A man living in Kandos ( Australia )
Received a bill in March for his as yet unused gas line stating that he owed $0.00.
He ignored it and threw it away. In April he received another bill and threw that one away too.
The following month the gas company sent him a very nasty note stating that they were going to cancel his gas line if he didn't send them $0.00 by return mail.
He called them, talked to them, and they said it was a computer error and they would take care of it.
The following month he decided that it was about time that he tried out the troublesome gas line figuring that if there was usage on the account it would put an end to this ridiculous predicament.
However, when he went to use the gas, it had been cut off.
He called the gas company who apologized for the computer error once again and said that they would take care of it. The next day he got a bill for $0.00 stating that payment was now overdue.
Assuming that having spoken to them the previous day, the latest bill was yet another mistake, he ignored it, trusting that the company would be as good as their word and sort the problem out.
The next month he got a bill for $0.00. This bill also stated that he
had 10 days to pay his account or the company would have to take steps to recover the debt.
Finally, giving in, he thought he would beat the gas company at their own game and mailed them a cheque for $0.00. The computer duly processed his account and returned a statement to the effect that he now owed the gas company nothing at all.
A week later, the manager of the Mudgee branch of the Westpac Banking Corporation called our hapless friend and asked him what he was doing writing cheque for $0.00.
After a lengthy explanation the bank manager replied that the $0.00 cheque had caused their cheque processing software to fail. The bank could therefore not process ANY cheques they had received from ANY of their customers that day because the cheque for $0.00 had caused the computer to crash.
The following month the man received a letter from the gas company claiming that his cheque had bounced and that he now owed them $ 0.00 and unless he sent a cheque by return mail they would take immediate steps to recover the debt.
At this point, the man decided to file a debt harassment claim against the gas company. It took him nearly two hours to convince the clerks at the local courthouse that he was not joking.
They subsequently helped him in the drafting of statements which were considered substantive evidence of the aggravation and difficulties he had been forced to endure during this debacle.
The matter was heard in the Magistrate's Court in Mudgee and the outcome was this:
The gas company was ordered to [1] immediately rectify their computerized accounts system or show cause within 10 days, why the matter should not be referred to a higher court for consideration under Company Law.
[2] Pay the bank dishonour fees incurred by the man.
[3] Pay the bank dishonour fees incurred by all the Westpac clients whose cheques had been bounced on the day our friend's had been processed.
[4] Pay the claimant's court costs; and
[5] Pay the claimant a total of $1500 per month for the 5 month period March to July inclusive as compensation for the aggravation they had caused their client to suffer.
And all this over $0.00
This story can also be viewed on the ABC website - Who employs these idiots??
Remember, these "people" walk among us, breathe the same air we do, AND THEY  BREED !!

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Replies to This Discussion

And we're also concerned that such uncritical idiots vote!

It's a good legend of much ado about nothing ... and it was also told about a man in "Newtown near Boston", Massachusetts. There's more at snopes.com, appropriately titled Zero Dollars and Zero Sense.

Whoever wrote the gas company's billing code should find another line of business ... something that does NOT involve math!

The Snopes article explains that such mistakes in programming (or design) could be only moderately stupid: if an account gets billed fractions of a cent, perhaps through interest, the rounded and printed "amount due" might not be the exact amount in the records.

But even the U.S. Government does better! You didn't have to send in a federal tax payment this year if the "Amount you owe" was under $1.

Happy the court fined those ninnyhammers.

But remember, corporations are people, too.

What next? Corporations being allowed to vote?

(As if the unrestricted millions they're allowed to spend on spin, lies, and manipulation isn't enough....)

But check out this graphic:

If aliens came
and poisoned half our rivers ...
and laced agricultural lands with poisons
and put cancerous materials into children's toys ...
and radically changed our atmosphere

Would we get the supreme court to declare them persons ...
Or would we mobilize to stop them?

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