You Owe Us Nothing, And You'd Better Pay Up

from the you-better-pay-up dept

Ah, computer glitches. A man in the UK apparently got in trouble for not paying his telephone and internet bill which came to: ?0.00. As one normally does with such bills, the man ignored it – when he received a second note complaining that his phone company, NTL, was not at all happy with him trying to duck out on the ?0.00 payment he owed them. He called up the firm to see what he could do, and the women he spoke to suggested sending in a check for ?0.00 to let them clear out their system. The company eventually apologized to the guy, saying (obviously) that it was a bit of an error. Update: As someone points out in the comments, this might just be an urban legend.

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Comments on “You Owe Us Nothing, And You'd Better Pay Up”

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AMetamorphosis says:

All your zero balances belong to us ...

American Express likes to bill me each month … even if I have a zero balance.

Poor programming on the merchants part.

SHEER stupidity for the customer service person to suggest I waste my time & checks & postage sending them a check for nothing to fix their faulty system.

I would have called the local media for some negative publicity for the company … these kinds of stories always make for good reading.

Amazing thing is these companies put you through hell for their ignorance and when you waste an entire day straightening them out all you get is a shrug of the shoulders …

Peet McKimmie (profile) says:

Re: Urban Legend

Just because it is an urban legend doesn’t preclude that instance from also being true! I had a nasty exchange with Aberdeen City Council who sent me letters threatening to take action to evict me from my house for non-payment of a ?0.00 rent bill that I had previously been told by their arrears department to ignore. I queued for the best part of an hour to give them a ?0.00 cheque, but they refused to accept it as, apparently, their computer system won’t allow them to enter that amount. It eventually got sorted out, but only with a *lot* of grief.

Paul Silver (user link) says:

Friend had this for poll tax

A friend of mine (who, co-incidentally, used to work for NTL) did get a court summons when he didn’t pay a poll tax bill for ?0.00, but did manage to sort it out with phone calls rather than turning up.
Personally, I don’t mind being sent credit card statements that tell me I don’t owe anything – it reminds me I’ve been good that month.

Precision Blogger (user link) says:

Teensy Checks

The check story might be an urban legend, but I REALLY did once get a letter thanking me for paying $0.01 due on my student loan. The letter went on to say that for tax purposes I would want to determine how much of the $0.01 was principal and how much was interest, but that unfortunately the calculation was too complex and they were unable to do it for me.

The cause (of course) was a round-off error from the previous year when we paid our debt in full. Someone tried to clear the account by manufacturing a phony payment, and we got an unaticipated acknowledgment letter.
– The Precision Blogger

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