Hey, call us anytime

Update: Perhaps you recall an item in this space April 12 about the fellow who was billed $218 trillion by Malaysia's state-owned phone company and given 10 days to pay up or be hauled into court. It turns out that he does owe money to Telekom Malaysia - just not as much as previously reported . What's more, TM is accepting no responsibility for the obvious error that fixed worldwide attention firmly upon itself. Instead, the New Straits Times of Kuala Lumpur, which broke the story, said late last week that the company is pointing the finger of blame squarely at the debt-collection agency it uses in such cases. The agency is on notice to produce a full report of the incident, and promptly. In Malay-sia's currency, the ringgit, Yahaya Wahab must pay - look closely now - 80.640000000000001, not the 806,400000000.01 on the original invoice. That converts to (US) $21.80, a difference of $217.99 trillion. "The complainant called ... for an explanation," TM's general manager for corporate communications told the New Straits Times. "He was informed that it was a typo and was satisfied with the explanation." Yahaya thought he'd settled his late father's account back in January and asked that the phone be disconnected. The unpaid amount was a service charge for pulling the plug.

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