Sunday, December 10, 2006


Some of you may have noticed that I wired up Google Adsense.

I know that some of you might see that as going commercial with this whole thing. I just want to assure you that once I reach my goal of $71.07 ($71.79 - 71.79c), I will be donating .999999% of all proceeds to a fund for the education of call center reps*. The rest will be used to cover costs and for my own evil purposes.

Also, in case anyone was wondering, I don't think that all call center reps are stupid, that would be a gross generalization. In fact, for 2 years I did phone support myself (24/7 - no kidding).

Addendum: In all seriousness, and in the spirit that motivated me to create this blog in the first place, please do NOT commit click fraud.

*neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem. Ut enim ad minima veniam, quis nostrum exercitationem ullam corporis suscipit laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequatur? Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem eum fugiat quo voluptas nulla pariatur? Proceeds may be redirected to a charity, other organization, or even Mr. Vaccaro himself, at the sole discretion of George Vaccaro.


the Blaminator said...

You can do math, but spelling isn't your forte. In your footnote (which is filled with that ipso facto latin text substitute stuff), you spell discretion as "disgression", which isn't a word.

But anyway, keep up the posts. I'm dying to see how this all turns out!

georgevaccaro said...

@the blaminator

thanks! :)

Billy said...

This is the e-mail I sent to Verizon yesterday.

Dear Verizon,

After briefly hearing about your fios service a while ago I was quite interested and decided to research more. On paper the service looked great, good upload/download speeds for a good price. I thought to myself "Could this be the saving grace that Verizon has been hoping for?" because, lets be honest with each other here, Verizon hasn't been doing too well lately. Theres a reason you guys are paying over a billion to lay down fiber in New York alone. With such a bold move I assumed Verizon was committed to making a fresh start, shedding the bad pr and public image that have been haunting it for the past few years. Unfortunately some of Verizon's recent actions have showed me that this is not the case.
Late in October Virginia P. Ruesterholz president of Verizon's telcom came to talk at our school (event website: I assumed that because she was an alumni and because we were a technical school the discussion would be fairly technical; however, this was not the case. Instead of the intelligent or thoughtful presentation I was expecting, she just used her time as a shameless plug for Verizon. The only comforting thought I have of that event is that the students saw right through this pathetic act, and instead of gaining any customers that day they lost them.
Yet, even after this I still wanted fios, not because of (in spite of?) Verizon's advertising, but because of fios' specs. This all changed a few days ago when I listened to a recording made by George Vaccaro, a Verizon customer who had a simple problem which should have been quickly resolved. About 10 seconds into the recording I knew exactly what the problem was, unfortunately for George after 27 minutes of explaining the employees still couldn't grasp that $.002 does not equal .002 cents. One employee even claims that the difference between George's (correct) calculations and her (erroneous) ones was a matter of opinion. The attention this recording received has resulted in thousands of people complaining about their own horrible experiences with Verizon.
That was enough for me, I swore to myself right then and there that my name would never touch a contract with the word Verizon on it. Never have I encountered a product I wanted so much, but would not buy just because of the particular company selling it.

Colin said...

The google ads are a good idea. People are coming here to support your cause, so they might as well click through all the ads to help you earn your money back.

Borat said...

First of all this entire situation is great! I have also sent an E-mail to Verizon letting them know they are stupid and I will never consider them when shopping for service. Second, I don't know where you live, but I would send this to my local news station to try and get this out. Local news in Cleveland will make a story of just about anything you send them!

Davman said...

I'm just waiting for the google ads to start showing adverts for Verizon... or math classes.

Schlotzky said...

I, too, sent Verizon an e-mail with a link to your blog, letting them know that they will never have me as a customer.

Mike said...

That's good and such, but I won't be able to sleep soundly untill someone gets something out of verrizon. Scripted or no that can't be entirely legal.

Mike said...

Very clever -- am i the first to realize that .99999% is less than 1%?

