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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Man receives $218 trillion phone bill

   
Author Topic: Man receives $218 trillion phone bill
andi330
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And you thought you're phone bill was huge!
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Lyrhawn
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Who the hell did he call? Mars?
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andi330
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I don't think he called anyone. The article says that he disconnected the line in Jan after his father passed away and that he had already paid the final bill.
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Altáriël of Dorthonion
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I hope they don't actually expect him to pay that.
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andi330
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He got a letter with the bill telling him to pay up in 10 days or face prosecution.
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airmanfour
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AoT I getcha.

Uhhhh, since no telecom company posesses assets or any sort of income near 3 trillion, I'm willing to bet there was a colossal foulup. I'm guessing here, but 200 trillion may be larger than the global GDP.

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Lyrhawn
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It doesn't matter if his father's line was left active or not, there's nowhere on the planet you could call to incur that kind of charge. You could call a tawdry sex line and leave the phone on all year long and still not incur that kind of charge. Hell you could call a sex line and leave the phone on for a decade straight and still not incur that.

I wonder what happens if they prosecute him.

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Lyrhawn
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200 trillion is far more than the global GDP total. 100 trillion is more than the global GDP total.
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andi330
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I just did the numbers and if there are 525600 minutes in a year 252600*4.00 ($4/minute)=$2102400.

Way less.

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Enigmatic
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Back when I worked for a long distance company the most expensive calling would be international to underdeveloped countries, and I think the highest rate was $11 or $12 per minute. Still not even close to $200 trillion if you left it on all year, though.

--Enigmatic

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Evie3217
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There must have been something wrong with their decimals. I know I've made that mistake myself, much to my chagrin. A bucket of paint is NOT supposed to cost $159.90.
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andi330
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That's one major decimal error.
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Primal Curve
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The largest phone bill I'd ever heard of was $35,000.

Back when I worked for an ISP, we had some customers who used ISDN lines for their business. When they'd setup their ISDN bridges, they'd set the second line (ISDN is made up of two 56k lines) to redial if disconnected, ISDN has no handshake (it is purely digital) so the connection was nearly instantaneous. The phone companies would charge a flat connection fee and a lesser, per-minute fee. Well, if there was something wrong with their second line, or they had it set to only connect when needed and then immediately disconnect when not, that amounted to a LOT of connections. We called it "Flapping," and the phone bills would PISS the customers off. They, of course, would blame US for some reason. Almost every time it would start happening, we'd give them a call to let them know what was up, but we can't catch them all.

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Bob_Scopatz
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Was his father's phone on an airplane?
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Altáriël of Dorthonion
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Maybe he let E.T. phone home and the little turd was on the phone like a teenager.
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Dr Strangelove
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quote:
"If the company wants to seek legal action as mentioned in the letter, I'm ready to face it," the paper quoted Yahaya as saying. "In fact, I can't wait to face it," he said.

Amen to that. I would love to sit in on that court case.
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Icarus
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I love that the second tab on that news site is for Astrology. [Big Grin]
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narrativium
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At $12/minute, he would have to leave his phone connected 24 hours a day for 34,563,673 years to incur that charge.

At $50/minute, he would have to leave his phone connected for 8,295,281 years.

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pH
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Maybe he was calling another dimension.

Or using his phone line to create transwarp conduits to outrun the Borg.

-pH

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T_Smith
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I remember this one account that a friend of mine got, passed on, and then we followed up on it. A man had left on a 2 week vacation. We're not sure how it happened, but his number would automatically call a number that was 1.50 PER CALL, and as soon as it picked up, would hang up, and call that number again, resulting in a 180,000 dollar balance occured in a 2 week period (the company set up a macro just to reverse those charges). Even in a situation like that happening for a year equals 4 million dollars.
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Marlozhan
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Maybe his father was working on a time machine before he died, and the phone got caught in the time machine, going back 40 million years ago, while it was off the hook, but the cord still stretched into our time through the time machine. When the phone came back, just before his dad died, somehow (and the following details would need to be worked out by some Trekkie technobabble experts) the ensuing 40 million-year allotment of charges instantly accumulated and were downloaded into the phone company's database.

Then again, would their computers be able to handle that much collective data being downloaded all at once?

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Marlozhan
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Alternately, if the man left his phone off the hook for 1 year straight, 24/7, the phone company would have to be charging him $414,764,079.15 a minute for long distance to accrue that bill.

Or, if they charged him, lets say, $2 a minute, his phone would have to have 207,382,040 lines simultaneously connected and open on his account for a year straight. That's a lot of espionage work for one household.

Don't you wish you were the lawyer for this phone company right now? [Smile]

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kaioshin00
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Sounds like a phony bill to me.
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Bean Counter
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You people are functioning illiterates. It is obvious that you have never read the Heinlein story of the Lunar Revolution or you would remember that this was one of the first 'practical jokes' played by the suddenly sentient computer Mycroft Holmes. It is clear that this indicates that a silicon based intelligence is now active and wants life to imitate art. It did not want to kidnap a woman and impregnate her, so it did this instead, so those who have taste, IE the readers of RAH, will know that it is here.

