Thursday, December 14, 2006

Basic Math (the Verizon way)

This is so embarrassing I want to cry—it's 22 minute audio clip, but worth it:

Verizon repeatedly quotes a data transfer rate of 0.002 cents per kilobyte. When one customer uses 35,893 kilobytes, he owes—according to Verizon's quote—35,893kb X 0.002 cents, which equals 71.786 cents. It sounds like painfully simple math, but at least three service reps repeatedly quoted this customer as owing 71.786 dollars... even after he walks them through the math!

What's so astonishing is that it's not a very hard math problem to illustrate if you use multiples of 10 to get a feel for how large the final number should be:

1kb X 0.002 cents = 0.002 cents
10kb X 0.002 cents = 0.02 cents
100kb X 0.002 cents = 0.2 cents
1,000kb X 0.002 cents = 2 cents
10,000kb X 0.002 cents = 20 cents
30,000kb X 0.002 cents = 60 cents
35,893kb X 0.002 cents = 71.786 cents

How do those cent units become dollar units??? Verizon's service reps must have kept looking at their computer screen instead of relying on grade school mathematics and common sense. It turns out Verizon's actual rate is 0.002 dollars per kb, but they fundamentally didn't understand the difference between quoting cent units vs. dollar units.

Fortunately, Verizon eventually came to their senses, perhaps after being publically humiliated via that dude's blog:
Dear George Vaccaro,

Thank you for your reply. Again, I apologize for the miscommunications regarding this issue and for your frustration and inconvenience as a result.

In review of your account a previous representative has credited for the data charges in question for \$71.79. You may take this amount off of your current amount due. In the future please keep in mind that it is .002 dollars per KB while in Canada.

It has been a pleasure assisting you today, and we appreciate your business. Have a wonderful week!

Sincerely,

Michelle
Verizon Wireless
Customer Service

"We never stop working for you!"

1 comment:

koki said...

WOW, verizon doesn't know math, i am 15 n i bearly know math and i know the difference, i feel you, so they charged you 2 cent per KB right instead of .002 of a cent, they are dumb