A woman in southwest France, who received a telephone bill of nearly 12 quadrillion euros, has had the real amount she owed waived — after the company admitted its mistake.
Solenne San Jose, from Pessac outside Bordeaux, said she received a huge shock when she opened the bill for 11,721,000,000,000,000 euros.
She said she “almost had a heart attack. There were so many zeroes I couldn’t even work out how much it was.”
This is nearly 6,000 times France’s annual economic output. The former teaching assistant had requested her account be closed after losing her job.
The phone company, Bouygues Telecom, initially told her there was nothing they could do to amend the computer-generated statement and later offered to set up installments to pay off the bill.
In the end, the company admitted the bill should have been for 117.21 euros only, and eventually waived it altogether.
It has also apologized for the gaffe, which it says was down to a printing error and a subsequent misunderstanding between the client and staff at their call center.
1. waive v.
免除；放棄 (mian3 chu2; fang4 qi4)
例: The defendant waived his right to appeal his sentence.
2. work out v. phr.
解決；成功 (jie3 jue2; cheng2 gong1)
例: I don’t think their long distance relationship will work out.
3. installment n.
分期付款 (fen1 qi2 fu4 kuan3)
例: You can pay the income tax in installments.