Bruce said...

I don't think so...

georgevaccaro said...

@davman - too funny!
@colin - I don't in any way endorse click fraud - in fact I discourage it on the same principles that started this blog. I appreciate the sentiment however.

@billy, @borat, @schlotzky - you are perfect examples of why Verizon should treat their customers right.

That said, I have to say, I have had Nextel, T-Mobile, Sprint and then Verizon, and Verizon has definitely had the best coverage in the places I've wanted it. And that for my purposes is the top priority - customer service is a close second,. Obviously if customer service is horrible vs tolerable, that could change the dynamic...

Thanks for the comments!

georgevaccaro said...

@mike - ;)

Matthew said...

You actually know Latin? That is really ultra cool.

georgevaccaro said...

@matthew - no, I just know google :)

Vic said...

This whole thing is truly astounding. The only thing I'd say is I would take any chances you have for text-based interactions (ie: not over the phone) to MAKE them see what you're saying:

If you slowly walk them through it like so, no one should be able to pull that "opinion" nonsense:

$1.00 = 1 dollar = 100 cents
$0.10 = "point one" dollars = 10 cents
$0.01 = "point zero one" dollars = 1 cent
$0.001 = "point zero zero one" dollars = "point one cents" or 0.1 cents

From there, one would hope that it would be easy to show that "point zero zero two" cents is a far cry from what they've been charging you.

Anyway, good luck. Reading this makes me rather unhappy that I just signed a 2-year deal with Verizon, but alas, hindsight, and all that jazz.

Quazy said...

Have you called them back yet? maybe you should and see if there answer changes now that the recording is out and well i'm pretty sure that verizon is aware of it by now.

Adam Jacob Muller said...

Yesterday I sent verzion an email about this, just got a reply:
Dear A. Muller,

Thank you for contacting the Verizon eCenter. My name is Shirley, and I will be handling your request today.

This message is in response to your email dated December 9, 2006. You inquired about a George Vaccaro and incorrect billing.

I understand your concerns about incorrect billing.

I am not sure what service you are referring to that Mr. George Vaccaro has that is billed incorrectly. If you will have Mr. George Vaccaro call us at (800) 427-9977 if he feels he is being billed for any services with Verizon. We will happy to check into the mistake.

The department to which we have referred you will be able to assist you.

Thank you for using Verizon. We appreciate your business.

Verizon eCenter

georgevaccaro said...


Was that verizon wireless or another department?

Manish said...

@ georgevaccaro


If you're looking for other wireless service providers, try Cingular. From what I've heard from everyone, Verizon and Cingular go hand-in-hand in coverage, or Cingular is a little better.

I've been a Cingular customer for last 2.5 years, and before that I was all AT&T, which is now owned by Cingular. Last month I signed another 2 years with Cingular.

Here's some examples why I love cingular:

1. I went on a road trip from Chicago to NY with a couple of friends, who had Sprint and T-Mobile and I was on the phone almost throughout the trip, whereas others weren't even getting the network.

2. Gotta love the rollover minutes.

3. Cingular has the most coverage, if you see the coverage maps for each service provider. And I think their motto "fewest dropped calls" is actually true.

3. NO, I DON'T work for Cingular.

- Manish

Adam Jacob Muller said...

@ george
I filled out the form on verizon wireless's site. I think they all go to the same place. It's at least interesting that noone in verizion knows anything about your situation, it at least reinforces my belief that all the lawyers/PR people are away for the weekend.

Manish said...

Oh, I also drove from Chicago to Atlanta once - same thing. Never lost network. Granted, my experience is all in midwest/east-coast, but it should stand for something.

FWIW, I've been to Vegas, SF, LA, Miami as well, without ever experiencing network problems.

Wow, now I think I should work for cingular.

Adam Jacob Muller said...

