent her a bunch of flowers for having caused the incident.