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themoonisdown09
Nov 20, 2008, 07:48 AM
ATTLEBORO, Massachusetts (AP) -- A 74-year-old blind woman was shocked when her daughter found a letter from the city saying a lien would be placed on her home unless she paid an overdue water bill.

The amount? 1 cent.

Eileen Wilbur told The Sun Chronicle of Attleboro the letter sent her blood pressure soaring, and pointed out that stamps cost 42 cents.

City Collector Debora Marcoccio said the letter was among 2,000 sent out. A computer automatically prints letters for accounts with an overdue balance, and they are not reviewed by staff before being mailed, she said.

The letter warned of a lien and a $48 penalty if the overdue bill is not paid by December 10. The charge was from the previous fiscal year, which ran from July 2007 to July 2008.

"My question is, how come it wasn't paid when the (original) bills went out?" Marcoccio said.

Wilbur's daughter, Rose Brederson, who discovered the bill in her mother's mail, called the situation "ridiculous." But she said her mother, who has lived in the home since 1959, would likely end up paying the penny.


CNN link (http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/11/18/penny.bill.ap/index.html)

I just thought this was funny.

cantthinkofone
Nov 20, 2008, 08:22 AM
Good grief. :rolleyes:

I hate energy companies.

Aeolius
Nov 20, 2008, 08:24 AM
I am reminded of what occurs, every time my kids pass a gumball machine:

"Daddy, can I have a quarter?"
"You know what your mother says. I have no cents at all."

velocityg4
Nov 20, 2008, 10:04 AM
That is ridiculous that they sent out a bill. When I did Accounts Receivable the company I worked for would not even bother sending a bill for account balances of less then $1.

But the government likes to forcefully steal every cent they can from you.

yellow
Nov 20, 2008, 10:07 AM
A former government official payed it for her, IIRC.

I read this yesterday.. local news scooping CNN. Awesome! :) Mass. woman's 1-cent debt paid in full (http://www.wral.com/news/national_world/national/story/3986661/)





.

themoonisdown09
Nov 20, 2008, 10:13 AM
A former government official payed it for her, IIRC.

I read this yesterday.. local news scooping CNN. Awesome! :) Mass. woman's 1-cent debt paid in full (http://www.wral.com/news/national_world/national/story/3986661/)


That's awesome.

It's so pathetic because it cost the government more to send the bill, than what they would collect from it. It also cost more for the person to pay the bill than the bill was actually for.

yellow
Nov 20, 2008, 10:19 AM
Indeed.. I have $0.06 in a "flex" account from college.. from 14 years ago.
Every quarter they send me a paper notification that there's $0.06 in that account. For 14 years.

:D

atszyman
Nov 20, 2008, 10:26 AM
How does that $0.01 even propagate?

If I don't pay, or underpay any of my bills the overdue amount is immediately tacked onto my next months bill. It would actually take work for me to propagate any deficit for more than a single month...

themoonisdown09
Nov 20, 2008, 10:50 AM
Indeed.. I have $0.06 in a "flex" account from college.. from 14 years ago.
Every quarter they send me a paper notification that there's $0.06 in that account. For 14 years.


That's a good way to "stick it to the man". Make 'em pay!

GSMiller
Nov 20, 2008, 11:46 AM
Just for spite I would have wrote them a check for 1

ucfgrad93
Nov 20, 2008, 12:24 PM
Just for spite I would have wrote them a check for 1

Not me, I would have taped a penny to the invoice and mailed it back.

theblueone
Nov 20, 2008, 12:29 PM
Not me, I would have taped a penny to the invoice and mailed it back.

I would've taped a nickle to the invoice and demanded that the send me my change. ;)

wordmunger
Nov 20, 2008, 12:37 PM
I'LL SHOW THOSE PETTY GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRATS! I'LL PAY THE LOUSY WATER BILL IN PENNIES!!!!!

... oh, wait...

whooleytoo
Nov 20, 2008, 01:07 PM
A former government official payed it for her, IIRC.


Wow. Does he have to pay tax on that gift though? I foresee a letter from the IRS demanding 0.10 cents...

