There are large phone bills and then there are insane phone bills. Solenne San Jose, a woman from Pessac, in the Bordeaux region of France, received an utterly insane one.
After she terminated a contract with the phone company Bouygues Telecom early, San Jose was told that she would have to pay a cancellation fee. The exact amount would be sent in a final bill to her home in late September, the company said, according to the French news provider Sud Ouest.
The bill she received was for a mind-blowing €11,721,000,000,000,000, the Herald Sun reported. That's around $15 quadrillion.
"There were so many zeros I couldn't even work out how much it was," San Jose told Sud Ouest. And though it seemed like an obvious billing mistake, San Jose had a hard time convincing the phone company that was the case.
According to Sud Ouest, representatives at Bouygues Telecom initially insisted the amount -- nearly 6,000 times larger than France's 2011 GDP -- would automatically be withdrawn from her bank account.
A few undoubtedly stressful conversations with customer service later, Bourgues Telecom acknowledged Solenne would only be billed for €117.21. According to the Christian Post, officials attributed the outlandish bill to a printing error.
San Jose isn't the first person to have been shocked by a cell phone bill, though her bill is one of the largest we've ever seen. John Gibson, a Canadian resident vacationing in the U.S., was hit with a mobile bill for nearly $11,000 after he let his grandchildren stream several Netflix movies during a family vacation. Maria Francis, a Sacramento woman, was slammed with a $1,558.95 bill from Verizon after returning home from a vacation abroad.
These stories are a good reminder that it's important to check your bills before automatically paying them at the end of the month.
$44 Million Hospital Visit
Unemployed doorman Alexis Rodriguez <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/16/bronx-lebanon-hospital-center_n_1208921.html" target="_hplink">received a bill for $44.8 million from Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center</a>. Thankfully, the outrageous bill was the result of a billing company error, in which they mistakenly put the invoice number in the space where the invoice amount should go.
$201,000 Cell Phone Bill
Celina Aarons of South Florida received a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/18/celina-aarons-201000-cell-phone-bill_n_1017723.html" target="_hplink">43-page cell phone bill </a>adding up to $201,000. The bill was no mistake. Aarons, who also has her two deaf-mute brothers on her plan, forgot to change their data to international after the pair spent two weeks in Canada, accruing up to $2,000 in data charges.
Paying For Crime
After Loretta Robinson's son was killed by a drunk driver, she was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/24/loretta-robinson-mother-billed-cleanup-son-killed-by-undocumented-drunk-driver_n_1622301.html" target="_hplink">billed for various charges, including a $50 charge to clean up her son's blood</a> from the road along with charges to tow and store the suspect's vehicle after the incident.
Auto Bill-Pay Nightmare
Alina Simone thought she didn't have to worry about her cell phone bill as she had set up auto bill-pay. However, when she finally checked her statement, she discovered that she was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/01/sprint-cell-bill-autopay_n_1310312.html" target="_hplink">being charged per text message</a>, racking up more than $700 in fees despite the fact that her plan entitled her to 1,000 free texts per month.
$37,000 In Sweets
A Middletown, Ohio teen got caught <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/10/teen-charged-with-billing_n_165531.html" target="_hplink">charging over $37,000 worth of candy</a> to his high school's purchasing number. After the company, The Goodies Factory, became suspicious, authorities arrested the 18-year-old at his home when he went to receive the empty package.
Breast cancer survivor Lisa Lindsay was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/23/lisa-lindsay-breast-cancer-survivor-debtors-jail_n_1446391.html" target="_hplink">arrested after she refused to pay a $280 medical bill</a>, which was sent to her by accident.
Billed After Body Violation
A New Mexico woman was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/07/woman-sent-1000-bill-for-_n_952135.html" target="_hplink">billed for a mandatory body cavity search</a> after being accused of concealing heroin. The search turned up nothing and the woman was not arrested or charged, however she received a bill for $1,122 from the hospital that performed the search.
$16 Million Cable Bill
An Ohio man was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/04/time-warner-cable-bill_n_844506.html" target="_hplink">charged over $16,000,000 by Time Warner Cable</a> after he accrued some odd charges for watching the March Madness tournament. The bill was eventually blamed on human error.
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