Every wonder how companies manage to stay in business after totally shafting their customers? Companies do it all the time… say one thing and do another. Or just not do what they say they will. Or better yet, do something they say this will not. It is bound to happen, as long as humans are involved with the process, that mistakes will occur.
I have been the on the business end of a few bad customer experiences myself, but none have been as awesome as that of George Vaccaro, the poor soul that could not find a single Verizon customer service rep that would attest to a difference between 0.002 dollars and 0.002 cents. This dude had the wherewithal to record two of his conversations with Verizon when he was erroneously charged for data transfers while in Canada.
For the record, a friend of mine, Matthew Turland, posted a link to the xkcd.com posting of this issue on Facebook and after reading the initial blub I decided to listen to the audio. At 27 minutes it weighed in pretty hefty, but since it was only audio I figured I could still work while it was playing.
I was a little wrong on that. Not because I couldn’t work while listening. No, it was more because I couldn’t work while laughing so hard. The seemingly mindless drones that work for Verizon (or worked for them) could not answer in the affirmative the question of “Is 0.002 dollars the same as 0.002 cents?”. Not the first level representative, not the level 2, not the supervisor. It was freaking awesome.
Which kinda goes to show you that you can succeed in business even if you are a dumb as a bag of hammers. If you can answer a phone and charge people for anything you want and for any amount you want, contract or not, then you are well on your way to millions. They may not be reliable millions, but do you really need to be concerned with that? 0.002 doctors would say probably not.