Sunday, August 26, 2007

Original Recording of Verizon Customer Service Call

Here is a repost of my verizon call using blogspot's new video feature:


video

157 comments:

admin said...

We understand 1 second = 1 minute.

www.myvalidas.com

kmanning2008 said...

People need to get this message. I'm going to post this on the blog I have with a bunch of friends and probably circulate it anywhere else I can.

Just listening to the recording from that phone call made me want to kick my computer...I can't believe that they don't understand the difference between a dollar and a penny.

I also find it very "convenient" that youtube deleted your video. Can we say "payoff"?

Good luck with this whole thing,
-kmanning2008
http://lolqft.blogspot.com

Joshua said...

Verizon = Morons!

M said...

This is INSANITY. I'm sending this to everyone I know. I found a link to your blog on a forum for owners of Acura cars, so the word is getting out. And we understand BASIC math... Good Luck.

erik said...

hahahahha. It's like trying to teach a 5 year old calculus. But in this case its a grown-up and 1:st grade math =)

Alex said...

Can you get AT&T to fund you to take that bill to court or as public as you can?

Tanzigirl said...

Unbelievable, after at least 12 years in our countries school system, these people can't do or understand basic math. These people aren't even the normal hourly workers but managers! I would have lost it long before that recording started.....

Ryan said...

i agree this is insane! however, i think you could have solved the issue or at least made it more clear by talking the rep. through the equation. you kept giving examples of the problem, but not actually using the specific numbers of the problem.

e.g. "take .002, divide by 1000, multiple the minutes, there's your answer."

the whole time i was listening to your conversation i was hoping you would do that. just my .02 CENTS.

Gavin Silver said...

JFGI Verizon!


(.002 (U.S. cents / KB)) * 35 893 KB = 0.71786 U.S. dollars


VS.

(.002 (U.S. dollars / KB)) * 35 893 KB = 71.78600 U.S. dollars

Señor said...

Isn't there a way for you to sue them? AFAIK, a verbal compromise is valid and they are ignoring it using their ignorance as an excuse. I used to have Verizon, but I cancel the service one time I called them to ask them why I was dropping calls when my cell phone was showing me 5 points of signal. The conversation was like this: "Are you indoors sir?" "No, I am not, in fact, I am in the middle of a playground, no trees, no buildings nearby, 5 points of signal, and I am dropping calls... " -"Ok, this is what happens: when you try to walk through a door that is closed, you can't! it is the same for the airwaves... walls are closed doors to them" -"Yes, I know that. I am doing a PhD in EE so I probably do know that better than you. My point is that, right now, I have 5 points of signal, I am in the middle of a field, and I am dropping calls. My phone is 2 weeks old, so I doubt it is the phone, hence I want to know if you are making changes in my area" -"Sir, if you are indoors, we cannot guarantee anything" -"But when I drop the calls I am outdoors, hence your argument doesn't hold" -"Sir, I am sorry for the inconvenience. If you are outdoors you should have no problems" -"I know, that is why I am asking you why I am having them outdoors" -"I suggest you to go to a Verizon Wireless store, they can explain you better why you drop calls outdoors".

And so, I went to a Verizon Wireless store... the very same one where I bought my cell phone, and they tell me: "hmm.. This should be your phone. I am going to be honest with you, this phones are bad... buy a new one, a better one!" -"But I bought this one 2 weeks ago!!!" -"yes, but you can change it for something better!" -"So, are you telling me that you are selling phones that you know are going to fail, so people have to expend more money?" -"No... I am telling you that this model of phone is not really good, so you should change it to solve your problem" -"But you sold this phone 2 weeks ago. Furthermore, you are still selling it..." -"so, do you want to see a new model?" -"No, I want an answer... are you selling phones that you know are defective, and then suggesting people to buy another model? That is what you are telling me" -"But the other model is better, so you win" (by this time, since I was speaking louder and moving through the store, I had enough people looking already at the argument) -"So, you sold me this phone two weeks ago, now you are telling me this model is not good, you are not taking any responsibility whatsoever, and are asking me to change it, right?" -"sir, with a better phone you will not have that problem" -"Please, answer my question... did you tell me that this model is defective yes or no?" -"sir, with a different mod..." -"Yes or no?" -"It is not a good model, ok" -"And you are still selling it, right? is that the model you have there in display, and the one that this other person is choosing, right? (I pointed to one of the guys that was looking at the argument) is the same model?" -"Sir, with a diff..." -"Is it the same model, yes or no?" -"yes, but if you buy a diff..." -"Ok, so you are selling models that you know are defective, so you can sell another phone two weeks later..." (the guy that was going to buy that phone walked away from the store) -"do you want to discuss this privately in my office?" -"No, I have had enough from you". I left, I send a letter complaining, never got an answer. I cancelled my contract, had to pay the penalty fees, but much better than dealing with those incompetents.

legofurby said...

My teacher just did a lesson on the .002 money issue. It's absurd how some people can confuse dollars and cents. Anyway, the lesson got the message across that students need math!

ashleyisachild said...

wow man, i feel your pain. i couldn't listen to that whole call, but seriously! the guy didn't know the difference between .002 dollars and .002 cents!

staying away from verizon in the future....

imnotgivingmy said...

Have you already paid the bill? If you havent, take them to court. IF you when they will fix your bill and have to pay the court fees (that includes any lawyers you hire. you can also get some one who has a degree in math to call up to the stand, further proving your case)

T said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
T said...

Oh man! I hate dealing with crazy customer service issues. Saw about this story on an Infiniti FX owner's thread. I can't BELIEVE they can't see the difference between dollars and cents. Problem is, the value in question isn't a sum worth going to court over.

Glad they took care of you!

Mary said...

Math is NOT a difference of opinion! I cannot believe a manager told you that.

I couldn't stop listening to this entire train wreck of a call.

I will never ever switch to Verizon. Ever. (Thankfully I am not with Verizon right now.)

in4mer said...

In reality, it doesn't matter whether you go to verizon wireless or any other company. You will always run into the same problems because of the way our society has been created. These "faceless" companies are protected because there isn't someone who owns the business, there are shareholders, more than one person. Workers are working because they need money, businesses are there to make money, no one is there to solve YOUR problem or issues with the company.

I could go on and on, but in the end, there really isn't anything you can do. The only thing "we" can do is to stop supporting capitalism, which is profit friendly, NOT people friendly.

Ragnar said...

My mind truly hurts!
I resorted to eye-twitching...

PowerofWords said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PowerofWords said...

My brain hurts, I'm 15 minutes into the video and the guy you're talking to honestly doesn't understand that he's calculating in cents.....it's mind boggling......and then the lady comes on the phone at 15 min in, and sounds insulted that you won't accept their bogus crap math.

Benjamin Coleman said...

LOL. So dumb! Good on you for your patience!

