11.12.06

AN UNPAYABLE BILL

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Pookie loves Father Christmas and as I love her, I bought a few !

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us This is one German Euro. Each country has it's symbol on the reverse side.

Over the last weeks I experienced something very surprising. First I got an invoice. That's nothing special because that's the only mail most of people get. The invoice showed an amount to pay : 0,00 €. (1 € is a little more then a $) I looked again, no doubt I had to pay an amount of 0 €

It was an invoice from a hospital, for blood analysis. I began to be doubtful about the mental health of the bookkeeper of this hospital. But then I laughed ! This was quite stupid, even the paper and the stamps cost more than one € ! I am not a genious in math and have never been, but this estimation I could do and then I dropped the invoice in the wastepaper basket and told everybody who listened to me about it as a joke.

One week later or so, I got a reminder to please pay the outstanding amount of € 0,00. Again by mail and with stamps. Now this was really ridiculous, I shaked my head, told everybody, laughed and threw it away.

After a while I got another reminder telling me that I had already had one reminder but still not payed and I should do this immediately. That really caused me a problem. How can I pay 0 € ? The bank will take me for mad and I didn't intend to spend the rest of my life in a mad house. Sighing I threw it away.

Then I got another letter, this time the amount encircled in red and a menacing text, that I still had not payed and that this was the last request ! I got scared and threw it away.

Another week went by and another letter arrived. This time a registred mail which the postman handed me over with a suspicious glance. The letter was rude, informing me that this would be the last (underlined, red, exclamation mark) reminder before taking juridical steps ! My Godness I thought, should I take a lawyer ? I saw myself alreday sitting in a nicely decorated cell with computer and flowers around me (but sadly without my personal cat) and Mr. Gattino bringing me oranges.

Now, I thought, I should call them and ask for an explanation because very honestly I did not have a 0 € coin or bill. Really that was a big problem. Otherwise I would have driven over there and paid it.

So I called and explained my problem. From service to service to service which all were not responsible finally I ended up in the accounting department. I explained for the X time my problem. Ah ! and finally I got the person in charge on the phone. She explained to me that this were a computer error and therefore noboday were responsible. He was the culprit ! Poor computer. She suggested to send 0,00 € per bank transfer. On my timid statement that this would be absurd, she informed me that not at all, because a computer only understands when he gets a transfer and then I could live in peace again. But, I dared to oppose, a computer does only what people put in. She answered me in a snobbish, offended way, making me understand that I probably belonged to these stupid people who really don't understand anything about computers ! To assure this oh so clever woman I promised her to make a transfer of 0,00 € right away. I hang up the phone and .... did it.

This was the first time in my life that I had to pay such an enormous and truely unpayable amount ! But it was good, I never got a reminder again and the Hospital only spent about 8 € in stamps. All's well that ends well !!

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Before you go : Please vote once a day for my blogfriend Mrs. Lifecruiser as best diarist ! A little click doesn't cost anything ! Thanks. Votes until Dec 15.

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  • 6 comments:

    mar said...

    I hate it when people blame computers, because as you said it here too, they are programmed by people! You should write to the local newspaper with this story, I love the letter to the editor!!
    happy monday, careful when the mailman brings the mail today!!!

    Melli said...

    ROFLMBO!!! My mother-in-law one time got a bill for 25 cents from a hospital. She took out a quarter, taped it to the return portion and mailed it in! (here we do not have to pay bills that are less than $1.00) Everyone gave her a hard time about it -- but she said she WASN'T going to collection over a quarter! I guess maybe she was smart to do that!!! LOL!

    In YOUR case, I think I would have been tempted to let them take me to court! Crazy!

    Anonymous said...

    that's just weirder than weird.

    I'd have been MAD wasting time over something so stupid.

    I think the point of click & comment monday is just to encourge people to look outside the normal circle of blog friends... although I'm not sure I'm gonna have time really today as I have only an hour left to practise & still much to do.

    Think you only have to leave a comment on the linky so people know you're playing, but put your real comment on another post.

    Don't think you need much encouragement though - you're a great commenter.

    happy and blue 2 said...

    I would have sent them a letter from a fictitious lawyer saying I was going to sue them for $0.00 euros for harassment..

    Mrs Lifecruiser said...

    WHY don't I get THAT kind of invoices? I'ts not fair...

    Bloody marvelous story Gattina, I just love it and Mr L too!

    Thanks for the laugh.

    Irish Church Lady :) said...

    I can't believe that you had to arrange a bank transfer for E 0.00 to address the problem!

    Surely they could have gone into the computer system and overridden it so it would stop generating these crazy letters.

    Great share Gattina!! You had me laughing at the persistance of these letters!