Finding Freedom

How quickly can a fool find his money again?

I currently have a whole bunch of debt. Hmm...I wonder how much I could get for my kidneys?
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Monday, June 26, 2006
A Customer
In order to not give too many specifics about what I do, let's just say that I create invoices for a service that my company provides.

Today, I got an email from one of my larger customers. This customer's invoices are generally in the neighborhood of eight or nine hundred thousand dollars.

The customer was writing me because I had made a mistake on their latest invoice.

When I received the email, I immediately went into kind of a shock. You know, it was like, "Oh No! They have found some huge, outrageous glaring error in my work! Surely heads will roll!"*

Would you like to know how much that invoice was off by? I'll tell you.

Six dollars.

Yep, you read that right. Not sixty or six hundred or six thousand, but six dollars.

I was amazed that she had even realized that a mistake had been made. I will correct the error, of course, but this got me to thinking.

What if we, as consumers, were as eagle-eyed in our credit card statements? Perhaps everyone else is, but most of the time I don't even note the interest rate. I just kind of check to make sure that the amount of the minimum payment is about the same as last month.

With as many people there are that use credit cards, I am sure that the companies must make the occasional mistake, and most of us probably don't even pay attention.

I, for one, am going to check the statements a little more closely next time around.

*All right, so my response wasn't that dramatic. Let's call it artistic liberty.
posted by shamedsteven @ 4:35 PM  
  • At 12:43 PM, Blogger Miserly Bastard said…

    I recently had an interesting situation where I arranged to have a carpet cleaned. I dont recall the numbers exactly, but let's just assume that the carpet was 8 x 12, and it was supposed to be cleaned for $1.80 per square foot. When I got the invoice from the company, I took the time to check the math, which should have been 8 x 12 x $1.80 = $172.80 (or whatever). In fact, the number was higher (probably around $200 or so). I pointed this out to the company, and they said I was right and that the computer had made a "mistake." Of course, I dont believe that for a moment--they have their computer programmed to make this error, because they know that 9 out of 10 consumers wont bother to do what I did. I had meant to report the complaint to the New York Attorney General's office, Division of Consumer Protection, but I never got around to it. No matter. The point is that you should definitely be looking at your bills--even to the point where you may spot check math for deliberate errors.

  • At 5:32 PM, Blogger shamedsteven said…

    Yes, it has been the experience with some of my friends (particularly my female friends) that they seem to get strong-armed into paying more for a service than they had anticipated on paying, and then they feel like they have no recourse. It doesn't happen as often with me, but I surely wouldn't put it past the credit cards to screw me. I will indeed be checking.

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Name: Steven shamedsteven
Home: San Diego
About Me: Well, boys and girls, I, like a whole bunch of other people, made a series of "conscious, deliberate mistakes" and have ended up with a buttload of debt. What is chronicled here are some musings about the journey out.
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