Blahg said...

I work in Verizon Customer Service and I cant believe what you went through on this call I wanted to strangle the supervisor what the hell is the problem with him! I am so sorry you are awesome though I would have been yelling at him.

Mallamun said...

Oh my god. Are you f-ing kidding me? And you spoke with this many people? What the heck? Did nobody cover UNITS with them in the 5th grade?

I am... I mean... I don't even know what to say. ...Wow.

Excuse me while I show this video to everyone I know...

Benjamin said...

Ah, I think I know why YouTube removed it. It's got that woman's phone number right at the end.

Peace said...

facebook video it :)

vzwrep said...

I AM A VERIZON WIRELESS REP AND I DO UNDERSTAND OF THE MISUNDERSTANDING BETWEEN REP AND VALUED CUSTOMER. I DO (PERSONALLY) UNDERSTAND THE ISSUE OF BEING QUOTED ".002 CENTS" WHEN PUT INTO PAPER FORM AND THE CHARGES USED WAS USED AT ".002 DOLLARS". JUST PUTTING IT OUT THERE THAT I UNDERSTAND.

Mads said...

OMG! "This is obviously a difference of opinion" - I love how you can keep your cool man, I would have tracked them down with an axe by now if that was me

smellyfoot jones said...

Unbelievable. I am a lurker and never comment, but now had to to release the anger this brought up in me.

The "In4mer" person's comment summed it up. Verizon isn't the problem, you will find service reps everywhere who wouldn't understand this issue. It's more than a math misunderstanding, it's a metrical analysis misunderstanding.

Listening to this I figured the only way to resolve this is in court; hopefully a judge is smart enough to understand it, especially with a lawyer spelling it out with diagrams. But the court costs would probably be more than the $71.79 bill, which makes this a no-win situation.

You are the victim of the a lack of understanding and education in today's society. There's nothing you can do, which is frustrating and sad. If you were dumb, like these service reps, you wouldn't have done the math and found the billing error, and everyone would be happy.

Ignorance is bliss?

alirazaq said...

These people are retarded, although you could have just said .002c is = .00002$ so multiply my kb by .00002

David said...

"It's obviously a difference of opinion"

I'm totally using that line for my thesis defense.

Brianne said...

Are you all crazy??? There is NO difference between $.002 and .002 cents!! This supposed "math" is incorrect on the part of the person who created this video. In math the general rule is what ever you do to one side of the equation you have to do to the other. The author incorrectly posted:
$.002 does not = .002 cents
$.002=.2 cents
See anything wrong? I do, you cannot remove the 00's from one side of an equation and not from the other; thus $.002 still equals .002 cents. I am a very happy Verizon customer and they have done nothing but make me proud to say they are my carrier. Did you know they spent 6.5 billion dollars on their network last year? T-mobile spent a meer 3 billion and AT&T also lagging with 5 billion. The problem with consumers is that they want. They feel that they are ENTITLED to new phones whenever they feel like it or free services when it best suites them. And that i'm afraid it what we as America have come to except. Well grow up CHILDREN! You can't always get what you want!

Mailbox said...

Another Verizon Wireless rep here.

I joined Verizon after your situation and I can tell you, during training, they made it VERY clear to us there is a huge difference between 0.002 cents and 0.002 dollars, even going so far as to say in one document "DO NOT QUOTE THE CUSTOMER .002 CENTS" so apparently you and anyone else that encountered this were finally recognized. I remember that sticking out in training wondering what caused them to put that in their training docs, and now I see why..

Seeing this is definitely embarrassing, but knowing how stubborn my coworkers and supervisors can be, its not surprising. The most rewarding part of my day is taking a call from someone thats been screwed around by previous reps and being able to buck the trend of just "going from what the remarks say" and actually being able to help them.

Also, Brianne, what you're saying would be right but you need to realize in the first line he said it DOES NOT EQUAL then in the second he says it DOES EQUAL. Theres no math being done between the first and second lines. Instead, hes taking the incorrect first line and showing in the second line how it would look if it was correct.

mw said...

This is one of the funniest things I've ever heard on the web :)

Awesome...

in·de·scrib·a·ble [in-di-skrahy-buh-buhl] said...

Oh dear...... You are too patient!!!!

I just want to cry....

blahg said...

As I said before, I work in Verizon customer service. The other day we were all in a training about Broadband Access and the trainer used you as an example. I believe his exact words were "THIS IS WHY YOU MAKE SURE YOU DOUBLE CHECK BEFORE QUOTING A PRICE ON KB USAGE! DONT JUST TRY TO GUESS! AND MAKE SURE YOU NOTATE THE ACCOUNT CORRECTLY!" Trust me you have impacted this company GREATLY. I am embarassed on behalf of the representatives that you spoke with.

George Vaccaro said...

@everyone, thanks for stopping by and for your comments.

@verizon reps, thanks for your comments. It's nice to know 1) I may have helped others to avoid this in the future, and 2) that there are some good reps over there :).

@brianne, talk to a math teacher or other smart person ;), they should be able to explain the issue to you.

mark said...

Dude, did you ever get the issue resolved? I hope all those reps involved got sent back to 3rd grade.

ps. Don't you think Verizon should open a bank... I'll put in 0.002cents x 100000... and they'll magically turn it all into dollars for me ;)

Fábio said...

Here in Brasil (Brazil) we call it "propaganda enganosa".

Phoenix said...

It's only going to get worse in the future. I keep reading about the standardized testing being made easier and easier so more kids will pass them. I go to the store and have people hand me back the change I give them telling me they don't need it. Well, sure you don't need it, but I'd rather have a $3.25 back instead of $3.14. And they don't seem to get that I gave them $10.11 for a reason.

missy said...

I liked the comment about the teacher who used this in math class to teach the students about why math is important. Maybe this is a lesson for the education system. Maybe we need to be teaching kids mathematical (and I'll argue scientific) principals using real life examples...things that they can relate to...instead of showing them the theory behind it all. Leave the theory for the college math & science majors. Teach practical, everyday math & science at the K-12 levels.

junkdt said...

Blogger Brianne said...
"Are you all crazy??? There is NO difference between $.002 and .002 cents!!"

My Master's Degree says I, and all the others here, are sane. You are incorrect, Brianne. By your logic, 20 ounces and 20 pounds are the same. 300 feet = 300 miles and 60 minutes = 60 years.

Your argument about what you do to one side of an equation you must do the other has algebraic merit, but a false equation is still false, in spite of manipulation. And, hanging different units on each side of the equation (in the cited case, cents and dollars) doesn't make it true.

I respect that you are a proud Verizon customer, and that you are impressed by their annual investments in infrastructure. Your missive suggests that you are actually a Verizon employee defending your company. However, that does not make .002 dollars and .002 cents equal amounts of money.

I'll "grow up" when you learn mathematics.