Counterfit
Nov 20, 2008, 01:52 PM
Ahh, Attleboro. They make my town look good in comparison. :D

yellow
Nov 20, 2008, 02:22 PM
She should send them a picture of a spider. :cool:

.Andy
Nov 20, 2008, 02:25 PM
Eileen Wilbur told The Sun Chronicle of Attleboro the letter sent her blood pressure soaring
She needs to see a doctor about this.

Consultant
Nov 20, 2008, 02:27 PM
A former government official payed it for her, IIRC.

I read this yesterday.. local news scooping CNN. Awesome! :) Mass. woman's 1-cent debt paid in full (http://www.wral.com/news/national_world/national/story/3986661/)

"Mayor Kevin Dumas says the whole situation was blown out of proportion."

Holy **** I would have never thought Dumas is a real name.

She needs to see a doctor about this.

And send a bill to the city.

She should send them a picture of a spider. :cool:

Well unless you are using very cheap paper, the paper might cost more than a penny. =p

puckhead193
Nov 20, 2008, 02:32 PM
Indeed.. I have $0.06 in a "flex" account from college.. from 14 years ago.
Every quarter they send me a paper notification that there's $0.06 in that account. For 14 years.

:D

HAHAHAHAHA that's awesome. keep up the good work!

synth3tik
Nov 20, 2008, 02:32 PM
I am reminded of what occurs, every time my kids pass a gumball machine:

"Daddy, can I have a quarter?"
"You know what your mother says. I have no cents at all."


HAHA! That's gold, pure gold.


I do have a question though (not directed at Aeolius). Why is there a need to say that the lady is blind. It is not like the city tried to exploit her disability. I am fairly sure it would have happened whether she was blind or not.

puckhead193
Nov 20, 2008, 02:37 PM
HAHA! That's gold, pure gold.


I do have a question though (not directed at Aeolius). Why is there a need to say that the lady is blind. It is not like the city tried to exploit her disability. I am fairly sure it would have happened whether she was blind or not.

from a media standpoint it makes the story "better" If she wasn't it wouldn't generate that much press but because she is, the media can play off her disability

atszyman
Nov 20, 2008, 02:42 PM
I would have gone this route (http://i29.tinypic.com/316kxhd.jpg).

themoonisdown09
Nov 20, 2008, 02:43 PM
I would have gone this route (http://i29.tinypic.com/316kxhd.jpg).

That's just amazing!!!

Mousse
Nov 20, 2008, 03:13 PM
It's so pathetic because it cost the government more to send the bill, than what they would collect from it. It also cost more for the person to pay the bill than the bill was actually for.

That's government for you.:rolleyes: Every month my company receives an invoice from the US Food and Drugs Admin saying we owe -$0.05 (that's right, they owe us a nickel:eek:). I called them up to say they can keep the nickel, but nothing changes. This started 3 years ago. I'm expecting another bill from them any day now.:p

jzuena
Nov 20, 2008, 03:25 PM
Good grief. :rolleyes:

I hate energy companies.

It wasn't an energy company, it was the town Department of Public Works.

A former government official payed it for her, IIRC.

I read this yesterday.. local news scooping CNN. Awesome! :) Mass. woman's 1-cent debt paid in full (http://www.wral.com/news/national_world/national/story/3986661/)

.

They interviewed both the woman and the former town official on the local news here in Massachusetts and they both commented on how the town spent far more than the one cent in order to send an invoice. And since the former town official payed by check, it will cost them even more to process the payment.

alphaod
Nov 20, 2008, 03:32 PM
Indeed.. I have $0.06 in a "flex" account from college.. from 14 years ago.
Every quarter they send me a paper notification that there's $0.06 in that account. For 14 years.

:D

Ha, my bank sends me a notice about my zero balance every month. I even called them to tell them I want paperless, but they keep sending it.