I also replied back to these clowns, adivsed them they should really really call someone in legal/PR and gave them the link to the blog ;)

Jervis said...

this is totally a joke.

i'm all the way from Singapore but i feel like just fucking them up.

Oh btw you're gonna pay them 72 cents and not dollars right.

yonnermark said...

google ads are cool but you should donate 50% to charity in my opinion.

wisnij said...


It's entirely possible I don't understand the various legal issues and so forth, but can't you just... not pay them? Or even better, send a check for 72 cents with "this is all you get" written in the note field, and nothing else? It's not exactly as though they can take you to court over it.

Eric said...


as george allready mentioned, he could just pay the $.71, but then t-mobile would automatically:

a)sent him a SMS telling him the bill is overdue
b)charge a late fee on the next bill
c)send a letter warning of suspension of service
d)send another letter warning of suspension of service
e)suspend the service
f)start charging interest on the overdue amount
g)cancel the service
h)impose an early cancelation fee
i)send many more letters
j)pass it over to a debt collector.

step j) is when it gets the roughest, cuz then it shows on your credit report.

Adam Jacob Muller said...


Hennell said...

I wouldn't pay anything yet. This seems to be making quite a noise on the internet, try e-mailing it in to a couple of newspapers.

My guess is they'll back down if you get enough publicity over it. I'd guess no company really wants to be shown as mathematically incompetent.

Kelly Hawk said...

Ads are cool. I'm all for making money off the idiocy of others. Have'at'er George.

IDK said...

I think the solution is clear. Send them a check for 72¢. Does this differ at all from $72? That is a matter of opinion.

Brian said...

.9999999 LOL

Thanks george!

FluffyAnaiya said...

George, kudos to you for being so patient about this! I doubt I would have been ....

Anyway, I had yet to actually start my blog and you have inspired me. I have christened my own blog with your story and the math clearly written out the way I remember learning how to write it out in elementary school. Well, at least it's clear to me! ^_^

Good luck to you and I hope they fix your bill as per their quote!

You can check out my numbers here:

TheRubberDuck said...

I heard your recording, and you were right when you said it was a matter of termanology. And you said the key thing when you said "You are calling it cents just because there is a decimal involved" They are seeing it as how you write down cents and .02 for 2 cents so then 2 tenths to them would be .002 what they fail to realize when using a decimal that makes you talk in terms of dollars. So 2 cents could be written as $0.02 or 2c, in which case you use no decimal. I just have this annoying nack of seeing everyone's perspective. So its not a matter of opinion per se but a point of view.

A better way for you get get your point across maybe would to have said they are quoting .002 "of" a cent. But yeah, the whole thing they don't get is they are looking at it as dollars. And most people when you ask them to write down 2 cents would put .02 not 02c, there isn't even a cent symbol on the keyboard... least not one marked. Which is what has furthered this.

Chandler A. said...

OMG I'm 13 and I understand what you are saying!
You told them countless times that 002 dollars is different than .002 cents. And explained it to them. How come they don't under stand this?

georgevaccaro said...

@chandler a

Hi Chandler, thanks for the comment. Its hard to say, it could be a number of reasons. I think it was more stubborness than smarts ;).

Thanks for posting!

Chandler A. said...


I totally agree with you!
I wonder, if this means that we would get our money back from every data bill we've payed. That is if they see what you are trying to tell them. I've been paying data bills for a year now. I would love to get an extra 500 bucks laying around haha. Good luck with all of this!

Samsamsam said...

Another commenter wrote that they believed Verizon PR people were away for the weekend. Actually, I think some of them really are. Verizon has a blog ( The most recent post mentions that many of the bloggers are at Verizon's annual public affairs, policy and communications meeting.

Matt Nordhoff said...

I'm worried that if you profit off of this with ads, Verizon will somehow be able to use that against you.

Jake said...

I love the .99% thing. That means if you get $100 in revenue, Verizon can look forward to their $0.99. And be completely confused about why they aren't getting $99. Brilliant!