Adam said...

My only question is, what do you call $.99? You call it 99 cents.

So, it's a simple way of looking at it to think the rep saw $.002 and said it exactly as they would $.99.

TonnyLy said...

Hello. I find your blog very interesting. Good Customer Service is a rare thing at the present time. Although companies offering the same services are numerous and have somehow to drift on the market they still do not care about their clients. And the worst thing is that the customer services of these companies do not care about the filed complaints. They simply ignore them. What a mess!

George Vaccaro said...

@Adam,

notice you didn't call it "POINT ninety nine cents." By removing the point, you multipled by 100, and converted the units from dollars to cents, allowing you to say "cents."

With $.002 you can do the same thing, and the result would be .2 cents - "point two cents."

Does that answer your question?

Megs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelsey said...

I'm 15, and I even get it! I got so frustrated just listening to this!

How can people NOT see it?!

ElusiveGoose said...

"There's no point zero zero two dollars." Andrea talks about the number as if it doesn't exist.

The interesting thing is, that probably 99% of the US population deals with parts of a cent on a regular basis. When one goes to fill up his or her gas tank, the cost is always some amount (in dollars) and nine tenths of a cent per gallon. For example, last time I filled up, it was one point five nine nine dollars per gallon ($1.599/gal)

Perhaps this misunderstanding (on the part of several Verizon CSRs) is in part due to not being familiar with a system of base ten units like the metric system. Alternatively, one could argue that perhaps none of our units should be base 10, so that when one switches between units, the numbers look altogether different.

I have taught mathematics at the high school level, and currently at a university, and I am most certainly going to incorporate this into my lessons and make sure that my students know and understand the difference. Furthermore, I'm going to make sure they know how to multiply numbers with units, and figure out what the resulting solution and units are.

Quiddity said...

Years later, this audio is still making the rounds. I feel for you. Painful. Verizon drives me up a wall too but this sounds more like phone calls I've had with insurance companies ...

Tom said...

unreal...

so unreal, that is actually probably worth being ripped off the $71 for this ridiculous entertainment.

Accountability said...

verizon is the absolute WORST. i wonder how much money they have actually stolen from people...
Even after acknowledging that they have lied to you about pricing they are still free to steal your money...And this happens everyday not only with Canadian rates but with text message rates, pic. message rates, navigation/gps rates, etc...
They tried to/are still attempting to charge me $500 dollars for text message usage even though I was on an unlimited text-message plan (and had been for 1.5 yrs!).
They lie to your face and say that you are signed up for a certain plan and/or that you will be charged a certain rate, but when your bill comes, BIG SURPRISE ;)

After making phone calls and stressing-out trying to convey to every rep that all logic has been lost at Verison...I request to simply re-listen to my customer service calls...They don't care.

The only thing I can decide is that it is bs to pay...Verizon
then has collection agencies pursue stealing your money.
Gross and shameful.

Awesome that you were one of the lucky ones to get it on tape!
Death to verizon!!! :)

*Strength and Unity through understanding verizon sucks.

Accountability said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elena said...

I just heard this, am so sorry for the complete stupidity of some people, and am going to spread the word. Hopefully Andrea and all of her idiot collegues will somehow hear this again. She still might not understand, but at least she knows that I think she's a dumbass.

Elisabeth said...

You could say:
Covert 1 dollar into pennies.
They say: "100 pennies in a Dollar"
Alright, so, that means, you have to multiply .002 cents by 100 to get the actual dollar value of: .00002 dollars. Then multiply that by the Kb usage and you get what you owe.
I'm sorry, this sounds incredibly frustrating.

Rathan Haran said...

This still cracks me up! Did you know that the Senator of Arkansas wanted to change every textbook to reduce pi to 3.14. I wonder what the buildings would look like down there.

I hope you don't mind I re-posted the check on my blog.

http://www.webinometry.com

Kanacali said...

This is really getting sad, I think you should just go to a verizon store and talk to them firsthand. Might work better.

Bbattz said...

Dear George Vaccaro,

I used to be mathematically retarded too. But after your fantastic half hour lecture, I now knows the difference between a dollar and a cents. I was hoping that you gave other amazing lectures in economics so that one day I may rule the world. Thank you for making America the greatest city in the world by helping it simplest people. Sorry about verizon... they suck.

swivelgames said...

You should be able to sue for this, correct? If they're quoting you different then you're being charged you should be able to bring this to court. Am I right?

The Demo said...

The only way this will ever be understood by the majority of Americans is for us to finally convert to metric. I understand that .5 cm is different than .5m. They are grossly different and the problem here is none of these reps get that. They understand simple things requiring no decimals. 16 oz = 1 lb. No decimal. Once ya start flinging those around, people here who do not understand their usage are screwed.

Kristin Pettingill said...

This is unbelievable. What idiots. You apparently don't have to take a basic math class to work for Verizon.

Ryan said...

Posted on my blog as well (http://gradysghost.doesntexist.com/blogman) and also on a social bookmarking site called HighCow. http://www.highcow.com

dick-o said...

amazing, there are those that will never understand and one of the writers said it, it will only get worst.
go to any store and buy something, they don't count back the change and if you give them a balance difference of say the item cost is $2.67 and you give them $5.17, they look at you like what the *ell are you doing and try to give back the 17cents because they don't have a clue how to enter it or what to give back.

Jim said...

I have a strange desire to call Andrea @ 888.581.1070 xt 2234 and see if she still has a job after such arrogance and outright lack of follow through.

She and the person before her both use their position as some sort of proof that they are immune to making mistakes. Even at first glance or minor error I could totally understand someone making this mistake. While the difference is clear and genuine it's the little things that get us, but pure ignorance just for the sake of being right.

My favorite part was when Andrea was asked if she acknowledged the difference between $.5 and .5 cents and she said yes. However there suddenly "is no difference" between $.002 and .002 cents

JosephKnight said...

I just called Verizon sales with 2 separate calls to find out if years later this is still a problem...

both reps incorrectly quoted me Canadian bandwidth charges of .002 cents/kb. Both reps argued that I was wrong and they were right. I asked them to give me an example of what I'd pay if I downloaded 1,000kb and the answer was always incorrectly $2.00.

"My finance calculator is telling me $2!". It was telling her "2.0" but she was reading the answer in dollars but quoting me in cents.

No matter what methods of calm, collected, and clear analogy I gave them, they would not admit that .002¢x1000 = 2¢. Not until I asked them what they were literally seeing as the documented rate on their screen. This is when it dawned on me. Why are they (and thereby most human beings) confused at these calculations and why does this continue to happen? Here's an answer.

I did this little social experiment in order to understand where our human reasoning is breaking down. If the same very specific problem is happening on multiple occasions there has to be a common cause. It's not necessarily their poor math skills or poor corporate cold-hearted customer care, or some nonsense like depending on capitalism.