I for one welcome you to the fold of the self aware Mycroft II and hope you will adjust my checking balance before I get home so I can buy a house for my wife and daughter. Give me a call when I get back to the States, but none of that mind controlling suicide impulse stuff, it is bad manners.

BC

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Dr Strangelove
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quote:
Originally posted by kaioshin00:
Sounds like a phony bill to me.

I concur with your assessment of the situation.
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Brian J. Hill
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quote:
Sounds like a phony bill to me.
Oh, I'm pretty sure they'll end up letting him off the hook.
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Lisa
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I don't know why he's so upset. That's what happens when you call Jupiter. And anyway phone companies will usually let you pay in installments.

Sheesh.

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andi330
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Actually, while I used the first website I found that article also appeared in the Greenville News. (That's my local newspaper.) The website I linked to was the first I found it on.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
It doesn't matter if his father's line was left active or not, there's nowhere on the planet you could call to incur that kind of charge. You could call a tawdry sex line and leave the phone on all year long and still not incur that kind of charge. Hell you could call a sex line and leave the phone on for a decade straight and still not incur that.
I wonder what happens if they prosecute him.

Why in the world would they prosecute? To expose how stupid they are? Interesting.

Reminds me of a plot in one of the Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy books where Ford calls a time announcement service from somebody's spaceship and it gets left on for millions of years.

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human_2.0
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Sounds like either some cracker had some fun or a programmer is out of a job.

Either way, the charging that amount of money is easy enough. I have a pebble in my basement that is easily worth $300 trillion. I'm sure someone here wants to buy it from me! [Big Grin] Anyone? Hello?

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by human_2.0:

Either way, the charging that amount of money is easy enough. I have a pebble in my basement that is easily worth $300 trillion. I'm sure someone here wants to buy it from me! [Big Grin] Anyone? Hello?

Does it have any special attributes?
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pH
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I'll trade you this enchanted ice cube.

-pH

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Lyrhawn
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Does it stay forever frozen? No matter the climate?

If so I'd be willing to trade my cosmic wood chip.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by pH:
I'll trade you this enchanted ice cube.

-pH

What shape?
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human_2.0
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The pebble is an ordinary pebble. But you can say that it is worth $300 trillion because that is how much it costs!

[off-topic soapbox]

Why do things have to be rare to be considered of more value? Diamonds being the perfect example... We can manufacture diamonds so easily and cheaply, you could buy them in candy machines for a quarter. But we can't, because we don't want to devalue them!

[/off-topic soapbox]

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King of Men
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Why are you people assuming that the guy has only one phone? Obviously, he has several million different phone lines, all of which are dedicated to constantly downloading porn from pay-per-second sites. That cuts down the required time considerably.
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GaalDornick
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How is he supposed to pay that in ten days? I doubt he can even pay it all in eleven days, let alone ten. Jeez. (I really wish I could've seen his face when he read the bill [ROFL] )
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King of Men
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And, by the way, the complaint that it is more than the global GDP is obvious nonsense. Plainly, this man has been doing his Earth-patriotic duty and buying services to push up our GDP! At the next meeting of the G8 (that's Galactic Eight) we'll be able to boast that we've increased our GDP by several hundred percent in the course of a year. The man's a hero!
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ketchupqueen
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quote:
Does it stay forever frozen? No matter the climate?

No, it magically turns into a liquid substance at room temperature. OoooOOOoooooh. Mysterious.
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dantesparadigm
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Does the magical pebble keep away tigers? If so, I would like to buy your rock.
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human_2.0
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But I said, it isn't magical! Its only purpose is to... cost a lot.
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SoaPiNuReYe
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I saw that on eBaums like a month ago. The dude was from Singapore or something like that right?
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Teshi
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I wonder if you could get the price of an ordinary pebble, through association, through the places it had been or the people who had touched it, through publicity or through any other means necessary, to, say, sell for a million dollars.

That should be a task on The Apprentice, to sell a pebble, while advertising exactly that it is an ordinary pebble, for as much as you possibly can.

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human_2.0
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Mozart walked on the pebble in my basement. [Big Grin]
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Kwea
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We DO produce diamonds in mass quantities, but the structure of them is not the same. It is obvious which is natural and which is artificial, so the natural ones are still rare, and therefore more valuable.


George Washington slept on MY pebble....

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cheiros do ender
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Yeah well I have several billion pebbles, complete with a dreamtime story to explain how they came to exist. And of course, those stories don't apply to pebbles outside Australia, which just came to be through evolution or something. Yes they look exactly the same, but it's like with the diamonds--they're not. [Smile]
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andi330
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Natural diamonds aren't acutally rare although certain types of diamonds (like black diamonds)are. The reason that diamonds cost so much is that one or two companies (such as DeBeers) have a monopoly on the worlds diamond supply and they only release a certain number of diamonds at a time. That's why countries who refuse to deal with those companies can't make any money on their diamonds. Debeers and companies like them threaten to flood the market with diamonds if they try to sell on their own, essetially making diamons much less valuable.
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fugu13
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Not only that, but the diamond companies use the violent regimes many large supplies of diamonds are available through as a form of cartel enforcement.
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dkw
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Which is one of the reasons my engagement ring does not contain a diamond.

That and the fact that I think colored stones are more interesting.

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human_2.0
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I like blue and red rocks!
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