French telecommunications company Bouygues Telecom warned Solenne San Jose that she would be charged a termination fee for ending for wireless contract early. They didn't warn her, however, that charge would be 11,721,000,000,000,000 euros.
The $15 quadrillion bill, as Cnet pointed out, exceeds the entire world's economic output by more than 200 times. So how could one lady pay it all off herself?
Unlike some slightly less absurb bills—in the range of tens of thousands of dollars, not quadrillions—this one wasn't a result of over-texting in a foreign country without a roaming package. Rather, it was a printing error.
And yet, even after explaining to Bouygues her bill had 12 zeroes in it (and another five digits on top of that), the telco wasn't immediately convinced the number was in error. "One operator told me: 'It's automatic, there is nothing I can do.' Another simply informed me that I would be contacted to set up a repayment plan of installments," San Jose told French newspaper Sud Ouest.
After several phone calls, the company finally decided that the bill was, yes, a mistake. The real cost was 117.21 euros, sans all zeroes—or about $150.
Photo: Sud Quest