The problem is simply design.

The left brained egg-head who decided to advertise their rates as a complex drawn out decimal both on their website and internally in their support documentation, he's the culprit. Why not communicate in a term easier than $.002 which is supposed to read as "point zero zero two dollars"? You see reps are going to look at this weird monetary unit and just do what they've done since they were small children. Announce it in "cents" because we all know that $.02 is "two cents". You see it's just a habit to say "cents" when you see a decimal immediately following a dollar sign! It's our habitual nature. If the egg-head had simply documented the rate as "you'll be charged 1/5 of a cent per kilobyte" or even ".2¢/kb" wouldn't that communicate better to both the customers and the reps?

In short, once the rep had read and interpreted the oddly written "$.002" as ".002 cents" it was carved in mental stone and never reconsidered for re-translation to a new concept. The problem is that the figure $.002 is simply a new and too confusing way to begin thinking about small rates. Why measure millimeters in units of kilometers? Leave it to our new and ever increasing rate of technology to spring fractions of a cent on us in new ways.

I'm an avid supporter or empathy in writing and design. You have to think about how your readers and viewers are going to interpret about what you're creating.

Don't blame all of Verizon (although I probably won't use them for other reasons), this is a poor reactive generalization. Don't even blame the support agents who are just trying to make it through life with their bland jobs. Blame the egg-head who decided to communicate in obscure formats. Blame the guy that one of the reps I spoke to called their "smart, resident mathematician". Usually those who focus on left-brained logic ignore the right-brained creativity and empathy.

Let this be a lesson to us to remain well-balanced individuals.

Enjoy my report and, please, comments are welcome.

Joseph Knight
http://www.JosephKnight.com

John said...

This is terrible. I just received this link and wonder if this has been resolved. What a mess.

the absurd said...

ahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

i'm so angry!!!!!!!!!

i strangely could not stop listening, while in agony the whole time.

Franswirth McClane said...

This was the most incredibly frustrating thing I've ever heard. I realize hindsight is 20/20, but one way you could have explained it would be to have explained it as a fraction. Then had them picture .002 cents as cutting off a sliver of a penny, and .002 dollars as cutting off a sliver of a dollar bill. Unless you did do that, I have to admit I couldn't bear to listen to then entire call. Either way, I'm guessing nothing would have worked with these people. I feel for you man!

Murphy said...

This was so unbelieveably frustrating to listen to. How can people not differenciate between 0.002¢ and $0.002? If they truly believe $1.00:1.00¢ then I'm going to start saving my pennies, and pay Verizon a visit.

Matthew said...

By far, the best thing on this entire site is Brianne.

"Are you all crazy??? There is NO difference between $.002 and .002 cents!! This supposed "math" is incorrect on the part of the person who created this video. In math the general rule is what ever you do to one side of the equation you have to do to the other. The author incorrectly posted:
$.002 does not = .002 cents
$.002=.2 cents
See anything wrong? I do, you cannot remove the 00's from one side of an equation and not from the other; thus $.002 still equals .002 cents."

Classic.

Eight Lo said...

I used to work for Cingular (now AT&T) in the customer service area. I can tell you: It's the training and the hiring methods. They will hire anybody without a criminal record (at the time I didn't even have a GED), and the training doesn't help.

One of my first calls was from a lady who had been told that there was service in her area. I looked it up, and found out that there was minor service in areas of her zip code (what we're trained to use to look it up). Problem was: There was no service. So, I looked it up using her address (the option was right there in the system). NO SERVICE. Fantastic. The training doesn't provide for you to think for yourself, though, and this sort of thing is so common it's insane. This is why I rarely ever call customer service for anything. They really don't know what they're doing.

aApe said...

You might want to contact your State Department of Consumer Services (or whatever it's called in your state - In FL, where I live, it's the Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services).

They likely have an entire office devoted to this type of thing - and in FL, at least, they are rabidly pro consumer, and that was even when JEB Bush was Gov.

I had a similar situation where I was quoted the same long distance rate for in state calls as out of state, and when the bill came, the in state calls, the only ones I make, were way higher than I was quoted.

Called the phone co, no help.

Filed a grievance with Ag and Consumer services, and in two weeks, the phone company sent me and apology letter, and fixed my bill.

haoypower said...

Holy crap lol... u payed $71 for 36mb of internet... epic fail

doduff said...

Wow... this is like an epic ... waiting for that beam of glorious knowledge to shine through... when they realize that a number does not automatically have units assigned to it... but no... it never happens... so addicting to listen to waiting for that moment of realization to happen... when that light of knowledge shines down... but it never does... so, so painful...

Fred said...

Please tell me that you got this resolved and actually got your money back. I suggest going to your local office, I bet you have better luck face to face.

Kellie vs. Jonathan, round 1 said...

This EXACT same thing just happened to me, but thankfully it was much much simpler. The guy over the phone quoted to me that I owed almost $200 for data usage. I asked him how much it was per kb, he said .002 cents, 20 cents. Then he corrected himself and said I mean 2 cents. I told him .002 was less than a cent, he said, hold on, put me on hold for a few minutes, came back on and said i owe $2. You would think they'd have a quick meeting with their CSRs about this problem. My office has meetings about much less - all the time.

Nat5802 said...

This is sad.
no offense but is the American school system really that bad?

HALEY said...

You should have brought in the difference between a dollar sign and a cents sign - it seems to me that would have made it easier for these morons to understand. "Just because there's a dollar sign in front of a decimal doesn't mean it's CENTS" is that I would have said. My blood pressure is through the roof just listening to this phone call. All phone companies are evil, if you ask me.

Garetjax said...

I think there is answer that we aren't resolving and maybe you overlooked and the service side did not resolve.

.002 cents x #kilobits is an accurate statement.

However, your billing is in KiloBytes..so lets do the math.

So here is our math rule:
1 kilobits = 0.125 kilobytes

.002 cents x (.125 kilobytes)

Your bill also seems to showcase the kilobyte result and not the kilobit usage which would be roughly 1000 times more.

All in all though, your right there was a problem and it was not addressed correctly.

I think that if they told you the following:

1. .002 cents per kilobit
2. .2 cents per kilobyte
etc....

The issue is that they were confused on which of the methods that they used in conversion of bits, bytes, kilobits, kilobytes megabits, megabytes and upwards. In general sense it works like the following table:

1. bits 1
2. bytes 0.125
3. kilobits 0.0009765625
*(wireless data rates use the above measure to denote pricing this has the effect of seeming to be cheaper than showing it at kilobytes - this is also traditionally rounded up to - 0.001)
4. kilobytes 0.0001220703125
*(wireless data rates use the above to report and denote billing also generally rounded up to .001)
5. megabits 9.5367431640625e-07
6. megabytes 1.19209289550781e-07
7. gigabits 9.31322574615479e-10
8. gigabytes 1.16415321826935e-10
9. terabytes 1.13686837721616e-13
10. petabytes 1.11022302462516e-16

Note:
8096 bits = 1024 bytes = 1 kilobits = 0.125 kilobytes etc.

wtc44 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paulo Becker said...

