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repsac
12-01-2006, 04:42 PM
This one is rather hilarious. It even ended with the collections agent laughing so hard that well, I thought he might have a heart attack.


It begins:

My father had to go to the doctor to get stitches. They ask him for insurance, which he says he doesn't have. However he has medicaid. Medicaid pays for all his bills. This one was covered. Meaning no charge.


It gets...weird:

Mail comes one day, there's a bill from the hospital in it. My dad reads it over several times and then looks at me. "They billed me." he says and offers it. I read how much he owes and laugh. His current total to pay is 0.00 dollars. We enjoy the laugh and then toss it aside

It gets...weirder:

Several more letters come. All saying that if we don't pay the 0.00 dollars they are sending the bill to collections. Some part of me suspects people don't read these things when they mail them. One bill is up on my fridge.

And then...

Yesterday, we get a phone call. It's a collections agency asking for my father. I take the call since he's out at the doctor. The agent goes down this long pitch about how it'll screw up his credit, how they'll take us to court and all. After a bit, the following conversation happened.

Me: Do you happen to know how much he owes?
Agent: (testily) Of course I know (starts pitch).
Me: No, listen, it's important. Could you confirm the total for me?
Agent: You should know it. (again short.)
Me: Look, humor me please? I just want to check my records.
Agent: FINE. (after a few minutes) This can't be right...
Me: Let me guess...Nothing?
Agent: Uh...yeah. Wait a minute here...that can't be...it's not right is it?
Me: Yeah. It's right.
Agent: (starting to laugh) Uh...I really don't know what to say.
Me: Tell you what, I'll send the payment in RIGHT away.
Agent: (Laughing harder) In what? An empty envelope? Wait...do that. Here's my name (rattles it off) and case number. Send me the payment by way of a check. I want to frame that.
Me: Will do.


I sent a check out made out to the collections company for "Zero dollars, and Zero Cents". I wonder just what they'll make of that...

RecoveringKinkoid
12-01-2006, 04:49 PM
Yeah, I got hounded every month by (I think) Bank of America after I closed an account with them. Seems I overpaid something by 11 bucks and some change. Every month, for several months, they sent me a "bill" showing that they owed me 11-some bucks.

I'm thinking, wouldn't it be more efficient to send me a check and be done that send me the same notification that they owed me money on a closed account EVERY MONTH? :confused: But hey, I guess I'm just too stupid to understand big business.

I was so tempted to send the "pay this amount" back with "then send me a check, dumb-dumb" written on it, but since that was the obvious answer, I wanted to see how long it would take them to reach that solution themselves.

The answer, it turned out, was pretty long. One of the geniuses in that office finally thought to send me a check, but it took them the better part of a year.

Becks
12-02-2006, 06:58 PM
GREAT stories!!!!!!!! I wish I had one to add, but I'll just content myself with laughing some more. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Ree
12-04-2006, 06:43 PM
GREAT stories!!!!!!!! Yes, and apparently, your father's situation wasn't as unique as one would think.

http://www.snopes.com/business/bank/zero.asp

I have been receiving that same story forwarded by friends in my email since I started using the internet, so when I read your story, it seemed familiar.

Sure enough, Snopes confirmed that this same situation appears to happen a lot.

Perhaps I should have waited to post this until I found out if your cheque for $0.00 also crashed your bank's computer system.

Ringtail Z28
12-04-2006, 07:31 PM
You sure that it wasn't a receipt of some kind detailing the services that were given? I deal with some vendors who send me receipts and packing slips printed on the same forms they print their bills on. Which causes confusion on both sides.

Brighid45
12-05-2006, 12:06 AM
This reminds me of a story I heard years ago on a local talk radio station. Someone got a 'disconnect for unpaid balance' notice from one of the regional electricity providers. The amount owed?

Six cents.

NightAngel
12-05-2006, 05:04 AM
I :heart: Snopes.

Ree
12-05-2006, 05:07 AM
I :heart: Snopes.Yeah, me too.