LoneWolf121188
Nov 20, 2008, 03:36 PM
I would have gone this route (http://i29.tinypic.com/316kxhd.jpg).
Good thing someone screwed up the math. :rolleyes: That's very clearly .002 + e^(i*pi) + sum(1/2^n,1,inf), not e^(2*pi). e^(i*pi) = -1, therefore .002 - 1 + 1 = $0.002, not $536.49.

iMacmatician
Nov 20, 2008, 04:12 PM
I would have gone this route (http://i29.tinypic.com/316kxhd.jpg).The explanation is wrong. The "2" is actually "i," which makes the payment $(.002 - 1 + 1) = $.002.

atszyman
Nov 20, 2008, 04:52 PM
The explanation is wrong. The "2" is actually "i," which makes the payment $(.002 - 1 + 1) = $.002.

I didn't write the check or the explanation just saw the image on Digg and loved the concept.

The memo makes it worth it.

carlgo
Nov 20, 2008, 05:36 PM
Governments are not allowed to give preferential treatment, so these silly situations pop up from time to time. The idea is that everyone pays the same fees, etc. Their fear is that everyone will subtract 99c from their fees and fines and get away with it.

Business and utilities have sent me a few cents in check form. They aren't allowed to accept overpayment.

It is all pretty silly. If elected Grand Beloved Leader, we will see the Universal Dollar Forgivedness Act. If you are a buck short now and then, then so be it.
However, every transaction will be recorded on the Universal Gigantic Computer and if a person shows a pattern of this, then they will be arrested under the Cheapskate Act and will have to pick up dead things from the highway for a couple of days.

cantthinkofone
Nov 20, 2008, 05:49 PM
Good thing someone screwed up the math. :rolleyes: That's very clearly .002 + e^(i*pi) + sum(1/2^n,1,inf), not e^(2*pi). e^(i*pi) = -1, therefore .002 - 1 + 1 = $0.002, not $536.49.

I want to do this for my cable bill. How would i write it for $120?

LoneWolf121188
Nov 20, 2008, 09:06 PM
I want to do this for my cable bill. How would i write it for $120?
One simple way would be to leave out the .002 part, multiply the e^(i*pi) term by -$119, and leave the sum as it is.

atszyman
Nov 21, 2008, 12:38 AM
I want to do this for my cable bill. How would i write it for $120?

be very careful, a couple a of people who can't do math might very well drain your bank account...

"Yep, did the math twice, he paid us $14,000 for this month's cable bill.":p

themoonisdown09
Nov 21, 2008, 07:10 AM
be very careful, a couple a of people who can't do math might very well drain your bank account...

"Yep, did the math twice, he paid us $14,000 for this month's cable bill.":p

Yeah, I'd be a little scared to do it too. Maybe one involving simple algebra.

RedTomato
Nov 21, 2008, 10:58 AM
Yeah, I'd be a little scared to do it too. Maybe one involving simple algebra.

Better stick to drawing a spider. Maybe one with 119 legs.

gmecca2
Nov 21, 2008, 08:48 PM
That's what happens with automated systems when no one is placing restrictions on what it autobills. I wouldn't have gotten mad over it. I would have found more humor saying you retards spent money on paper and postage to bill me for one cent. You need to fire someone in the accounting department.

thomahawk
Nov 21, 2008, 08:51 PM
She should send them a picture of a spider. :cool:

lawl, yes she should've sent a picture of a spider, the paper could be worth 1cents

Dagless
Nov 22, 2008, 11:26 AM
Indeed.. I have $0.06 in a "flex" account from college.. from 14 years ago.
Every quarter they send me a paper notification that there's $0.06 in that account. For 14 years.

:D

Back in 1999 I opened a bank account with the RBS because they visited our school and gave us free notepads. 4 times I year I get a statement saying that my account is empty. After 9 frackin years. Take the bloody hint!

In all fairness she did owe money no matter how small and her being blind should really have nothing to do with it. That 1 cent should just have been added to her next bill since it probably cost a few dollars in admin and posting. It'd be quite a big problem to companies that issue bills if they let pardoned small amounts.

andreab35
Nov 22, 2008, 10:04 PM
Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5G77 Safari/525.20)

Yep I heard this story on Boston's Channel 7 news. I thought it was quite funny myself!
I'd laugh if she refused to pay the penny. :D