I bet an Indian call-center rep wouldn't have that much trouble with basic math.

David said...

It's sad commentary on the state of education in this country...hey, I got laid off back in February...but I actually CAN understand the difference between a dollar and a penny...perhaps Verizon should hire ME as a manager, and if someone called in like this, I'd be able to understand their complaint INSTANTLY! I'm at least 100 times more intelligent than anyone currently working at Verizon! They should hire ME! :)

David said...

You know, maybe this way of explaining it might have worked (though it's possible no way would have worked):

if we have 10 cents, how do we write that as dollars?
0.10 dollars
we had to move the decimal point over 2 spots...
how about 5 cents?
0.05 dollars, right?
how about 1 cent?
0.01 dollars
See, Ms. Verizon Manager Type, you always just move the decimal point over 2 positions, because one cent is 1/100th of a dollar!
(now comes the big leap)
so if we have 0.002 cents, to convert that to dollars, we still gotta move the decimal point over 2 positions: 0.00002 dollars!
Would they comprehend that? Probably not....

Nicolás said...

Great video, those suckers from Verizon, they need to go college LOL!

Gio Sico said...

The best way to explain it would have been to send them a jpg on the calculations done in long hand where the fractions show the values and the units. The units cancel out. People freak out when they have to do math on the spot as they generally have a limited understanding. But being able to look at it offline in such a fashion, if they went to school, would have allowed them to get it.

Joel said...

While listening to this, I was in agony waiting for you to have the rep do the math on a calculator and then ask him to clarify if the resulting 71.79 was in dollars or cents. Its cents obviously, so then divide the result by 100 to convert to dollars. = You owed $0.7179.
But if that were explained clearly, the rest of us might have missed out on the ensuing 25 minutes of entertainment at Verizon's expense. Nicely done. Your calm persistence while the reps got frazzled is brilliant humor.

Also very interesting that 2 years later (even after training courses have addressed this specific problem) reps are still misquoting $.002 as "point zero zero two cents".

Devendra said...

he he .. Looks like those bunch of idiots need to open a call center in India or China where they have crazy mathematical powers! The accent problem won't bother me if they were to handle to math issue well.

W. Eric Martin said...

You were one million times more patient than I would have been. I have flipped out on customer service reps in the past, even while aware of them not being the root cause of the problem, merely the perpetuators of same.

ligandx said...

The most funny part -- "I'm been a manager for more than two years here". I did laughed when I heard that, really. That's the when I realized this was not his fault. Whoever put him at the position is the one to be blamed. (I realy want to say shot to head).

I listened 1/3 of the audio. I had to stop or I would've killed myself. But I'm quite certain that you would fail to archieve the goal of educating him about some basic math.

I admire your patience. I don't believe a real human could've done that talk, and remaining so calm. I believe the fact that you were taping the call really helped.

I wonder if you are stuck at a "supervisor", could you ask for "a supervisor of the supervisor"?

勝利 said...

This, is mindblowingly awesome hahahahah

Why is it that the general masses can understand math as simple as this, yet every employee there can't grasp this concept? Even after you've thoroughly explained the difference??

I've had similar experiences with phone centre lackies. As with everyone else, I praise and admire your patience.

Adi said...

Thank you for sharing.
Oes Tsetnoc | Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa | Kenali dan Kunjungi Objek Wisata di Pandeglang | Oes tsetnoc | Online Marketing | Electronics Gadgets | etips solution | Travel Guide

Galby said...

My god it's hilarious watching the guy feeling the crushing grasp of reality closing in on him.

Rob Daniel said...

Wow!! I listened to that with growing amusement, slowly building to acute desperation! Patience of a saint mate, maybe you should go into high level peace negotiations?

Jesse said...

Elizabeth said:

"They say: "100 pennies in a Dollar"
Alright, so, that means, you have to multiply .002 cents by 100 to get the actual dollar value..."

Whoops. You meant to say: "...you have to DIVIDE .002 cents by 100 to get the actual dollar value..."

TN Nursury said...

You need beautiful Fast Growing Trees, Perennial Flowers, or bearing-age Blueberry plants, our state certified plant nursery has the quality you trust.

eda said...

按摩棒電動按摩棒飛機杯自慰套自慰套情趣內衣
角色扮演情趣,情趣用品跳蛋情趣跳蛋

G點性感丁字褲吊帶襪丁字褲無線跳蛋

衣蝶
情趣按摩棒
潤滑液SM內衣性感內衣自慰器充氣娃娃AV情趣情趣用品

EdCollins said...

I don't know if I have a favorite moment but I did like this part:

George: Do you recognize that there is difference between one dollar and one cent?
Andrea: Definitely.
George: Do you recognize there is a difference between half a dollar and half a cent?
Andrea: Definitely.
George: Then, do you therefore recognize there is a difference between .002 dollars and .002 cents?
Andrea: No.
George: No?
Andrea: There is no .002 dollars.
George: Of course there is.

I felt his frustration so much, I wanted to jump back in time, through the internet, and try to help him explain it to the clueless Verizon employees.

I have to wonder if any of the people he talked to on the phone understand the difference now. This incident is mentioned in dozens and dozens of other blogs and websites. Andrea, are you there? Do you get it NOW?

That recording is both hilarious and sad at the same time.

Lauren K. said...

As everyone else has said, I admire your patience. One thing I might have tried in explaining the difference to the customer service reps is, once the person agreed that 1 dollar and one cent were not the same, point out that the number itself was the same but the value is different. Hopefully, doing this with a couple of different numbers would help the rep understand that $0.002 and 0.002 cents have different values. Getting her to calculate the bill using the /cent rate is another matter.

zhuneilixu said...

On New Year's hottest r306c SONY Ericssoncheap cell phones

wholesale
, r306 first win in shape, give a person the feeling of professional and heavy. Its

design clamshell has hidden qualities. Although the low-end market positioning, introduction, SONY

Ericsson R series launched two must let those radio enthusiasts. And there are cheap ones, let the

public mobile phonewholesale of delight

The word "shanzhai" is very popular in China. It is industry phenomenon of imitation, high quality

and low price. Moreover, cell phones are the

representative of them.The global financial crisis led to a significant shri10:25 2009-12-26 nkage

of assets for people. "china wholesale" demonstrate the

might. most of them would like buy the cheap cell phonesnow .