You wouldn't believe the number of stories that I found were nothing but BS, simply by searching on snopes.

My friends send me email all the time, and I always confirm it there rather than risk sending on misinformation.

NightAngel
12-05-2006, 05:14 AM
My friends send me email all the time, and I always confirm it there rather than risk sending on misinformation.

That's how I got out of my friend's/family's email loops. I'd bust it on Snopes then send it back with a, "Guess what? You've been had... AGAIN!"

trunks2k
12-05-2006, 05:22 PM
I sent a check out made out to the collections company for "Zero dollars, and Zero Cents". I wonder just what they'll make of that...
That's what I would have done after I got the letter informing me that if I didn't pay, it would go to collections. I would have assumed the initial bill was just telling me that I owed nothing. But after the second letter, i would have written the check just to be a smart ass.

The closest thing I ever had to this sort of thing was when the federal government sent me tax refund that was the result of the tax refunds Bush enacted years ago. My share of the refund was something like $1.21. They sent me two notices that I was going to be getting a refund, the refund itself, and a notice saying I should have recieved it. It cost the government more to send me the refund than the refund was worth.

Lace Neil Singer
12-06-2006, 12:56 PM
Yeah, me too.

You wouldn't believe the number of stories that I found were nothing but BS, simply by searching on snopes.

My friends send me email all the time, and I always confirm it there rather than risk sending on misinformation.
Me three... I am always searching up snopes for stories that people email me or that I read on forums. One of my biggest moments was busting this story: http://www.snopes.com/horrors/parental/abduct.asp Which someone on another site was posting as fact. I love Snopes. :)

AFpheonix
12-06-2006, 08:43 PM
You sure that it wasn't a receipt of some kind detailing the services that were given? I deal with some vendors who send me receipts and packing slips printed on the same forms they print their bills on. Which causes confusion on both sides.

To be fair, most will say something along the lines of "This is NOT a bill" or "This IS a bill".

At least the ones I get from Providence, anyways.

My ass has officially fallen off at the expense of that collections agent, though :lol:

Bliss
12-07-2006, 08:23 PM
Repsac I'd say since your story is being called fictitious, it'd be good if you do have the bill around to scan and post it to prove it has happened to you.

Ree
12-07-2006, 08:26 PM
Repsac I'd say since your story is being called fictitious, it'd be good if you do have the bill around to scan and post it to prove it has happened to you.Actually, I don't believe anyone called his story fictitious. I merely pointed out that I had seen the similar story many times, and left a link to snopes, where they confirmed that this is indeed a very common story.

Rapscallion
12-07-2006, 08:46 PM
We've even allowed people to upload attachments - could do it with that!

Rapscallion

Bliss
12-07-2006, 08:54 PM
Oh raps thanks for that, I'll keep it in mind for future posts :) I hope nobody abuses it.

Sorry ree for missunderstanding.

Rapscallion
12-07-2006, 09:00 PM
Mike is the one who remembered we have the feature and the option to check all attachments before they are seen by everyone, so you can thank him for that.

Yup - have to agree with Ree. Looks like quite a number of programmers have made that mistake with their systems with the amount of tales going around about it. I bet there are all these old, experienced coders who make newbie write programs, checking whether or not if they can avoid that pitfall to see if they are worthy. The failures are the ones who create scenes such as these!

Rapscallion

LionMan
12-08-2006, 11:46 AM
Oddly enough, it is an easy mistake to make. If you don't know much about programming, just know that 0.00 does not necessarily mean 0 (at least in programming).

Someone just doing something like if (blah > 0.00) would easily result in these errors happening. Someone who knows a little more would understand the flaw of that statement but many people (even programmers and wannabes) wouldn't realize there is a flaw there.

TNT
12-08-2006, 01:26 PM
This thread reminds me of something that happened in the township where I used to live. The township supervisors got this bright idea to charge a yearly "fire hydrant tax." So, we all got a bill for... gasp!... 74 cents.

It took two years before the township supervisors figured out that it cost considerably more than 74 cents to prepare the bills, send them out, process the payments, etc.