Hey, Verizon, $.02 does not equal .02¢

You have to listen to this actual mind-boggling conversation between a Verizon Customer Service manager and a Verizon customer. Here is the first astonishing excerpt:

Customer: Do you recognize that there’s a difference between point zero zero two dollars and point zero zero two cents?

Manager: (after another long pause)… They’re both the same, if you look at it on-paper-wise.

This customer had been quoted a rate of 0.002 ¢/kilobit for service in Canada, and then Verizon ended up charging him 0.002 $/kilobit, claiming that it was the same thing. You really don’t want to listen to the entire recording — I didn’t — as it’s quite long and all goes on and on in the same vein, but the first couple of minutes are distressingly priceless… and then the manager keeps insisting that it makes no difference whether the units are cents or dollars. He says that his calculator gives him the right answer, but the calculator of course doesn’t include units. Even when the customer points out that 20,000 cents would not be an acceptable payment for a $20,000 car, the manager insists on ignoring the units and wants to charge 100 times the quoted rate. As the science teachers would tell us, units do matter.

Categories: Life, Math, Teaching & Learning