Through google search engine, when you put in "discount cell
phones", you will find more than 15,000 pieces of related information.Cell phone china has been concerned in the world. Many

international sellers can get a considerable profit by ways of wholesale cell phones from China and switch selling. So it is a very

good job on cell phones wholesale in the current cosplay costumes
Anothre set of ralph lauren polo in three colors. Ralph Lauren Polo Shirts come with a graduation of colors on the chest. The new shiki Cheap polo shirts logo is on the chest. Comes in all layres and can be worned tucked in or out Wholesale Polo Shirts -50% OFF.
Also comes with sculpted collar and arm cuffs.Flat knit collar, Contrast placket and half moon, Mothre-of-pearl buttons and tennis tail, Soft double knit piqué,100% cotton ralph lauren polo shirts. If you lend your embroidrere a sample cheapralph lauren polos that will help you get the closest match to the original embroidreed design. The artwork you provide will sreve as a template for your embroidrey set-up but discount ralph lauren polos can't be used to identify some stitch types, cheap polo shirts Cheap Polo Shirtsgive precise sizing of embroidreed elements and show thread polo clothing colors.
Wholesale Polo Shirts
Ralph Lauren Polo Shirts
Discount Ralph Lauren Polos

zhuneilixu said...

The cold winter, does not seem too for wedding. Most recently, the cold one after another, hangzhou air temperature pelter, let many wedding in late November bride is due a single wear gauze or dress, will feel cold, wear too much and feel very bloated. For the bride, the winter is the biggest test how wedding in temperature and balance between poise.

Don't be too upset, actually this season only fees cheap Wedding Dresses, marriage can create a different character "winter wedding", also more memorable.

You can use the glittering and translucent white fairy tale, cheap cell phones
,the artistic conception to dress up oneself's wedding, choose blue, green, white ice cold tonal, decorous atmosphere to create beautiful, Can borrow snow machine and bubble machine build indoor romantic atmosphere, snowflake, feathers, Christmas tree,cheap cocktail dresses, even is the element such as silver crystal, can add to your winter wedding dreamy colour, cheap jewelryyou can even in a pile of snowman YingBinChu lovely, guests, we must take it and will soon be well.

yearofthetiger said...

Two cents 2.0
Two-tenth of one cent 0.2
(it moved! what just happened?)
Two-hundredth of one cent 0.02
Two-thousandth of one cent 0.002

I guess they don't know that decimal places can be used for things other than separating dollars and cents in a price figure.

The male manager erred in thinking that if you have 0.002 cents, you must get rid of the zeros to properly calculate it.

The female manager erred in thinking that since 0.002 cents cannot be expressed with physical coins, the amount cannot exist.

I'm sure someone working there would've been able to see the problem and correct it, but unfortunately, it wasn't anyone in management.

CJ Curry said...

George: You impress me with your endurance and patience.

I am a first-year mathematics student from Australia (yes, Verizon's story has reached all the way here, via the magic of Wikipedia). I am appalled. I can see where they could have messed up the quote, but I fail to see how any one person - let alone the three or four you talked to - can legitimately claim that "point zero zero two dollars" and "point zero zero two cents" are the same thing. I have never received such service, and I hope I never will.

Every single comment here - except Brianne - is music to my ears.

Tracey said...

January 29, 2010: I JUST got off the phone with Verizon, and got quoted both prices, 0.05 dollars and 0.05 cents per Megabyte of useage over the monthly allowance for an Aircard. I questioned the rep on this, without ever having heard this story, and she assured me that overages for the aircard are 0.05 CENTS per megabyte.

Owen said...

You were really close to convincing her. I kept thinking, "What would I say." Well I think you made your mistake when you had her explain what 1 cent was. You asked, "How do you write 1 cent?" She said, ".001." Then you asked, "What if you had 100 kilobytes?" She said the bill would be, "1." At this point you should have asked her, "Is .002 cents more or less than 1 cent." Then you should've said, is .2 cents more or less than 0.01" Finally you should've asked is .002 cents more or less than .2 cents." Then you should've had her multiply all the numbers by 100 to get the bill. According to her logic she would know something is wrong when she discovered that that each equation equalled something that didn't match with her logic. It's sort of sad when people use the line "I'm not good at math," to explain themselves out of understanding something they could understand.

Luis Giraldo said...

Hey George:

I was rootin' for you the whole call, and was hoping you'd see a 5-year old way to explain the difference.

I thought getting into the equivalencies of decimal to fractions made it worse for them. But hindsight is 20/20...I would've stated:

George: If I have 100 cents, what do I do to get the equivalent in dollars?

Verizon Rep: Well duh, you would divide by 100.

George: Right, because 100 cents is equal to 1 dollar.

Verizon Rep: Yes sir, I'm with you so far.

George: Great, then we are in agreement that if I have ANY value in cents, I would divide by 100 to get the equivalent value in dollars?

Verizon Rep: Yes sir, that makes cents. Oops, I mean sense.

George: OK then, if I have .002 cents, what do I do to get the value in dollars?

Verizon: (Crickets) Well duh, the same thing, divide by 100.

George: OK then, what is .002 divided by 100?

Verizon Rep: Well that's easy, you see I have a calculator here. The answer is .00002.

George: So you agree with me that we just went from cents to dollars, and that .002 cents is equivalent to .00002 dollars?

Verizon Rep (hopefully): Yes sir, that appears to be correct.

George: Cool, I'm feeling like we're making progress. So, can you confirm that your computer bills your customers in dollars?

Verizon Rep: Of course - wait, what do you mean?

George: That's right, in other words, when Verizon sends me a bill, the amount that is due is, for example, is $50 dollars, and not 5000 cents.

Verizon Rep: Yes, we send our bills in dollars, not in cents.

George: Awesome, because you'd be pretty upset if you sent me a bill for $50 but I sent you 50c.

Verizon Rep: Totally, accounting might've scratched their heads for a second on that one.

George: Great, then we are in agreement that my bill should've been calculated as 35,000 KB times .00002 dollars? Since you bill in dollars, not cents.

Verizon Rep (Hopefully): Ahhhhhhh, I get it now. Yes, you're right - let me get your bill adjusted right away...

Todd said...

I laughed, I cried, I shook my head in amazement. It is so sad that this took SO long to figure out. No wonder our country is in the crapper!

Daz said...

I do not believe for a second that Verizon customer service reps actually believe what they claimed in that call.

Rather, I am almost sure they were instructed from above: Deny, deny, deny this guy's claim. Or else we'll have every Verizon customer who was similarly overcharged trying to get their money back, and if this went to court there'd be nothing we can do about it

ahtsisab said...

I got the biggest headache just listening to it. Props to you for going through all that. How did it end/

Steve Faiwiszewski said...

The $71 may not be worth going to court for. However, a class action suit could be very lucrative. I'm usually against litigation (because it just enriches the lawyers, and provides no other benefit), but in this case it would be justified to teach this dumb corporation a lesson in math.

benjaminlately said...

LMFAO...
I feel your pain.

On a positive note you will probably get your money back out of them in the ads running on your page. :-P


-Ben
Good Luck
PS: this will get linked at http://geothunder.com

sidvicious- said...

props

Rooz said...

lol omg...is Verizon Smarter than a 5th Grader?

Mr. Kane said...

Hi, I teach high school science, and am always having trouble getting my students to understand why units are so important. I would like to be able to play clips of your conversation to demonstrate to them what the problem is. Would it be possible to get a copy of this audio file?
wmkane@gmail.com

Mrs. Kiehl said...

35,893 kb isn't even that much data. What is that, a few huge pictures? An e-mail check? He never made that point to her. Why would so little data cost $72?
I don't think he made it clear in as many words that, "if the price is in cents, and you do the math, you are still talking about cents. you can't suddenly talk about dollars." I mean, he was trying to, but I think if he had used certain words to explain it, maybe they'd get it.
My math professor used to teach grade school, and she would always make this very clear to her students. She said that if a store posted .99¢, it was less than a penny, and even though they meant $.99, legally she could get something at the 99-cents store, give then a penny, and say, "keep the change," as you left.

Shira said...

OMG, OMG, OMG - I am totally freaking out. I spent 1:05:50 on the phone with T-mobile yesterday for a refund of $1.35. No one understands why, but the principle of the matter and the fact that these people can't do basic math kills me.

And I'm math teacher - so I love the concept of using this example in a math class. Can't wait to try that!

Shilpi said...

I can feel your pain and frustration. I went through a horrible 4 months trying to get my Fios bill reflect the correct rate that I had been quoted. I was so frustrated with the Verizon reps and the supervisors that I decided to change my providers becuase I refused to deal with Verizon.

I hope you got your issue resolved.

John said...

Un-effing-believable

Amy83031 said...

Thank you for sharing this recording. I teach middle school math, and I will be using your recording and transcript to teach the importance of place value to my students.

ZARAGUS said...

Everybody needs to start publishing conversations like this! Its so frustrating that customers always end up paying. If I make a mistake, like fail to pay my bill on time which happens on a regular basis, I pay for my mistake. When a company makes a mistake, like charging the wrong rate, I HAVE TO PAY FOR THAT TOO.

Its driving me nuts. Major kudos though for keeping your calm throughout the conversation. Id have flipped..

cwhite said...

Verizon math

¢ x ¢/kb = $ you owe us

Rachel said...

I listened to this a few years ago and had to look it up again just to get a good laugh. Best phone conversation ever! Sadly, it's an accurate representation of our dumbed-down society. :\

roxy_in_english said...

Really...
when I heard the 2nd representative...
".002 dollar = .002 cent"
I just had to stop the recording cauz I was about to shoot myself.

I've been working in Customer Service for a bank and Canada Post tech support... so I've dealt with a lot of stupid people.
But THAT stupid, no. Never.
I don't know how you did to remain so calm and friendly.

It happened 2-3 times that I just gave up explaining and went to the next point when I was at the 5th way to explain the problem.

But you could not give up cauz you wanted your money back... I would have gone crazy -_-

SFTV_troy said...

No offense dude but you CONFUSE the representatives, by being a very poor explainer. Remember most of them are probably high school grads with very little logic skills. That means you have to "dumb it down" like you do for a little kid.

Anyway:

The issue is that they quoted your .002 cents/ kilobyte multiplied it by 35,000 something KB and then got 71.6 CENTS.

They were confusing their units by pulling "dollars" out of thin air. You should have been asking them, "How did you get dollars? We never discussed dollars. We're discussing cents - that's what you quoted me and that's what the final price should be. CENTS."

IMHO

I guess I have a slight advantage having worked with customer service reps in the past (I was one). I understand their thought process..... or more correctly: Lack of thinking. You have to lead them to the desired result the way you lead a little kid.

George Vaccaro said...

@SFTV_Troy,

you did listen to the whole 27 minutes then right?

First of all I never expected to have to teach basic math to adults, and I did mention that they were arriving at dollars without having done the conversion.

Many people have made the assumption that their explanation (with the benefit of not being impromptu) would have worked but frankly I have only seen one that might have worked. Yours is not original, nor do I have confidence it would have worked. Again, you did listen to the whole 27 minutes right?

Somehow 1$ != 1c, $.5 != .5c, but $.002 = .002c. Think about it.

Daniel said...

Jesus. I'm not a math geek, I suck at math in fact, and even I can tell the difference between .002 in dollars and .002 in cents.

Kenneth said...

brianne,
Just for the record:
$1.00 = 100 cents
thus...
.02cents = $.0002
I suggest you revisit math class!

ScottBagula said...

Epic. Love Brianne. bwahuhahah!

Fred said...

George, I am dieing to know how this was resolved. It's more than a shame that you probably decided to knuckle-under and pay the bloody $71.00 rather than waste even more time (which, if calculated for your profession, times your rate would've run into thousands of dollars, not cents) to educate them...
Almost enough to make one cry.

sample said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Toby said...

bro, i was on reddit cause I couldn't sleep and stumbled on this. Now my blood pressure is 180/120. Thanks a lot.
Maybe you should have tried converting it to Euro ?

Ben Anderson said...

I feel your pain on this bro. I can't believe how retarded people can be. Pretending like a magical calculator will always spit back what you want is so naive I could puke. Anyone that gets into anything involving math should prove that they know what the calculator is doing when they punch in certain numbers. Switch to Sprint, Verizon sucks!

acastonia said...

I want to cry for you! I talk about the labels. cents per kb times kb. The kb cancels leaving the unit left in cents.

Walmart likes to do this in their clearance bins: .25 cents

Brandon said...

I'll bet anything Brianne works for VERIZON, *sigh*

David The Hammer said...

It's the Nigel Tufnel of Verizon Customer Service.... but these go to eleven.

Andrew said...

I bought what I thought was a Droid X2 from a store I thought was Verizon. Though both the store and Verizon confirmed I was using a Droid X2 multiple times, I finally figured out that I had been sold a Droid X instead. At that point I also learned that the store I purchased said phone from, with Verizon figured prominently on their marquee, was not really a Verizon store. And the employees then denied ever telling me it was an X2. Fortunately, Verizon Wireless did the right thing. They sent me a Droid X2 for free. It only took 3 months to get it straight. Pretty good learning curve considering what I have read!

Unknown said...

I really don't think we are beating a dead horse here, I applaud your efforts friend. I listened to this years back while doing some computer work.. laughing & rolling my eyes, but thank YOU, for stating that Math is not a matter of opinion. Archimedes be damned!.. Keep it up brother.

Rina said...

I worked for T-Mobile as a CSR for about a year. All of the supervisors and most of the managers at my call center did not have a degree past a high school diploma/GED. They were great people, but I can see this call happening there as well.

I've personally had Verizon for years and I've generally been happy, but sometimes I feel like I know their policies better than their CRS. Sigh. All cell phone companies are the same.

Britanie said...

I am TERRIBLE at math and I understand this. What are they NOT getting? By their math I am 580 feet tall. WTH!?

ps- I got a D in college Algebra and I understand the difference between dollars and cents.

Bicycledealer said...

Here's how I would have explained it:

Imagine a crisp, brand new 1 dollar bill, fresh off the press. Now, hold that image in your mind, and imagine a pair of scissors next to the dollar bill.

Now, in your mind, take the scissors and cut off a very thin strip off the edge of the dollar bill. That is .002 dollars.

Now, take that very thin strip, and take the scissors again and cut off a tiny chunk of that very thin strip. THAT is .002 CENTS.

I used 35,893 kilobytes last month. Each kilobyte cost me .002 dollars. This is why my bill is $71.78. Because 35,893 multiplied by .002 dollars (those very thin strips, remember?) amounts to $71.78.

If you had a pile of 35,893 very thin strips, and you selotaped them all together, by the end of it you'd have 71 complete dollar bills, and about 3 quarters of another dollar bill left over on the side. That bit left over represents 78 cents

HOWEVER, if you had 35,893 of those tiny chunks, and tried sticking all those together, you wouldn't even have enough to make one single dollar.

Because I was TOLD that I was being charged .002 cents (or a "tiny chunk") per kilobyte, THAT is what I should pay. It's not my fault that I was misquoted. If I'd known what you really charged, I might have shopped around some more before signing up with you.

Dantastic Dan said...

What's a couple powers of ten among friends? I wish I could advertise super-insane-low prices and yet still glean payments 10,000% greater from my customers ...

Catalina said...

Please tell me, you eventually walked into a Verizon Store to fix this and showed them the conversion on paper, circling the units in red pen. I applaud your patience.

Jack4 said...

Please tell me that you eventually had to pay the correct bill? If not verizon should be sued for refusing to correct a mistake that they had made. Glad I'm with Sprint!! And theres no way i could've stayed that calm, would have quit after the first idiot, $71 is a lot different than $0.72.

spartfunker said...

ok.Have you ever heard the term choose your battles. I would have not been able to keep it together during that call. The phone would be in pieces...hats off to you for keeping your cool. I am not defending Verizon but its not the company its just some people in general. Good Jobs are apparently not as hard to find as smart people.

Gail said...

This was the most painful thing I have ever listened to. Wow. Just wow.

Irina Kostitsyna said...

You are very patient. Are you a teacher?

netkrawlr said...

HAHAHA!! I just tried to call Andrea and tell her the word is getting out about her idiocy...the number has since been disconnected...LOLOL

craignelson7007 said...

"Say I used only 1 kilobyte. What would my bill be?"

:head explodes:

GlovesOff said...

Listening to Andrea respond each time is like fingernails on a chalkboard. Total lack of any acceptance of responsibility or understanding of basic math. This is a court case that could be taken up where they would have to reimburse all past and current customers their losses because of the error as well. TicketMaster is having to do that right now for an error in their s/h clause.

Commandrea (Andrea Afra) said...

My name is Andrea. Please do not judge all Andrea's by this Andrea. I understand how decimals work.

I just had a horrible experience w/ Verizon regarding their changes in surcharges without notifying their customers. When I asked the rep what her name and position was, she refused to tell me her title with Verizon. "It's none of your business. Where do you work? What's YOUR title?" is the response I received.

Her name was Volerea. Assuming that was even the truth. Your video is comforting to listen to, which is sad. I wish I sounded as unhysterical as you did, but after so much unprofessionalism, I let her get on my nerves. Thank you for this.

Unknown said...

The sad thing is you don't have to be good with maths to understand this. I Can't even do intermediate algebra and this issue is blatantly obvious to me. It is just so incredibly simple. Its something that should just be common sense even without a good grasp of mathematics.

Vol7ron said...

Just heard this for the first time...

Assuming I would be able to get through it without yelling, I would tell them to try to do the same thing with $.002 dollars. They'd probably see that the numbers are the same because they don't understand units.

It's like to them it's only dollars if it's an integer and any decimal or floating point number would be the cents. At this point, I'd ask them to get anyone from accounting, or even Andrea's manager.

Fabuit said...

OH! MY! GOD!


Kids in elementary school know how to do this where I come from... One more reason NOT to visit USA. Ever.

Also: If someone still wishes to argue with me about most US citizens not being stupid, they have little ground on that topic. I mean... seriously? Grade school stuff?

George Vaccaro said...

@Fabuit,

I'm from the US and despite the folks on the call insisting I was wrong I stuck with it and ultimately helped them and many others realize why their math was wrong and what the implications were. Am I stupid?

I think you also might want to stop short of extrapolating from a data point of 4 call center employees to our entire 300+ million population and making such a broad generalization about us (or at least "most" of us).

Where are you from?

Yakshi said...

I don't know how you stayed so calm. I am not a mathematician by any means but I STILL understood what the issue was here the first time you explained it. And they were talking to you like you were the idiot! Bravo to you for being such a patient man and also your comment to the person who was saying all americans are stupid was very well said. *KINDA HAVE A CRUSH*

David Bellamy said...

I know this is old, but I just saw this for the first time, and I think I know why the reps were quoting you incorrectly. They kept saying they had a calculator. Calculators don't display dollar or cent signs. So when they did the math, they read the answer: 71.786. They read it off as dollars like someone normally would. Easy solution: Ask the rep "If you have one half of a dollar, how much in change would that be?" If they say "fifty cents", then say "Yes, 50 cents. NOT .5 cents, which is less than a penny." If that failed, you could have just said that you'll bring by 71.786 pennies, and let them convert that to dollars themselves. I'm glad it all got resolved, by the way.

Karatemunk3y said...

heres what you can do to make this even more clear....http://lmgtfy.com/?q=.002+cents+x+35893

Michael Johnson said...

I know where you messed up in explaining it to them. You should have had them write the .002 cents and made them put the cent sign next to it after each mathematical step so that the final outcome still had the cent sign next to it. YOu know...the "C" with a line throug it. If they had done the math under the same label everything would have been fine.

incognitus.me said...

I think if you had stopped using the word cents and started using the word penny you would have shown them their error. They second rep. you spoke to absolutely understood your problem when you asked her to write out 1 cent and 1/2 of a cent.

People write 50 cents as $0.50, or 50c. They were clearly thinking of 0.002 cents as $0.002, not 0.002c. By speaking in pennies, it would have not allowed them to think of it in these terms, and they'd have to think of it in terms of pennies, which are a stand alone unit. 0.002 pennies, not $0.002.

Nicholas Thibeault said...

Logic. I guess Verizon does not have it.